The Simpsons learn that money is the root of all evil.
Written by Bill Oaldey and Josh Weinstein
Directed by Wes Archer
Also starring: Pamela Hayden
Special guest voices: Gerry Cooney (as himself), Robert Goulet (as himself)
That title in full: $pringfield (or How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)
Premise: 'Once something's been approved by the government it's no longer immoral!' To raise cash for Springfield's beleagured public finances, Mayor Quimby legalises gambling, Mr Burns opens a casino, and Marge develops a problem with a one-armed bandit.
Features: Grampa, Jasper, Mr Burns, Smithers, Scott Christian, Kent Brockman, Barney, Mayor Quimby, Principal Skinner, Patty and Selma, Rev. Lovejoy, Captain McCallister, Otto, Spotty Boy, Krusty.
Couch: The Simpsons rush in - and collide and shatter.
Notes for Brits: The Gong Show (briefly screened on Channel 4 in the late eighties in the UK) was a seventies talent show.
Homage: Mr Burns' distressing condition is inspired by the eccentric millionaire recluse Howard Hughes, who had a similar dread of germs and built a (more workable) plane called the Spruce Goose. His bed looks similar to the one occupied by Keir Dullea in the final shots of 2001 (Stanley Kubrick, 1969). Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise appear at the casino to reprise their roles from Rain Man (Barry Levinson, 1988). And Krusty's midnight casino, show for adults only mirrors a similar show recorded by Bill Cosby.
Notes: There's a lovely nod to the earlier episodes in which Marge protests the citizenry's hare-brained ideas at council meetings. A series of bizarre moments rather than a story - we're especially fond of Homer's photographic memory and Mr Burns' descent into insanity - but great fun.