Who will crack first when Homer becomes Mr Burns holiday help?
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Additional cast: Tress MacNeille
Premise: Smithers blames himself for neglecting Mr Burns, and is sent on vacation. A temporary replacement is needed and, not wanting to be outshone, Smithers chooses Homer.
Features: Smithers, Mr Burns, Lenny and his wife, Carl and his wife, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Dr Hibbert, Barney.
Couch: The Simpsons are zizzing about the living room in circus mini-motors dressed in fezzes. They stop and toot their horns.
Homage: There's yet another reference to A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971) in the sequence of Smithers feeding Mr Bums peanuts at his bedside.
Notes for Brits: Mr Burns recalls the days of Postum, a hot drink designed to rival tea and coffee, that floundered in the early days of the century. His use of 'ahoy, hoy!' to answer the phone was also common telephone etiquette in the very first days of the telephone. Little Rascals, Hal Roach's cutesy 1930s cinema shorts about a gang of street kids, are on the US's syndication roundabout. President Taft was in office from 1909 to 1913.
That's Homer Simpson, sir: 'One of your organ banks from sector 7G.' ('All of the recent events of your life have revolved around him in some way.')
Look out for: Smithers' vacation, complete with volleyball, disco dancing and all-male speedboat-triangle displays. Homer is on top form, forgetting the first word of Mr Burns' dictation and making a very unusual breakfast.
Notes: Mrs Burns makes her only contemporaneous appearance (to date), although she does appear briefly in flashback in Rosebud. A very good episode, and an unusually straightforward one for this surreal season.