How Leonard Nimoy Made Two of the Funniest ‘Simpsons’ Episodes Even Funnier

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Leonard Nimoy helped shape not one, but two, of the strongest Simpsons episodes in the show’s 26-year history. We first saw Nimoy’s lanky frame and long, yellow face in episode 12 of season 4, “Marge vs. The Monorail.” Written by Conan O’Brien during his two-year stint on the staff, the episode is a send-up of The Music Man in which a traveling salesman, Lyle Lanley (voiced by Phil Hartman), convinces Springfield to build a monorail with its sudden influx of extra cash. Playing himself, Nimoy attends the opening ceremony as Grand Marshal and is among the passengers on the monorail’s maiden loop around town. Mayor Quimby doesn’t quite know who Nimoy is, “May the force be with you!” and Nimoy can’t find anyone to listen to his stories. When things go catastrophically wrong minutes into that first trip, Homer haphazardly saves the day, though Nimoy takes all the credit. He then disappears through a Star Trek-ian transporter. (more…)