Fox's long-running animated comedy "The Simpsons" opened with a sequence set in the series hometown version of Broadway. The Simpson family took in the opening night of Stab-A-Lot: The Itchy and Scratchy Musical. Though the title was a takeoff on last season's Spamalot, the musical parodied Broadway's current long-running Disney musical, The Lion King, full with puppets attached to actors.
Stab-A-Lot: The Itchy and Scratchy Musical was described by Lisa Simpson as "a re-imagining of 'Itchy and Scratchy' by avant garde director Juliana Krellner" — a nod to The Lion King director Julie Taymor. The opening number featured the half-animal, half-human chorus singing the lyrics "Itchy Scratchy, Itchy Itchy Scratchy" to the tune of Elton John's "The Circle of Life" — the last word in the title changed to "knife," as the brutally politically incorrect cat and mouse duo often kill each other.
The portly patriarch Homer quipped about the musical's book being written by Tom Stoppard, "This isn't a book, it's a play!" And the blue-beehived mom Marge endured what many theatregoers undergo at productions, worrying about being chosen to interact with the players. A second song featured in the faux musical was "I Don't Know Why I Trust Him" an homage to "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar.
Recent Spamalot star Hank Azaria is a series regular on "The Simpsons," having lent his vocal diversity to a number of characters on the show. Created by Matt Groening, "The Simpsons" also features Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer.
The half-hour-long Emmy Award-winning series, which debuted in Dec. 1989, airs on Fox Sundays at 8 PM (ET.) Check your local listings.