The couch gag features Homer getting sucked into the sofa, turning into a yarn man, and encountering all the stuff he lost there over the years. That included a TV Guide with ALF on the cover, and yes, Paul Fusco voiced ALF.
Yes, Paul Fusco was the voice of ALF on the show.
ALF, not The Simpsons.
You know what? I don’t think it matters. It was a cool couch gag that may have been better than the rest of the episode.
See, someone is trying to kill Ned Flanders. Lots of his things are catching fire, including the foam in his fire extinguisher. Someone tried to run him over. Acid in the church’s holy water. There were poisonous snakes in his groceries. His car exploded. There was a Democratic Party fundraiser mailer in his mailbox. Why would anyone want Ned dead?
Well, he opened up to Marge. Apparently, he lost his job as Bart’s teacher for praying on the job. Yes, the show remembered Ned was Bart’s teacher. Anyway, without a job, the loss of two wives, and a host of other problems, a dejected Ned went looking for solace, but instead he found lots of places he wouldn’t go, and the Church is closed for de-liberalizing. The only place left is a Catholic Church, and in there, Ned encountered someone who could help him as a silent partner to reopen the Leftorium. Someone who made the same “sinister” comment about left hands that Ned himself made when he first opened the store but apparently forgot about. Someone who says he may ask for something in the future or he may not but he will certainly do so at a bad time.
It’s Fat Tony, still voiced by Joe Mantegna.
No, Ned doesn’t recognize him. Yes, Ned agrees to go for it. Yes, Marge says that was pretty stupid. Homer says it sounds like something he would do. Marge laughs at that. So do Bart and Lisa. And Grampa. And Maggie. And the dog. Homer feels hurt, but then thinks it was still funny himself.
Oh, Ned may have forgot what “sinister” meant, but he did remember to send Rod and Todd off to stay with his beatnik father. Always nice to see the show remember something after forgetting something else.
As it is, Ned didn’t realize Fat Tony was a mobster until Lisa stopped by the Legitimate Businessman’s Club selling band candy and saw Ned in there. She let him know, and Ned decided to try quitting the mob. That was a mistake, hence all the murder attempts. Just like what Ryan did when Jimmy suggested he might leave Gabbing Geek.
Jimmy will enjoy that joke sometime in 2030.
Well, after sending Bart, Lisa, and Maggie off to stay with Patty and Selma, Homer and Marge let Ned stay at their place above the garage until the heat dies down. Since Ned’s own house burned down, that was a lot of heat. Regardless, Fat Tony’s people follow Homer home from Moe’s and confront Marge and Homer in the garage space. Ned’s not there, but the mobsters are amazed that a fat slob like Homer could have such a hot wife. One figures it’s a sitcom thing.
Where did Ned go? He went to confront Fat Tony directly, figuring that Fat Tony, a man who adored his mother and went to church (even if it was a Catholic one), could be brought back to Jesus. Will Fat Tony reform and let Ned live? Nah! He came so close, though. Will Fat Tony kill Ned? He’ll try, but Ned had a wire hidden under his mustache. It seems he went to the FBI after Lisa told him Fat Tony was a mobster, and Ned got enough dirt to send the mobsters all to jail.
Yes, as Homer marvels, Ned Flanders brought down Fat Tony. He’s in jail handing out YA books on behalf of the prison library. Will he stay there?
Somehow, I doubt it. He’ll be back. Just like Jimmy here at Gabbing Geek.
See you in 2032 when he gets back to the Spider-Man Rewatch.