Sensible policy or gimmicky money-waster - which will Springfield choose?
Written by Conan 0' Brien
Directed by Rich Moore
Also starring: Doris Grau, Maggie Roswell
Special guest voices: Phil Hartman (as Lyle Lanley), Leonard Nimoy (as himself)
Premise: Springfield's Town Council comes into a few million dollars. Should the citizens spend the cash on widening Main Street, thus attracting more trade to the city, reducing accidents, and improving public health - or give it all to travelling salesman Lyle Lanley in exchange for his monorail?
Features: Carl, Lenny, Smithers, Mr Burns, Judge, Miss Hoover, Principal Skinner, Snake, Mayor Quimby, Apu, Rev. Lovejoy, Grampa, Chief Wiggum, Maude Flanders, Lou, Eddie, Barney, Jasper, Ned Flanders, Mr Largo, the van Houtens, Patty, Selma, Dr Marvin Monroe, Herman, Dr Hibbert, Otto, Krusty, Ralph, Kent Brockman, Captain McCallister.
Couch: The Simpsons are joined on the sofa by Selma, Patty, Apu, Krusty, Grampa, Herman, Eddie, Smithers, Burns, Edna, Seymour, Elizabeth, Princess Kashmir, Jasper, Jackie, Wiggum, Ned, Maude, Barney, Moe, Dr Hibbert, Kent Brockman, Otto, Nelson, Milhouse and Martin.
- Lyle Lanley has sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook - North Haverbrook seems nearest of these to Springfield.
- The three other follies that Springfield has invested in previously include the popsicle-stick skyscraper, the giant magnifying glass and the escalator to nowhere.
Homage: The opening moments re-create the title sequence of The Flintstones - 'Simpson, Homer Simpson...'). There are nods to Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1990) - Mr Burns is wheeled in wearing Hannibal Lecter's mask at his court appearance, and Them! (Gordon Douglas, 1984) - the giant creatures. But the main influence is The Music Man (Morton da Costa, 1962), the story of a trickster who persuades a smalltown council to finance a dodgy scheme (in that case it was a showband rather than a monorail).
Look out for: The irradiated squirrel and the return of Lurleen Lumpkin (here voiced by Doris Grau).
Song: Monorail, sung by the people of Springfield.
Notes: An unsurpassed episode. It's hard to know where to start dishing out the praise - Leonard Nimoy's guest appearance, the Monorail song, Marge's narration, the truck full of popcorn...