December 6, 2023

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Simpsons Did It!: “The Sound Of Bleeding Gums”

In which Lisa tries to help the deaf son of Bleeding Gums Murphy.

Well, here’s something I wasn’t expecting:  the big guest star for this episode is John Autry II, a deaf actor voicing a deaf character.

Just thought I’d toss that out right here and now.

Because, you see, Lisa is going on a new crusade because she’s outraged again.  What was it this time?  The state lottery commission rewrote a blues song by Bleeding Gums Murphy into a lighthearted jingle for the contest that Lisa doesn’t care for anyway.  Sure, it’s Bart’s retirement plan, but Lisa sees it as a means to take funding from schools to pay for something that people with poor educations can’t see is nearly impossible to win anyway.

Cue Homer with a bunch of tickets.

Lisa then heads out, as Bleeding Gums’s biggest fan, to do something about this, but nobody cares.  Not even all the folks at the local jazz club who knew Bleeding Gums.  Everyone is playing the lottery.  Even Kent Brockman, who gets all but the last number.  I guess Kent forgot he already won a big jackpot once.  From there, Lisa ends up debating the blue-haired lawyer, representing the lottery commission, on television because she knows so much about Bleeding Gums Murphy, not the least of which that he hated gambling.

She didn’t know he had a son though.


I mean, it was on TV and everything.

So, Lisa tracks down this Monk Murphy (Autry) to find out what he thinks, but he’s been deaf since birth.  He can read lips, but he’s never heard his father’s music.  Bleeding Gums tried to save up enough money for a cochlear implant to allow his son to hear, but that’s not something that comes easily for a jazz musician.

So, really, Lisa opts to get it done.  Sure, Homer advises not doing that she stop wasting time fighting lost causes, but Lisa will agree to do so only after adding once out of the room that it is never a waste of time to fight for a good cause.

Turns out no one really seems to own the rights to the music, and she never really asked Monk what he wanted since suing a consortium that includes some Turkish oligarchs and Evil Co. sure sounds like something that they can’t win, and it turns out Monk doesn’t really care about the money.  He just got sucked into Lisa’s wake and didn’t care for it much.

Lisa feels bad about that, to Marge’s general concern, but Homer doesn’t see a problem because Lisa finally came around to his way of thinking.

But this is Lisa, and Lisa episodes always end with her doing something good and becoming a better person at least until the next episode.  That involves apologizing to Monk, but he’s fine.  He even has the money for the implants…because he won the lottery.

Well, Lisa can at least make sure the first sound he hears is his father’s music.  It’s not quite what he hears first since Bart pulled a prank, leading to the first thing Monk hears is Lisa shouting at Bart.  But then she plays the music, and he likes it quite a bit.

That’s good.  If the episode had ended with his hating the music, it would have gone much worse.