Oddly enough, my first real introduction to The Music Man was a parody on The Simpsons. Meredith Wilson’s musical debuted on Broadway in 1957, starring Robert Preston as Professor Harold Hill aka “The Music Man.” It remains for him a career-defining role, winning the Tony for Best Actor and later portrayed the character in the popular 1962 film. I hadn’t actually seen the whole film start-to-finish until recently (it’s one of my wife’s favorite musicals), and the most memorable (and most parodied) song is “Ya Got Trouble.”
One huge fan of this musical is Conan O’Brien. Before becoming a late night talk show host, Conan was a writer on The Simpsons and penned perhaps its best episode, “Marge vs the Monorail”. A huckster named Lyle Langley comes to Springfield and sells the town on building a monorail system, with a song of course, distinctly to the same tune as “Ya Got Trouble.” Simpsons’ Gold!
And it doesn’t end there. Back when Conan was still at NBC he hosted the 2006 Emmy Awards and opened the show with a parody of “Ya Got Trouble” filling in lyrics to mock the network’s then (and current) ratings troubles.