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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Six Signs of Metallica's Pervasive Influence on Pop Culture

Posted By on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 9:03 AM

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5. Metallica has been on both The Simpsons and South Park.

In "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer," an episode of The Simpsons that first aired in 2006, Otto the bus driver finds Metallica stranded on the side of the road. Otto offers to give the band members a lift, but they give him the cold shoulder. Otto then mentions that he attended a Springfield show in 1997 -- an act that was apparently a turning point in Metallica's career (Lars Ulrich proceeds to name the exact seat Otto sat in, while Kirk Hammett says that he was about to quit Metallica until that point). The bit doesn't end with Otto's success, but rather his failure: Bart steals his bus while he's out chatting with Metallica, and the band is subsequently rescued by Hans Moleman, the aged man who reveals that he banged Lars' grandma. The band rudely tells Otto to never listen to its music again and then proceeds to play "Master of Puppets" on the bed of Moleman's pickup truck.

Metallica is one of many bands to pop up on The Simpsons, along with the Rolling Stones, U2, the Ramones, Green Day, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Hell, even Cypress Hill was on once. (You've gotta wonder why that deal was brokered.) It's a cool thing, yes, but the novelty value isn't particularly high.

However, Metallica have accomplished a rare feat by appearing on not just The Simpsons but South Park, too. In season seven's "Christian Rock Hard," Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman form a band called Moop (Cartman leaves quickly), but after the boys learn about the effects of illegal downloading, they go on strike until things change. Stan, Kyle, and Kenny look to have a bust of a protest, but then Metallica show up and makes its feelings known.

Lars Ulrich: Hey, are you the guys protesting free Internet music downloading?

Stan: Hey, it's that Lars Ulrich guy!

Lars Ulrich: That's right. Metallica is behind you dudes a thousand percent!

James Hetfield: We're gonna sit here and protest with you until free downloadin' stops, hyeah!

Soon, Alanis Morissette, Britney Spears, and a bunch of other names to show up to take part in the protest, but of course, Metallica beat them all there. (One quick side note: Metallica isn't the only band to appear on both South Park and The Simpsons; Blink-182 has done so, too. Hopefully, that piece of knowledge will come in handy during a future round of Six Degrees of Metallica or something.)

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