Pop culture icon-wannabes know they’ve truly made it when they guest on The Simpsons, and many of the best Simpsons episodes revolve around musicians and singers. Over the years almost every music genre has been well represented by a Who’s Who from international entertainment: Sting, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Tony Bennett, Barry White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bette Midler. Johnny Cash, U2, Dolly Parton, Elton John, Britney Spears, Kid Rock, The Who, Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, Green Day, Dixie Chicks, Plácido Domingo, Ludacris, and 50 Cent, among others. In this episode, broadcast Sunday, 26 September, Flight of the Conchords and Glee provide the soundtrack to Lisa’s life.
The Simpsons has become more than entertainment; it confers elite pop culture status to those included in the series’ documentation of the important people, trends, and touchstones of our times. In years to come, cultural anthropologists could learn much about turn-of-the-21st-century America from the evolving litany of Simpson cultural references and themes. While quintessentially American, The Simpsons reflects a globalism well beyond the grasp of its Springfield-centric characters (with, of course, the exception of exceptional Lisa).