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Since its debut all those years ago, The Simpsons has inspired ungodly amounts of creators in every entertainment and merchandising realm imaginable. (For instance, I once spent too much on a collectable Mr. Sparkle statue.) Perhaps the most unique Simpsons-borne tie-in is Okilly Dokilly, a heavy metal band paying specific homage to left-hander Ned Flanders. Though the band has existed for years without direct connections to its source material, The Simpsons actually featured some music video footage on Sunday night's episode. Get to watching!
Obviously, heavy metal music isn't everyone's bag, so it's understandable that some fans might not want to crank the speakers up. However, appreciating Okilly Dokilly isn't solely about digging the riffs and howling vocals, but about the dedication and jovial spirit that the band exudes while celebrating one of television's most beloved sticks in the mud.
As it was hinted at by the start of the above clip, Okilly Dokilly's single "White Wine Spritzer" was used over the closing credits for the recent episode "I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say D'oh." There admittedly wasn't much of a connection between the Flanders-ian jam and the episode's storyline, beyond the fact that the episode centered on Lisa and Marge putting together a Hamilton-esque musical based on the life of Jebediah Springfield. But that doesn't stop it from being awesome anyway.
Some viewers might have thought Okilly Dokilly's gimmick solely referred to the band's name and the fact that each member is dressed like Ned Flanders, but that's not the complete picture at all. All of the band's song lyrics are taken from Ned Flanders' words, thoughts and murmurings over the years.
In fact, "White Wine Spritzer" came from from the Season 10 episode "Viva Ned Flanders." That's the one where Homer and Ned take a gambling-fueled trip to Las Vegas and eventually get blackout drunk, finding themselves married to cocktail waitresses when they re-enter reality. What was it that Ned got so drunk on? White wine spritzers!
It was apparently Simpsons showrunner Al Jean who first came across Okilly Dokilly thanks to a Google alert. At some point after that, Simpsons producer Richard K. Chung sent an email to the band to express interesting in showcasing their music video on the show. Here's how Al Jean wryly put it to Rolling Stone.
We saw the video and knew they had to be on the show. We do not endorse their message of indiscriminate drinking of white wine spritzers.
Considering the whole reason Okilly Dokilly came together in the first place was for the jokey motivation to get an autograph from Simpsons creator Matt Groning, the band's continued success is pretty amazing. They've gained a cult following around the globe and recently released both their second album, Howdilly Twodilly, and their second music video, for the song "Reneducation."
Head Ned still seems to be in shock about the entire ordeal, saying he still expects to wake up to find himself back at his former accounting job. But he's definitely appreciative, telling this to Rolling Stone:
We’ve always operated as an homage to the show. It’s great to be on the frontline of these tiny Simpsons fans conventions across the U.S. We’ve never tried to do anything as a deterrent to the show, but you’re never sure how the legality of everything works. But the fact that they contacted us and it wasn’t anything where they wanted us to stop and go home was very, very cool.
So remember, kids. Passion projects don't have to be the most morosely serious thing in the world, and growing mustaches can be used for fun and profit as well as evildoing. Just like Okilly Dokilly does it! Maybe Disney will sponsor their next tour.