Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Simpsons’ “Privileged Boy” turned sabotage into an act of love

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. As part of Simpsons Week, we’re picking our favorite songs from the show.


“Privileged Boy” (2005)

Johnny Rainbow diehards all remember exactly where they were the moment they heard their former idol sing “Privileged Boy.” At least, that’s how I imagine the legacy of The Simpsons episode “A Star Is Torn,” in which Homer starts managing Cameron, Lisa’s competition in a televised junior singing competition. After Lisa and Homer have a falling out about his overbearing management style, Homer defects to Cameron, giving him the snazzy stage name Johnny Rainbow and helping him strategize against Lisa. The father-daughter rift is naturally short-lived and Homer writes his protege an original song guaranteed to sink his career. That song is “Privileged Boy,” a tribute to obnoxious classism: “I’m a privileged boy / It’s great I gotta tell ya / Privileged boy / My dad can buy and sell ya.” The song is met with a predictably chilly reception, especially from Johnny Rainbow superfans Lenny and Carl. (“You suck Johnny Rainbow!” “I believed in you!”) It’s a catchy tune, though, with lyrics from writer Carolyn Omine, and it’s funny as hell. It’s the comedy gold at the end of the Rainbow.

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