Beyond Bieber: ‘The Simpsons’ sends Bart to classical piano lessons

How do you punish Springfield’s ultimate grade-school delinquent? A 10-year-old troublemaker who has been disciplined hundreds of times over the last 24 years? In Sunday’s episode of “The Simpsons” on Fox, Bart is sentenced to the harshest form of pre-pubescent spirit crushing: classical-music lessons.

The severity cannot be underestimated. After rejecting sliding-whistle lessons from Sideshow Mel, sitar instruction from Comicbook Guy and a theremin odyssey courtesy of Prof. Frink, Bart agrees to piano lessons after he espies the attractive Russian teacher Zhenya (the voice of Jane Krakowski).

Eager to impress his exotic instructor, but hopelessly talentless when it comes to music, Bart fakes his way through a concert by air-fingering to a recording.


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Sunday’s episode featured music by Chopin as well as a fake cameo by the ghost of Beethoven. (As you may have heard, the episode’s biggest cameo was a five-second vocal contribution by Justin Bieber as himself.)

This is hardly the first time that members of the Simpsons family have engaged in the performing arts to less than stellar results. in 2008, Lisa took an ill-fated detour into the world of dance under the tutelage of Springfield’s most famous choreographer, Chazz Busby, a parody of Bob Fosse. (Busby can be seen in Sunday’s episode in the audience during Bart’s concert.) Last year, Homer took to the stage to play Jesus in a local Passion play production.

The title of Sunday’s episode was “The Fabulous Faker Boy” and included a scene in which Zhenya channels Michelle Pfeiffer as she sings “Makin’ Whoopee” on top of a piano.

Here’s a video clip from the episode; a video of the full episode is expected to be posted at a later date.


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