In the episode titled ‘Poorhouse Rock’, Jackman will play a janitor working at the nuclear power plant alongside Homer. When Bart visits his father at work, the janitor leads a musical number about how the American middle-class prospered after World War II, allowing people like Homer to succeed.
In a clip shared on Entertainment Weekly, Jackman sings: “Your dad and his buddies had it swell but gradually it all went to hell.”
The song’s subject matter was in response to a 2021 article in The Atlantic titled ‘The Life In The Simpsons Is No Longer Attainable’, which argued that Homer’s job supporting a family on a working-class salary is “an almost dreamily secure existence that now seems out of reach for all too many Americans”.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the article, episode writer Tim Long explained that he first “thought it was funny”, adding: “But the more we thought about it, the more we thought The Atlantic had a point. Homer really does belong to the last generation of people who can hold a good, middle-class job with benefits for life, without some sort of higher degree.
“There’s no way Bart will have that. And then after ruminating about that for a few days, we came to the inevitable conclusion: It’s got to be a musical!”
Alongside Jackman, the episode will also feature former US Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who explains at the end of the episode the decline of the American middle-class.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Simpsons wanted to tackle inequality this season. But I was REALLY surprised that they asked me to sing about it with @RealHughJackman. Thanks @mrtimlong for making this happen! https://t.co/eVPulQWhrl
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) May 18, 2022
Posting about his role on Twitter, Reich, who served under President Bill Clinton, wrote: “I was pleasantly surprised to hear that The Simpsons wanted to tackle inequality this season. But I was REALLY surprised that they asked me to sing about it with @RealHughJackman. Thanks @mrtimlong for making this happen!”
Jackman recently voiced Dante the Addiction Angel in Big Mouth spin-off Human Resources. He’s set to star opposite Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby in the upcoming drama film The Son.
The Simpsons parodied HBO series Succession in the recent episode ‘Meat Is Murder’, featuring Nicholas Braun as Cousin Greg.