The Simpsons has delivered a number of great movie parodies over its 30+ year history, but the standout remains its musical take on Planet of the Apes. With hundreds of episodes, The Simpsons has riffed on a number of major movies from the last 60 years at least, with memorable references to the likes of The Shining, Star Warsand Citizen Kane throughout its history. Planet of the Apes itself had been used before, most notably in season 5's "Deep Space Homer", wherein Homer learns the truth of the planet, but there’s something particularly special about the musical sequence. 

The musical features in the episode ‘A Fish Called Selma’, which is the 19th episode of The Simpsons season 7. In the installment, washed up actor Troy McClure (voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman) looks to reignite his career by embarking on a sham marriage with Selma (voiced by Julia Kavner) in order to improve his image and viability for roles. The first comeback role he lands is the lead role in a Broadway musical adaptation of Planet of the Apes, entitled Stop the Planet of the Apes. I Want to Get Off.

Related: The Simpsons: Ned Flanders Church Plot Hole Explained

Of course, musical sequences are no stranger to The Simpsons, with Hartman leading another stand out moment in ‘Marge Vs. The Monorail’. What makes the Planet of the Apes parody stand out though is its perfect blend of detail in music, animation, and writing, along with a good dose of silliness., while the idea of a Planet of the Apes musical itself is a strong enough hook. Much of why the sequence stands out is in its sincerely scored music and ingenious lyrics. The music references 80s pop music and hip hop dance moves amongst its takes on traditional song and dance bombast typical of Broadway musicals (as Bart observes, this play has everything). There’s a simplicity to replacing the "Rock Me Amadeus" riff with the lyrics "Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius" that has proved to be enduringly hilarious for Simpsons-fans. Even better is how it sits well with the more straight played broadway score.

Longtime composter of The SimpsonsAlf Clausen, has shared a philosophy in an interview with Vulture: “If you wanted to make something funny, you don’t use funny music to go there. You use music that is extremely serious.” Never is that more evident than in the Planet of the Apes parody, from both the music and the animation. The set design of the Broadway musical echoes the set design of the original 60s movie perfectly, with that attention to detail also spreading to the apes. It looks like a genuine Broadway production, and each vocal performance is played as straight as an arrow.

Meanwhile, the gags contained in the lyrics make it endlessly quotable to this day, much of which comes from blending in the movie’s iconography. There’s the aforementioned "Dr. Zaius" chorus-line, and the "get your paws off me you dirty ape" sequence where Troy McClure’s astronaut Taylor learns that he can play the piano when he couldn’t before. However, the icing on the cake is the last song, "Make A Monkey Out of Me", which plays over the classic twist revealing that the planet was Earth all along. From the wonderful wordplay of the opening line, "I hate every ape I see, from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Zee", to the declaration of love McClure professes for Dr. Zaius, the sequence ends with a catchy, hilarious show tune, saving some of its best pieces of lyricism for the end and cementing its place at The Simpsons' best parody

Next: The Simpsons: Why Bart Stopped Prank Calling Moe