Simpson Sunday: On the Good Ship Lisa Simpson

Shirley Temple Bojangles Robinson The Little Colonel

Season 11, Episode 20: Last Tap Dance in Springfield

After seeing a movie about dancing, Lisa Simpson is inspired to take dance lessons. She takes a class taught by a former 1930s child movie star by the name of Little Vicki.

The Simpsons Little Vicki

Little Vicki is clearly inspired by Shirley Temple. In fact, the show’s producers invited Shirley Temple to voice the character for this episode, but she turned the offer down. After taking a few lessons with Vicki, Lisa is discouraged because she has a hard time catching on. At home, she watches one of Vicki’s old movies, which seems to be loosely based on Shirley Temple dancing with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson in 1935’s The Little Colonel.

Shirley Temple Simpsons Parody

Later, when Lisa’s dance class has its big recital, the song they perform is a parody of Temple’s famous “On the Good Ship Lollipop” song from 1934’s Bright Eyes.

Spaceship Lollipop