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posted 7 Aug 2011, 23:30
The weekend saw the release of Rise of the Planet of the Apes - the newest instalment of the movie franchise that, much like The Simpsons, enjoys considerable cross-cultural and inter-generational appeal. Re-makes of old classics invariably arouse measures of curiosity and indignation. The 1968 feature film starring Charlton Heston spawned an astonishing four sequels (or prequels as some might be termed). The 2001 re-make had mixed critical reviews but was judged a commercial success.
Of course Planet of the Apes references abound in The Simpsons. Who knows, maybe some day we'll even sit down and build a compendium of them. Remember, for example astronaut Homer's breakdown when he realised the terrible secret!?
For now however we thought it might be simpler to recall just one episode that stands out vividly. A Fish Called Selma featured the unforgettable Troy McClure (you may remember him from various Simpsons spoofs), in which he launched his comeback with the musical Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get off. We thought it was great - only a pity that Hollywood producers didn't heed the advice.
Actually musicals and Planet of the Apes are not as distant cousins as you might think. According to the Planets of the Apes website, producer of the original Apes outings, Arthur P. Jacobs, had among previous credits the 1967 musical adaptation of Doctor Doolittle - that's the one about being able to 'talk to the animals'. Or, did you know that sets used in the 1970 sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes were adapted from the 1969 musical Hello, Dolly!?
Sit back and enjoy Troy McClure doing what he does best, not very well. But who could forget those remarkable refrains:
I hate every ape I see / From Chimpan A to Chimpan Z / No you'll never make a monkey out of me ... / Oh my God! I was wrong / It was Earth all along / Yes you've finally made a monkey out of me.