This particular episode is dedicated to the memory of John Madden, who did do the show once. Appropriately, the episode is football-related.
It also sucks.
So, apparently, the Power Plant is being run by nobody because the entire workforce is cheering on the NFL draft. It seems the Springfield Isotopes lost every game on purpose to get the first round pick, and now it’s up to them to pick…some guy named Grayson Mathers (guest star Beck Bennett).
Meanwhile, Smithers is briefing Mr. Burns on the company’s revenue stream. Apparently the brandy division isn’t doing well. Mr. Burns has his own brandy division? Who knew? Regardless, media consultant Warburton Parker (guest star John Mulaney) suggests Burns try a celebrity pitchman. Burns rejects Harrison Ford for being too Hollywood and Dolly Parton as too Dollywood, and that would be the only two existing celebrities without a brandy endorsement.
By the by, neither Ford nor Parton do a guest appearance here, but Parton did for the episode that had that John Madden guest appearance, so I may have come full circle.
The point is, Burns needs a new celebrity, and seeing how much his employees respond to Mathers’s “I gotta be me!” attitude, that search didn’t take long. Granted, I couldn’t figure out what a single thing this man said actually meant, but even Smithers said he was speaking nonsense, so what do I know?
Point is, Burns hires the guy, but he parties too hard and loses his first pro game very, very, very badly. He went from Springfield’s hero to a guy who gets pelted with stuff when Homer riles up the crowd.
But there’s one person in the crowd who can take pity on this guy! Marge!
Wait, this is, like, the third Marge-focused episode this season. How odd…
Anyway, Marge takes Mathers home, and there she learns he was basically given away to football camp to train when he completed a couple pacifier tosses as a toddler. He hasn’t really seen his parents since, and that may be the most clever part of this whole so-so episode. And “so-so” might be a generous assessment.
However, living with the Simpsons under Marge’s care is good for Mathers, so good he throws so many touchdowns in one game that the entire opposing defense resigns en masse to join the Canadian Football League. Ask Jimmy about that. He might know.
But he also doesn’t want to endorse the brandy lifestyle again, putting Burns and Marge at odds to be the guy’s, I dunno, mentor or something.
If this were an older episode, Mr. Burns would pull out a lot of evil plans to prevail. Alas, it is not such an episode. Instead, we get something half-assed where Mathers runs away and invites both of them to a sports awards event as his “plus one” only to accept an award with his Influencer fiancee/new manager where he won’t need either Marge or Burns anymore. Yadda yadda yadda, show ain’t what it used to be, sportscaster Adam Schefter also guest starred as himself, I have seen way better episodes, rest in peace, John Madden, and I am done.