Here’s a question: how much comedy can you mine from an episode of a show where the premise is one of the main characters may be dying?
Answer: probably not much, but more than you might think.
Yes, when the family tries to be adventurous to, I guess, please Lisa (that kid gets her way more frequently than any second grader probably should) by going out for sushi, Homer demands some of the fugu blowfish and may have inadvertently ingested deadly poison, giving him 24 hours to live.
I was actually surprised to learn that none of that blowfish stuff was made up for the show. Fugu is a real delicacy and can be deadly if improperly prepared.
So, what will Homer do with what may be his last day on Earth?
First he overslept.
His hastily put together bucket list had him briefly doing things like giving Bart a half-assed heart-to-heart and trying to actually appreciate Lisa’s musical gifts. He spends way too much time with Grandpa, tells Mr. Burns to eat his shorts, and accepts an invitation to a Flanders Family Barbecue on the assumption he won’t be alive to actually go to the barbecue.
Homer’s last day (OK, not really) of course goes wrong. He goes to jail, gets stuck at Moe’s for too long, and has to run home for what he thinks will be the last time to be intimate with Marge.
Most people would also have James Earl Jones or someone of that calibre to read a Bible book on tape, but the Simpsons? They have Larry King.
Look, obviously Homer isn’t going to die. The episode is meant to show how Homer learns to appreciate life, and he will by watching bowling on the TV while eating Lite Pork Rinds.
But at least Bart learned how to shave.