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"I'm Just a Bill" is a Schoolhouse Rock! segment which first aired in 1975. It is sung by Jack Sheldon (the voice of the Bill) and his son (the boy learning the process). It is about how a bill becomes a law, how it must go through Congress, and how it can be vetoed, etc. The Bill is for the law that school buses must stop at train crossings. In the end, the Bill becomes a law.

In popular culture

The sketch was parodied in The Simpsons episode "The Day the Violence Died", in which Krusty the Clown presents "I'm an Amendment to Be," depicting a Constitutional amendment's attempt to ban flag burning. The sketch was later briefly parodied in another Fox produced animated series, Family Guy. In the episode, Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington, the anthropomorphic legal bill singing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building until he is scooped up by a street sweeper. In a bit of stunt casting, Jack Sheldon provided the voice of the amendment in both parodies.

The song was featured prominently in the Disney made-for-TV movie Mail to the Chief starring Randy Quaid.

In the 200th episode of Inside the Actors Studio, when James Lipton asked Dave Chapelle what he wanted to hear when he arrived in heaven, Chappelle answered "Congratulations, Bill, you're a law."

2007 reference to the cartoon in the United States Senate

Criticizing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)., critiqued the proposed legislation for three hours on May 21, 2007 in front of "a giant picture of a famous scene from Schoolhouse Rock's 'I'm just a bill' skit."[1] The caption on the picture was "How a Senate Bill Becomes a Law."[2] Sessions pointed out how the reform bill had proceeded through the Senate in contrast with what educational material like the cartoon had laid out, saying "[ Hugh Hewitt has written that this is] Not what we were taught in grade school, I assure you, and I couldn’t agree more. This is not how the process is supposed to work. We should not be asked to trust our colleagues and vote to put a bill on the floor when we do not know that the bill text is even finalized, that the bill has not been drafted by legislative counsel, the bill has not been introduced or even given a bill number, the committee process was skipped and not followed, a Congressional Budget Office score may not have been requested."[3]

References

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"I'm Just a Bill" is a Schoolhouse Rock! segment, featuring a song of the same title written by Dave Frishberg. The segment debuted as part of "America Rock," the third season of the Schoolhouse Rock series, in 1975. The song featured in the segment is sung by Jack Sheldon (the voice of the Bill) and his son (the boy learning the process). It is about how a bill becomes a law, how it must go through Congress, and how it can be vetoed, etc. The Bill is for the law that school buses must stop at train crossings. In the end, the Bill becomes a law.

In popular culture

A few lines from the song can be heard in the 2003 movie Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde.

The sketch was parodied in The Simpsons episode "The Day the Violence Died", in which Krusty the Clown presents "I'm an Amendment to Be," depicting a Constitutional amendment's attempt to ban flag burning. The sketch was later briefly parodied in another Fox produced animated series, Family Guy. In the episode, Mr. Griffin Goes to Washington, the anthropomorphic legal bill singing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building until he is stabbed by a sanitation engineer. In a bit of stunt casting, Jack Sheldon provided the voice of the amendment in both parodies.

The song was featured prominently in the Disney made-for-TV movie Mail to the Chief starring Randy Quaid.

In the 200th episode of Inside the Actors Studio, when James Lipton asked Dave Chapelle what he wanted to hear when he arrived in heaven, Chappelle answered "Congratulations, Bill, you're a law." At the end of another Schoolhouse Rock! song, Tyrannosaurus Debt (Money Rock), the Bill runs off after the tour guide says, "Feeding time is ALL the time".

2007 reference to the cartoon in the United States Senate

Criticizing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)., critiqued the proposed legislation for three hours on May 21, 2007 in front of "a giant picture of a famous scene from Schoolhouse Rock's 'I'm just a bill' skit."[1] The caption on the picture was "How a Senate Bill Becomes a Law."[2] Sessions pointed out how the reform bill had proceeded through the Senate in contrast with what educational material like the cartoon had laid out, saying "[ Hugh Hewitt has written that this is] Not what we were taught in grade school, I assure you, and I couldn’t agree more. This is not how the process is supposed to work. We should not be asked to trust our colleagues and vote to put a bill on the floor when we do not know that the bill text is even finalized, that the bill has not been drafted by legislative counsel, the bill has not been introduced or even given a bill number, the committee process was skipped and not followed, a Congressional Budget Office score may not have been requested."[3]

References


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