Simpsons Take The Bowl

Even the creators of The Simpsons know we love the old stuff. Specifically, the first 10 to 12 seasons. That’s the period in which Matt Groening‘s iconic yellow family took the world by storm and became a television institution. Since then many fans have fallen off the show, citing a decline in quality, and maybe that decline is a fact. But The Simpsons endures. This year is the 25th anniversary of the show, making it the longest-running sitcom in U.S. history.

To celebrate the anniversary, The Simpsons took over legendary Los Angeles concert venue The Hollywood Bowl for a three night concert event called The Simpsons Take the Bowl. Hosted by Hank Azaria (the voice of Moe, Ape, Chief Wiggum and many others), the event featured a slew of guest stars performing songs and score from The Simpsons, with a strong focus on the early years. Mainly, songs from the 1997 album Songs in the Key of Springfield, including The Monorail Song, Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart, The Stonecutters Song, Happy Birthday Lisa and others. This being Hollywood, there were some references to The Simpsons Movie, too, and Hans Zimmer live-conducting the score to the Oscar-nominated short, The Longest Daycare.

Basically, if you loved The Simpsons as a child or adult, it was a simply fantastic evening of entertainment. And, if you couldn’t be there, several of the numbers from the evening have been uploaded online. Check them out below.

Thanks to LAist for the heads up on all these, and to YouTube user WitherWings07.

First up, here’s Conan O’Brien performing The Monorail Song. Conan wrote this episode and the late, great Phil Hartman sang the song in the episode. So this was one of many tributes to the actor.

The song Happy Birthday Lisa was thought to be sung by Michael Jackson in a famous episode. However, while Jackson did voice the character’s normal voice, in fact Kipp Lennon did the singing. This was the first time he ever performed the song live and in public, along with Bart Simpson herself, Nancy Cartwright.

The Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus did a lot of the heavy lifting during the event, including a long medley of classics. Not featured here was See My Vest, but you can watch We Do (The Stonecutters Song).

Another classic Phil Hartman episode is when Troy McClure plays the lead in Planet of the Apes the Musical. His good friend Jon Lovitz, who did lots of Simpsons voices, sang just a sliver of the hilarious medley.

The memorable Mary Poppins episode featured lots of music and one of the best was this song, performed by Cartwright and Yeardley Smith, called Minimum Wage Nanny.

One of the best parts of The Simpsons Movie was the song Spider-Pig, and here it is sung by the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus.

Weird Al Yankovic performed his Simpsons themed song as part of the event, and here’s part of it.

And that was only part of the event. Hank Azaria dressed as Apu to do Who Needs the Quik-E-Mart, Beverly D’Angelo performed the Homer song as Lurleen Lumpkin, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra did various versions of the Simpsons theme based on guest couch gags (Guillermo del Toro, Banksy, etc.), there was We Put the Spring In Springfield, Senor Burns, Hans Zimmer did the score to The Longest Daycare and Nancy Cartwright brought everyone on stage to Do the Bartman.

It was a stellar, fantastic evening that made you remember why The Simpsons will forever be great.

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