Homer becomes a mother of an inventor.
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Also starring: Tress MacNeille, Maggie Roswell
Special guest voice: William Daniels (as Voice of KITT)
Premise: Convinced he is worthless, Homer decides to follow in the footsteps of Thomas Edison and invent something useful. After many attempts, he finally does so - or has someone beaten him to it?
Features: Carl, Lenny, Moe, Barney, Grampa, Kent Brockman, Sherri and Terri, Lewis, Richard, Wendell, Ned Flanders, Dr Frink, Bill and Marty from KBBL.
Couch: The Simpsons find the rest of the cast in their living room watching TV.
- William Daniels supplied the voice of KITT the talking car on the eighties TV show Knight Rider.
- Bill and Marty use the song Oh Yeah, a 1985 single by Swiss popstars Yello, as part of their News Flush.
- Amongst the T-shirts at the Edison museum is one featuring a lightbulb and the legend 'Screw This'.
- Just to confuse Simpsons fans who are forever trying to work out where in America Springfield is, the Exit sign off the freeway directs you to New Jersey, Michigan, Oregon and Texas, none of which are exactly local to each other.
- Homer invents an electric blanket mobile, Hamburger earmuffs (Frink has also invented these), and builds an electric hammer, an Everything Is Okay alarm, a double-barrelled make-up gun, and an armchair with flushable commode.
- Of course, he finally invents the chair with spare legs which is a thoroughly useful invention.
- There are also flashbacks in this episode to Deep Space Homer and The Homer They Fall to illustrate Homer's achievements.
Homage: The title is obviously purloined from The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939). It's also a very strong reference to Thomas Edison's nickname, The Wizard of Menlo Park.
Look out for: Homer's dream, where he is being buried as a non-achiever: Lenny is President of the USA, Ned is a vicar, and Homer's mourners include the robot from the sixties TV series Lost in Space. Because he feels so wretched after this, Homer eats a bag of flour rather than sugar to punish himself. Homer also reads a pop-up book on Edison's inventions and later runs Edison's ghost down on the freeway.
Notes: A terrific episode, full of wit and sly digs at our expectations of Homer's abilities. The fact that he invents things that other people find useful (and steal the credit for) is both amusing and a little sad. Poor Homer.