TV Club Classic: The Simpsons (Classic): “The Old Man And The Lisa”

In a season jam-packed with guest appearances and one-off characters, from visiting stars like Hank Scorpio and The Space Coyote to Simpsons regulars voicing Belle and Frank Grimes, “The Old Man And The Lisa” keeps it simple. It’s one story throwing together Lisa Simpson and C. Montgomery Burns. Playing Springfield’s most principled second-grader against its ruthless tycoon lets the show stick close to home, showcasing the characters we know and love—or, in the case of Mr. Burns, the character we know.

At first, the magnate of atom smashing and the ardent do-gooder are on opposite sides. When Burns speaks to Springfield Elementary’s Junior Achievers Club, he extols the virtue of eschewing family, religion, and friendship to achieve success. (“When opportunity knocks, you don’t want to be driving to the maternity hospital or sitting in some phony-baloney church… or synagogue,” he adds, in a grudging concession …

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