Episodes 500, 501 and 502

Now that all the dust has settled from all the hoopla surrounding our 500th episode, I can take a step back share my thoughts on the three most recent episodes I’ve worked on.

PABF07 “At Long Last Leave” (episode 500)

  • The couch gag (gags?) opening was a really great way to let all the fans have a wonderful flashback moment spanning the life of the series. When the show debuted, having new chalkboard and couch gags in every episode was revolutionary. We still surprise fans every week with the surprise “fly-through” in the opening seconds of the show, the new billboard as we push through town toward the school and various surprise musical End Credit and Gracie Logo sequences. Musically, we get to have Lisa playing different instruments as she waltzes out of the band room, and sometimes the couch gag is like a mini-episode with a full score all its own.
  • Alison Krauss and Union Station did a really great version of the Simpsons Theme. If you’re a music nerd like I am, listen again and appreciate the amount of detail in the various counter-melodies they played. The original Main Title was recorded by a 65-piece orchestra, but this bluegrass version captured all the nuance of the original with only a handful of players (sorry I don’t know the actual number as I was not involved in the recording – the tracks were delivered to me for editing).
  • I do get to toot my own horn a little bit. The version of the theme Alison Krauss delivered to me was 45 seconds long. The End Credits sequence runs only 40 seconds long and the faux Main Title in the show only ran 29 seconds. I cut both versions from the 45-second track.
  • The song during the next-to-last scene of the show is “We’ll Meet Again”, made popular by British singer Vera Lynn in the 1930s. Susie Stevens-Logan sang the beautiful version that Alf arranged for this episode. Susie is the daughter of Sally Stevens whom I told you about in a previous post.
  • During the screening of the episode at the 500th Episode Celebration, the biggest laugh from the assembled masses came when Homer said,
    “I’m sick of watching fox!”

PABF09 “Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart”

We spotted this episode on Friday, February 17, 2012. There are 21 music cues in the show, totaling about four-and-a-half minutes. This is episode 501, written by Marc Wilmore. The show will air on Sunday, March 4, 2012 on FOX. Continuing a fun trend this season, there are TWO classical orchestral works in the show. We also have a special version of the End Credits music that some of you may already be familiar with.

Shepard Fairey is a guest voice in this episode as Bart (with Milhouse’s help, of course) becomes a street artist, attempting to become the Banksy of Springfield.

Hold on to your hats for an EPIC couch gag. I hope you can hear the show in Dolby Digital 5.1 to get the full effect!

PABF08 “How I Wet Your Mother”

Episode 502 was written by Billy Kimball & Ian Maxtone-Graham and will air on Sunday, March 11, 2012 on FOX. Spotted on Thursday, February 23, 2012 the show has 36 music cues running nearly eight minutes. This is a pretty music-heavy episode.

Suddenly, Homer starts wetting the bed. He can’t figure out why until his mother (magnificent guest voice, Glenn Close) appears to him in dream to help him solve his problem.

We get to play a little Tchaikovsky in this episode (loving all the legit classical music this season!), there are some big orchestra cues for the dream sequences, and we have a lovely surprise duet for the End Credits.

Thanks again to those of you who have commented or tweeted that you’d like this blog to continue. It’s nice to have an appreciative audience.

OK, I need to get back to work … we’re in one of those periods where I’m juggling three shows at once and I can’t afford to drop any of the balls.

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9 thoughts on “Episodes 500, 501 and 502

  1. Quick question… What was the song playing on the Simpson’s car radio as the last radio station in Springfield faded out?

  2. What was the music playing in “Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart” when Bart’s vandalism spree was being shown? The scene where he was spraying the stensil all over Springfield. I remember the music and i seem to recall it being in the Disney film Fantasia but can’t remember the name.

    Thanks,
    Callum

  3. When my husband & I were getting married I was looking for something unusual musically to walk down the aisle. The wedding march is ok but it wasn’t me. Well I found it with the end credits to renaissance Lisa’s Wedding and it was perfect. I got to have the Simpson’s involved!!! I’m a huge fan from day one and I love the music. I frequently listen to Songs in the key of Springfield. Thank you for your blog. I love music but can’t play a note!

    • Alison, thanks for sharing such a great story. That’s one of my favorite treatments of our theme.

      You don’t have to read or study music in order to love it. My father never studied music but loved and listened to music every day of his life and taught my siblings and me to love it, too.

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