Wow! Four guest stars! None of them with a significant role!
The church is having a fundraiser fair, and the Simpsons are there because if they aren’t there’s no way to start the episode. What, we’re going to start following Lenny around all the time? I don’t think so.
What is the church raising money for? To make sure they have a taller spire than the Episcopalian church across the street.
Wait, there’s an Episcopalian church across the street? I thought that was the discount frame store? Or maybe that was the school? Man, this city’s geography is messed up.
Anyway, there’s a rubber duck race. First prize is a new computer, a FeMAC which has the voice of Susan Sarandon (first guest star!) come out when you boot it up. Marge would like that computer, so Homer decides to make sure she gets it by first painting a pair of angry-eyebrows on his rubber duck to show how much determination the duck has. Then he decides to cheat by shooting a few with a silenced handgun, or pushing his duck ahead, or just making sure his duck didn’t get crushed when it went through the old mill. Maybe Homer will feel better if he gets some cider at the old mill. I know I would. Why the thing that ultimately stops Homer is his duck being suddenly adopted by a real mama duck and her ducklings.
Point is, Ned won the computer, but he has no use for it, so he gives it to Marge. Marge offers to do something for him as a favor, and it turns out Ned needs a babysitter for a few days while he goes to a Left-Handed convention. Marge will gladly agree, and Ned only needs to appease another lefty selling teddy bears dressed like doctors. No mailmen. Just doctors. The lefty in question is another guest star, former Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson. He got more lines than Sarandon.
As it is, Marge actually lets the boys experiment with mildly daring things, like a see-saw that actually goes up and down, the sort of stuff that Ned freaks out over. Ned really worries when he comes home to see Todd (or maybe Rod) has a mild cut.
What’s Homer doing with Bart and Lisa? Well, he took them to an incredibly depressing retirement home for retired movie and TV animals, where you can see various dogs, cats, ducks, lions, and Huggy Bear Antonio Fargas (third guest). Bribe him to find the bathroom, but he was rather insistent that he isn’t really a bear.
Anyhoo, while there, the Simpsons see Toot Toot, a rather depressed-looking chimp. Toot Toot had a bunch of kids, all of whom are famous chimps in their own right, but now she’s alone. Bart offers her some ice cream. She just takes Bart. Homer tells Marge about this sarcastically to both A) stay out of immediate trouble and B) stay out of future trouble when she does find out and he reminds her he already told her what happened and she just failed to believe him.
As it is, Marge has convinced Ned to let her take his kids to a play zone where everything is heavily padded and let his boys stand on their own. Ned agrees, then follows and accidentally undermines the older boy (Rod?) until said boy falls off a tall climbing wall and is saved by a rope. Marge finds herself being criticized as a bad mother, which she initially denies until a TV behind her has a news report come in showing Bart held by Toot Toot and Homer’s bad efforts to tranquilize the ape.
So, yeah, Marge was embarrassed. But, you know, Homer did tell her.
Marge goes down and actually tries to reason with Toot Toot. But all that does is leave the cage door open, allowing Toot Toot to run off with Bart and climb that new, taller church spire. See, that plot point actually went somewhere.
Can anyone save Bart? Lisa has a plan. It turns out Krusty’s chimp sidekick Mr. Teeny is one of Toot Toot’s kids. In fact, in the chimp language, his name is Louis. How mundane. Someone just needs to climb the church spire and deliver Teeny to Toot. Got that? Rod does it without being told. Or maybe it was Todd. Can anyone tell which Flanders is which? And though Ned initially tells his son he can’t, Marge reminds him the boy has to go on his own someday, so Ned changes his tune. The Flanders kid gets to the top, happy reunion between chimps takes place, and then he and Bart start to climb down. Bart asks that they not touch hands since that’s gay. Flanders boy has no idea what that is, so Bart tells him it’s being super happy and feeling accomplished.
You know, after Rod (or Todd) shouted down to Ned that he was gay, I am not sure Ned will ever let either of his kids out again.
And meanwhile in heaven, Maude Flanders is pleased by all this, you know, until she’s interrupted by God being amused by Bob Hope (final guest star Dave Thomas).
See, four guest stars. Come back next week for another report that will probably have less guest stars.