Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. The Simpsons are back tonight with a new episode entitled Friend With Benefit. I can’t wait to watch it because I have read about the plot in which Lisa meets someone new, who is entitled to a lot. You can see where this is going… Right?
This week it’s all about Mr. Largo, the music teacher at Springfield Elementary School. Most of you who are reading this know how much I loved taking music and music related classes at school. Really, that is one of the few talents I have that I really did well in, besides writing. Unfortunately, my spelling was less than desirable at times. Of course, with what I have now I can almost write any words I want using dictation and I can pretend to be the greatest writer in the world.
Of course, the main source of comedy with Mr. Largo is that he’s not very helpful to his students and ruins music class for everybody, including Lisa because he sucks at his job that he hates anyway. To be honest, I wish that he was a much nicer man than he is but it wouldn’t be as funny. Then again, I actually enjoyed music class and music in general and I still do today. I guess the only thing I hated was trying to actually read music using braille, which I couldn’t and still don’t really get the gist of. My problem is I couldn’t really transfer what I was reading using my fingers to my brain. I did and still do much better learning by ear, yet, I have retain some of my limited musical theory which I have learned. For example: I know basically 1/8 notes, quarter notes, half notes, etc and I can tell you what Key a song is in. The only thing that was a downfall was having to tell other musicians what the notes are because I wasn’t that patient and just wanted to get on with playing tunes on guitar and whale.
I’m glad the show has such good people like Alf Clausen and Chris Ladesma as music composers and editors respectively. My only question is do they have perfect pitch? I have always wondered about this with all musicians who don’t play drums or other tuneless percussion instruments. I wish I could be at a music spotting session one day, just so I could be there to hear how everything is put together for an episode. I’m sure I could talk music with some of the voice actors and maybe I could have a jam with them, if it is possible.
Other than that, not much I can say about Mr. Largo, other than he is the music teacher I’m glad I never had. Sometimes I cringe at hearing the kids playing their instruments because they are out of tune, with the exception of Lisa. This story will make why I just said what I said even clearer and I’ve told it before. But, I think it is worht repeating again, especially in this post about Mr. Largo.
when I was nine years old I and the rest of my homeroom class took recorder as our secondary musical instrument besides piano. Remember the recorder? You know… That little toy plastic instrument which sounds like a muffled flute but isn’t?
One of the songs we were tought to play that year was Claire de Lune, which is in the key of F natural but we were told to play f sharp as the root note in the melody. I found and still find this to be wrong and completely out of order in music education and I spoke up about this and was basically told to shut up and play it as I was told. Really? If I had sang like that I would be singled out as being out of tune and I knew better than that. The worst thing about it was that the lady who was teaching us recorder was also our piano teacher and a very nice lady. I think she knew I was right but she probably had to tow the line. If I was able to tell my nine-year-old self to talk to the Music Director of the school, I would have and I’m sure he would’ve understood. Of course, if Lisa Simpson was in a similar situation she would have also suffered the same reaction of shut up and do as you’re told. That is why I almost throw up when I hear any Mr. Largo directed musical presentation and at the same time, feel really sorry for Lisa because she has to also Grin and bear it, like I had to.
On another and sad note, it is the second anniversary of the death of Iron Mike Bensson. If you don’t know who he is, he worked mostly in the Western New York and for the last 18 years of his life at 97.7 HTZFM. He had been doing the afternoon drive and the morning show and during his shows he would play novelty songs at certain points. He even played It Was A Very Good Beer from the episode Duffless and Songs In The Key Of Springfield. He even did a segment called The Teaser, where he would play 3 songs and you had to guess what the common thread was that brought them together. Sometimes he would play a Homer Simpson drop or two then as well.
Unfortunately, he died on November 7th 2013, aged 60 of esophageal cancer just after his 60th birthday on October 17. I can say with all certainty that I and other listeners and friends all miss him equally. Maybe some of the Simpsons staff might have heard him somewhere in the northern US, mostly in Buffalo at 103.3 WPHD and later at 97.7 HTZFM, among other gigs. We miss you, you turd burglar, monkey slapper, poop shoot, Keagle beak, etc. Oh yeah, he encouraged his listeners to call him a funny name and he would respond with one back and he had a load of them and I just included his most common names. For some reason, I don’t remember him calling me any funny names but I know he loved all of his listeners equally! “AMF, stay off the pipe, don’t forget to wipe, peace, out.”
Well that’s about it for this Simpsons Sunday post. In the mean time, I recommend checking out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
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You can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again on Weather Wednesday.