This season of "The Simpsons" has been particularly spacey.
In Sunday's (Jan. 25) episode of the long-running Fox cartoon TV show, SpaceX founder Elon Musk is "quietly" traveling the United States in his crewed Dragon spacecraft searching for something to inspire him. The billionaire inventor even shows off his "Springfield Hyperloop" featuring a small mouse that throws up after a ride on the machine designed to get people from point A to point B at high speeds on the ground.
Musk has been in the news a lot recently thanks to his new plans for his electric car company Tesla and SpaceX's contract to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017. And of course, at one point, Mr. Burns mistakes Musk for Henry Ford after being told that Musk "revolutionized the car industry."
You can watch a clip from the episode, called "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" in the window below via Hulu (opens in new tab):
Two weeks ago, the Simpsons family was captured by a group of aliens that transported them to a far off planet, presumably far away from the solar system.
The space travel plotline also gave the TV show's writers a chance to dust off one of the most fun Simpsons-in-space gags ever. In a season 5 episode of the show, Homer travels to space aboard a NASA space shuttle and eats floating chips in microgravity. The new alien abduction episode called "The Man Who Came to be Dinner" features Homer trying to recreate that magical snack moment, but Bart keeps ruining his floating chip fun.
Homer eats his chips in both episodes while the song "On the Beautiful Danube." The song itself is actually a call-back to the soundtrack of the science fiction space classic "2001: A Space Odyssey," directed by Stanley Kubrick. You can watch a clip of Homer eating chips on the shuttle in the window below:
"The Simpsons" animators also re-imagined the cartoon cast of the show as characters from "Star Trek" for the end credits in "The Man Who Came to be Dinner." You can watch those credits in the window below via Hulu (opens in new tab):
You can also watch the space chips clip from "The Man Who Came to be Dinner" in the window below also via Hulu (opens in new tab):
Watch both full episodes for free on Hulu (opens in new tab) now.