Might The Simpsons take home a Grammy award for this Sunday's show? Probably not, but it has a shot considering the episode includes a song written by composer Bobby Lopez, who collected Tony awards for Broadway's Book of Mormon and Avenue Q. The song, "Enjoy It While You Can," is sung by funny Brit Steve Coogan, who voices a cruise ship director named Rowan Priddis on the animated Fox comedy.
Titled, "A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never Do Again," the episode finds Bart selling everything he owns to take his family on a top-of-the-line luxury cruise. But when Bart realizes the cruise will end, he takes extreme measures to make his ultimate family vacation last forever. "The cruise is so amazing that Bart has an adult-like realization that the rest of his life is all going to be downhill from there," previews producer Matt Selman. "That's where this song comes in. It's supposed to be a gentle, good-natured song that entertains the passengers, but Bart takes it deadly to heart." From there, he plots to keep the cruise going indefinitely. "He takes extreme measures in only the way Bart can."
The song's composer says he was given lyrics by The Simpsons writers, which he then tweaked. Rather than send up Celine Dion's Titanic ditty, "My Heart Will Go On," Bobby (who is developing a "weird" non-musical comedy for ABC) says he opted to go for something "cheesy that actually could be performed on a cruise ship. We went in a Carnival Cruise, 'Feelin' Hot Hot Hot' direction." (Among the many sight gags in the episode, keep an eye out for a totally random cameo from Everwood's Treat Williams as himself.)
Matt insists it's just a coincidence that the episode is airing around the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's tragic sinking. "What's crazy is that we always write nine months to a year ahead of time," he explains. "Coincidentally, it coincides with all these awesome things that are happening in the real world." (Let's forgive him for using the word "awesome." I'm sure he didn't mean it.) Adds Matt, "In the writing of this, all these real-life cruise ship disasters happened: the tip-over and then various smaller fires and poisonings and other cruises from hell that we heard about. And then of course the Titanic thing was a cool overlap." (Again, let's forgive the use of the word "cool.")
The Simpsons airs Sunday, 8/7c on Fox.