Tonight'sThe Simpsons went highbrow with the guests (James Lipton, David Mamet, Garry Marshall), and lowbrow with some pointed send-ups of '80s TV. Good episode—even better Lipton appearance!

James Lipton may be one of comedy's least-used and best employed weapons. The following appearance interviewing the cast of a defunct sitcom, coupled with his many episodes of Arrested Development, make for a pitch perfect self-deprecating cameo artiste. Bravo.

Another nice running joke throughout the episode was the early work of today's most famous and pretentiously admired writers and directors. David Mamet, for instance, who wrote an episode of Hill Street Blues in 1987, shows up as writer of a schlocky sitcom.


Also dipping into the past, Judd Apatow used to write for Roseanne, David Chase for The Rockford Files and Northern Exposure, and of course there's the almost unbelievable writing staff of The Dana Carvey Show. Any I'm missing, barring of course the oldies like William Faulkner?

And just because it's a wonderful Growing Pains interpretation, check out some of "Thicker Than Waters".