S2, E2: “Simpson and Delilah”

“Wait, who is that young go-getter?” – Mr. Burns.

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Written by: Jon Vitti.

After committing insurance fraud to get a miracle hair tonic, Homer gets a brand-new hair, a promotion and an assistant who mentors him.

Thematically, this is another instance of one of the Simpsons being mentored by a person who is more worldly-wise than they are. It’s already happened with Marge & Jacques, and will reach its apotheosis later in the season with “Lisa’s Substitute.”

In this case, Karl the assistant – voiced by then-icon, now “who in the hell has that voice” Harvey Fierstein – teaches Homer the valuable lesson that confidence comes from within, not from a gorgeous hairpiece.

(One of my favorite unacknowledged – and hitherfore unnoticed – running gags in this excellent episode is that Homer’s hair is different in every scene.)

Which is just as well, because not only does Smithers – jealous because Homer is coming in between him and his one true love – dig up the dirt on Homer’s insurance fraud, Bart spills the hair tonic, causing Homer to lose his assistant, his promotion and his hair all at the same time.

As Karl leaves – having taken the fall for the insurance fraud – he gives Homer a big smooch, which I guess felt a little controversial, unless you grew up watching Bugs Bunny kissing Elmer Fudd every Saturday morning.

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