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Stark Raving Dad/References
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- The episode title is a pun on the expression "stark raving mad".
- Homer watches a TV show where the announcer introduces the three "home video finalists" and asks the audience to cast their votes. Even though the show isn't named and the clips aren't shown on-screen, the clips' titles ("Man Breaking Hip", "Dog on Fire" and "Baby with a Nailgun"), voiceover narration, studio audience voting and layout of the set (briefly seen in an establishing shot) make it clear that the show is a parody of America's Funniest Home Videos. Homer laughs at the first two clips, finds "Baby with a Nailgun" to be heartwarming, and cheers for "Dog on Fire" to win, satirizing an often-heard criticism of the show that it essentially revolves around laughing at other people's real-life misfortunes.
- At the mental hospital, Homer is introduced to a patient called the Chief who hasn't spoken since 1968, a reference to the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest starring Jack Nicholson.
- To show Homer he really is Michael Jackson, Leon Kompowsky performs the Moonwalk while singing a few lines from "Billie Jean".
- Speed dial buttons on the phone in the mental hospital:
- After Bart takes the message that Homer is in New Bedlam, he does the Moonwalk as he hands the message to Marge and hums "Beat It" as he walks away.
- When Marge calls the mental hospital and is put on hold, the hold music is "Crazy" sung by Patsy Cline.
- When KBBL announcers Bill and Marty break the news of the rumor that Michael Jackson is coming to Springfield, they play the "seldom-heard extra-long version" of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly while they go to check it out.
- Bart's first attempt at Lisa's birthday song is sung to the tune of the "Colonel Bogey March", which is best known for being part of the soundtrack of the film The Bridge on the River Kwai.
- Snake's prison uniform number is 7F20. The number is the production code for episode 2-20, "The War of the Simpsons". From which this footage of Snake is taken.
- Some of the Springfieldians waiting for Michael Jackson: Mayor Quimby, Moe, Dr. Marvin Monroe, Chief Wiggum, Helen Lovejoy, Apu, Skinner's mom, Groundskeeper Willie, Dr. Nick, Kearney, Grampa, Wendell, Sherri and Terri, Patty and Selma.
- An add appears on the box of Frosty Krusty Flakes for the "Krusty Hotline--1-909-O-U-KLOWN".
- When Marge calls the New Bedlam Wrongly Committed Hotline, she is put on hold to the Muzak version of Patsy Cline's "Crazy."
- Signs at the mental institution include: "You don't have to be crazy to be committed here, but it helps!" and "Your mother isn't committed here, so clean up after yourself!" The front entrance says "New Bedlam Rest Home For The Emotionally Interesting."
- Maggie has a doll of Binky, Matt Groening's character from Life in Hell.
- At one point an episode script was in development where Leon Kompowsky was going to come back to Springfield, this time thinking he was Prince and with Prince as a guest voice. However, Prince rejected the script and the episode was never made.
- It was Michael Jackson's idea to have the scene where Bart and "Michael" stay up and write the song for Lisa.
- Michael Jackson was credited as "John Jay Smith" due to contractual obligations. He did do the voice, however the singing parts were done by Kipp Lennon.
- Before this episode was released various Simpsons eternal media such as books, magazines, Arcade Games etc. had Lisa's age printed as Age: 7, and in this episode Lisa celebrates her 8th birthday, thus this episode is the only time in the series where a member of the Simpsons family officially ages.
- With this episode, Hank Azaria is added to the show's regular ensemble, thus establishing what some fans call the "big six."
- Originally there was a joke about Prince in the episode, but Jackson wanted it changed to Elvis. To keep him happy, it was done. Another script change was in the original, Homer was taking Barney to the asylum, but the staff mistook Homer for the crazy one based off his attitude.
- In a rare occurrence, this episode was re-aired in prime time following Michael Jackson's death.
- This was the very first episode to have a soundtrack recorded by Dolby Surround.
- When Homer is shown on Mr. Burns' security camera, he isn't wearing his tie and plant ID.
- In one scene, Willie is colored black with gray hair.
- In the beginning of the episode, Bart is talking about being 10 years old even though his 10th birthday is in the episode "Radio Bart" later in the season.
- When Homer is in the asylum talking in his sleep, his mouth stays open when he's talking.
- When Bart calls the Krusty Hotline, the cereal box says the phone number is 1-909-O-U-KLOWN, yet Bart only presses eight buttons. Plus, you can only hear seven buttons being pressed.
- When Bart says "Krusty Hotline", his mouth doesn't move.
- When Mr. Burns notices that Homer is wearing a pink shirt to work, when he pauses and zooms in the video, Homer is looking almost directly at the camera. In the next shot, though, he is looking more to his left. The people surrounding him also change.
- Bart opens the house's front door, then the shot zooms out to show that all of Springfield is at the Simpson's house. In the next shot with Mayor Quimby the door is suddenly closed.
- When Michael and Bart are performing Lisa's birthday song, Bart uses her wastebasket as a drum. Sometimes you hear tapping, but Bart doesn't touch the wastebasket.
- Sideshow Bob is among the crowd outside the Simpson house.