In our world, the last total solar eclipse to hit multiple American states back in 1979. In the world of “The Simpsons,” it was as recent as 1993.
During the classic episode, “Marge vs. the Monorail,” a solar eclipse is a part of a great gag involving solar power, an out-of-control monorail and Homer Simpson, which is the basic setup for any good joke, really.
The joke, which made the rounds Monday morning on the verge of another total solar eclipse, shows how a phenomenon could’ve saved the people of Springfield from a terrible idea.
The episode, which aired on Jan. 14, 1993, has the people of Springfield get a ton of money after Mr. Burns is fined. A salesman named Lyle Lanley (played by the late Phil Hartman) uses the opportunity to sell the town a monorail (and get them wrapped up in an old-school showtune).
However, because the solar-powered monorail was such a bad idea, it goes out of control. The only way to stop it would be to block out the sun.
Another great thing about the clip is the guest appearance by the late Leonard Niomy, who is a passenger on the monorail.
“A solar eclipse, the cosmic ballet goes on,” the “Star Trek” legend says as the person next to him asks to switch seats.
Does the solar eclipse save the monorail? Unfortunately, eclipses tend to be very short.
Watch the clip above to find out what happens.