Talking Simpsons – Marge Vs. The Monorail


Yes, the town is swept up in monorail fever in one of the most beloved Simpsons episodes of all time! Does it stand the test of time? What are the stories behind making this one? And how much will the hosts sing along? Find out on this week’s podcast…


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30 thoughts on “Talking Simpsons – Marge Vs. The Monorail

    1. We did upload the wrong one for about a minute and then swapped it out. Give it a little while for the right file to reappear.

      1. Mono-Doh! Well, glad your still up and could fix it and not an automated post! This episode is definitely Simpsons at it’s most wacky; The popcorn truck joke, Barney being put in charge of monorail construction, the whole ending sequence including the escalator to nowhere. One thing I loved watching this episode before to get ready for your podcast was the Buster Keaton face Lyle Lanly makes as he surprises Marge who has been reading his plans. The opening sequence with Homer wrecking his car was sung on many a bus ride growing up.

  1. That German scientist I think could be a Dr. Strangelove reference maybe? Minus the wheelchair, but the German , ex nazi, with sunglasses is pretty close.

    1. I think it was supposed to be an amalgamation of all those foreign, weird scientists from old sci-fi movies, but yeah Dr. Strangelove is the closest in appearance.

  2. Regarding monorails around the country: I live in Minnesota and the Minnesota Zoo is littered with the ruins of the defunct monorail . The giant rising concrete que line still exists too. I can’t imagine a time when a monorail could be such demand.

    I’d also like to add myself to your stage musical census as someone who has heard of (and even seen!) The Music Man.
    I’m not even a homosexual! But I do have an overbearing mother who subjected me to long car rides and movie nights filled with musicals. I like to think that is another subset of theater fans.

    It’s good to know Bob at least enjoys American Dad. At least he’s not completely dead inside. To be honest, it is the superior production to Fanily Guy.

    Finally, being Minnesotan, I’m relatively familiar with Wells Fargo. While it might not have been on Chris’s radar, it has in fact been around for generations and the song is a reference to their express wagons and not the other way around. They actually have quite and extensive history on their site if you’re interested.

    1. Wait Minnesota has a defunct Monorail too?!

      Wow, I thought Toronto was the only one!

      Though admittedly, it’s called a monorail yet was more of a duo-rail, in that the two wheels were on the inside of the track.

  3. As a kid, seasons 6 and 7 were my favorite, purely because I was getting the jokes and was right in the core demo. In hindsight, season 3 might be my favorite.

    And no, Wells Fargo is not named after a song from a musical, they’ve been around for years. Chris probably didn’t see them in Florida until they started buying up other banks.

    And Tracey Ullman didn’t settle, she outright lost her lawsuit. So don’t worry about her getting royalties off your dvds.

  4. I have an endless amount of love in my heart for Guy Incognito, Ron Mexico, El Barto, etc., but Mr. Snrub is the GOAT.

  5. I remember watching reruns of In Search Of… on the History Channel, when they were allegedly still showing all historical programming. I guess they needed something to break up all of the Hitler documentaries.

    1. After the network started, the Sci-Fi Channel had episodes of In Search of… in heavy rotation. I have a lot of nostalgia for that series as a result. There was a DVD box set of the series released a few years ago I’ve been meaning to pick up.

  6. Even with the bits of filler and reused animation, I FUCKING LOVE THIS EPISODE. Easily in my top 3 of all time.

    Revisiting it now makes me really miss Phil Hartman and Leonard Nemoy.

  7. Ah, Music Man. I got extra credit in my chorus class for watching musicals, and every semester, I watched the 2003 TV version. It starred Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth. Compared to a lot of other movie musicals out there — and trust me, I watched a lot to offset my arbitrary grades in class — it’s a pretty great effort.

  8. I went to Disneyland for the first time a month ago, and I thought the monorail was the way to get from one part of the park to another, not just a circuit that comes back to the same spot. I was hoping to use it to easily get my girlfriend’s mom, in her wheelchair, from halfway into the park to the entrance at the end of the day, and was surprised when we went past the entrance, and all the way around to where we got on.

    Honolulu is currently building a monorail. I imagine I’ll ride it once if they ever finish it, but it won’t do me much good. Hopefully other people will use it, but it seems like a boondoggle to me.

    I don’t like musicals very much, but I love classic movies, so I’ve seen most of the classic musicals. I actually like Music Man, it’ set in iowa, where I grew up, and pokes fun at Iowans, which they deserve for the way they acted in the last election. I love the way Harold Hill marches back and forth across the steps as he leads the town out of the hall in the movie, and they did the exact same thing with Lyle Lanley in the show.

    Why do three people who have dealt with Japanese people for years, at least two of whom have taken Japanese classes, keep mispronouncing George Takei’s name, and go back and forth between the correct (like To-kay) and the incorrect (like To-kye) in a couple of sentences?

  9. Regarding Sebastion Cobb, I’ve always thought he was based on the character ‘Wheel’ from the 1988 movie It Takes Two.

    In that movie a young man buys an expensive car that turns out to be a piece of junk. Wheel, played by Anthony Geary, is
    the mechanic for the car dealership and helps the young man get a working car. He had a lab coat and wild hair similar to
    the Sebastion Cobb character.

    Of course Sebastion and Wheel could both be based on some earlier character.

  10. I shouldn’t but i really love this podcast. Never have i spent so much time thinking so deep beyond the silly jokes of the simpsons. Thank you guys 🙂

  11. Love the show. While I was listening to this episode I thought to myself I was in a production of the music man when I was in the fourth grade which would be in 94 And I currently live in Washington and Seattle has a working monorail that’s been around since the 60s. Keep up the great work.

  12. I wanted so badly to be in the room when you guys were discussing virtual reality and how, 24 years later, it’s now “almost a reality”. No one made the obvious joke, “It’s virtually a reality.” Oh well.

  13. It looks like my attempt at this comment was “eaten”.

    Here is a little something about named telephone exchanges,

    Which I learned from the classic Glenn Miller song, Pennsylvania 6-5000 ( which he allegedly wrote to remember the phone number of an old girlfriend. This song is the play on words the (kinda awful) movie Transylvania 6-5000 ( was built around.

    Love the show, guys!

  14. ABSOLUTELY LOVE this episode, and every one I’ve heard so far!

    Just wanted to chime in and say that I’m 43, and I have very clear memories of watching ‘In Search Of’. It was my introduction to Leonard Nimoy as a child. In fact, it may have helped me understand the idea of actor/person separation. It was on Saturday at 5 PM in my area (suburban Detroit-ish), and your idea of it being like a supernatural Unsolved Mysteries is spot on. It was essentially just that and, as a kid somewhere in the 3-6 y.o. neighborhood, it was a pretty terrifying show.

    Keep up the great work!

  15. I think the “cosmic ballet” from Nimoy was actually a reference to something more obscure than In Search Of. Back in the late 80s he provided narration for two space-focused documentaries titled “Planets of the Sun” and “Flight to the Stars” which featured a very similar style of narration and I would not be surprised if that exact line was mentioned.

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