This was John Swartzwelder’s last episode to date. He contributed to The Simpsons Movie, but that’s about it for him on the show.
But man, what a star-studded cavalcade to go out on!
Yes, there are a lot of impressive guest stars here! The Simpsons go to England, and they run into the likes of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, J.K. Rowling, Ian McKellen, and Evan Marriot!
Remember Evan Marriot? Guy who pretended to be rich to trick some gold-diggers on the reality show Joe Millionaire? No? Well, he doesn’t own a cherry orchard either.
But our story begins on the streets of Springfield where Mr. Burns wants to buy some peanuts from a street vendor. He gets the idea to take some money from the nearby ATM, asks for a thousand dollars, and the single thousand dollar bill shoots out, hits him in the chest, and knocks him over. Then a breeze carries it away where Bart finds it in Milhouse’s hair. Bart tells Milhouse it’s a bug. Milhouse freaks out. Bart takes the money. Milhouse thinks Bart is a good friend.
But as it is, Marge won’t let Bart keep the money until he’s checked to make sure someone didn’t lose it. That actually brings no takers, and Lisa thinks Bart should use the money to do something nice for Marge. At first, Bart isn’t sure. Then he finds out people (including an apparently not-upset Milhouse) will pay money do see the thousand complete with the shading on Grover Cleveland to give the illusion of depth. Bart then opens a museum in his treehouse and charges people five bucks a head to see the bill. Yeah, Lisa is offended by the Lisa wing, the one labeled “A Simpson Too Many?” but that doesn’t cause problems until Mr. Burns shows up for the money, and the bruising on his chest proves its his.
But Bart managed to make three times that amount with that museum scheme, so he opts to use it to give his mother a nice vacation, one where she hopes Homer can not get arrested or sucked into a time share presentation. And to appease Grampa, they opt to go to England. It seems Grampa had a sweetheart there once, a woman named Edwina (guest voiced by Jane Leeves), and he had a wild night once when telling her he was shipping out in the morning.
As it turns out, he really was shipping out in the morning. Nice touch remembering the Flying Hellfish patch on his uniform…
So, the Simpsons are going to England, where Tony Blair greets them at the airport (Homer thinks its Mr. Bean), and while Grampa is searching for Edwina, the family goes out and hobnobs with the likes of Rowling and McKellen, who is not Mr. Macbeth as Homer thinks.
Homer is bad at British names.
He’s worse at driving on a roundabout, and somehow ends up rear-ending the Queen’s carriage. That earns him a beating from some guards. Then there’s a changing of the guards and he gets a beating from a whole new batch of guards. And then he goes to court where he represents himself. Lisa thinks that’s bad, but Marge points out it really can’t get any worse for him as it is. So, he’s convicted and sent to the Tower of London.
A secret passageway is found, and Homer sneaks out before he goes insane. Well, those pixies only he could see will probably miss him. As it is, the tunnel goes into the Queen’s bedroom, and only some fast talking gets Homer out of a beheading.
All he has to do is take Madonna with him when he leaves. No problem. Classy ladies don’t pump gas naked.
And as the family is leaving, Grampa sees Edwina again. She isn’t mad. She actually has a surprise for Abe Simpson in the form of her daughter Abbie.
Grampa couldn’t get out of there fast enough for some reason, though Homer seemed to like the woman. I wonder why…