Following a string of advertising-based hallucinations, Homer impulsively decides to go to clown college and become a Krusty impersonator. Meanwhile, the real Krusty is trying to dodge the Mafia after making some bad bets.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Homer's reasons why it sucks being a clown: "You get kicked by kids, bit by dogs, and admired by the elderly."
- Comically Missing the Point:
- While all the other clown college students inform Krusty where they're from Homer just says his name.
- After Krusty reads the joke names of certain towns Homer inexplicably finds the most normal one, Seattle, to be hilarious.
- Homer beats up an actor, portraying a burglar to amuse the children in the audience, not understanding that it's obvious an act.
- Department of Redundancy: Homer: "Who am I clowning? I have no business being a clown! I'm leaving the clowning business to all the other clowns in the clowning business."
- Even Evil Has Standards: After nearly killing Krusty for not paying his debts Krusty pays the money anyway, which turns out to be a ridiculous low sum. The boss is happy and even gives him back his change.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: The scene where the Krusty Burglar is beaten up.
- Idle Rich: Krusty lights a cigarette with a one dollar bill (later also with an original Superman comic and a pearl string), then orders his assistants to "Put five thousand bucks on the Lakers. Hire Kenny G to play for me in the elevator. My house is dirty; buy me a clean one."
- Imagine Spot: Homer's obsession over joining Clown College.
- Kill the Cutie: An Estonian little person, dressed up as a thief character to amuse the young audience is brutally beaten to pulp by Homer, who doesn't get that it's supposed to be an act.
- The Magazine Rule: Krusty apparently enjoys reading "Gigantic Asses" magazine and his love of porno magazines helped Apu keep the Kwik-E-Mart in business during its first year.
- Noodle Incident: When did Homer crash his car into the wall of the Springfield Mafia's club? And, for that matter, when did Barney Gumble take pictures of one of the mobster's sister?
- Plagiarism: Krusty is phoned by George Carlin for stealing his "Seven Words You Can't Say On Television". Krusty gives him ten grand, but sarcastically says "Well, excuuuuse me!", causing him have to pay another ten grand to Steve Martin.
- Plot Hole: Milhouse really had no reason to gloat about having Krusty over at his party — Bart already had Krusty over for dinner at his place in "Like Father, Like Clown".
- Punbased Title: "Homie the Clown" was a character from the sketch show In Living Color!.
- Krusty bets against the Harlem Globetrotters, and of course loses!
- The scene where Krusty has plastic surgery is a shout-out to the Twilight Zone episode "Eye Of The Beholder".
- Homer and Krusty drive a mini unicycle together, causing Homer's head to bump against some glasses and quote the theme from The Godfather.
- Homer building a circus tent with his porridge while his family looks at him with a concerned look is a parody of a similar scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where the protagonist's obsession about a certain mountain hill also makes him create one with a spoon and some porridge.
- Homer says to his kids that they didn't complain when he dressed up as Tom Bosley and got them "this close to Chachi".
- Dick Cavett mentions he knew Woody Allen, though nobody in the audience cares. When he tries to make conversation with Homer and says his "churlish attitude reminds me of the time I met Groucho" Homer threatens him that he we'll be dining with Groucho tonight if he doesn't shut up!"
- The son of the guy who played Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch accepts Krusty's award.
- Single Malt Vision: One of the mobsters sees double: four Krusties!
- Special Guest: Johnny Unitas and Dick Cavett.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: Krusty's story arc in this episode.
- What, Exactly, Is His Job?: In this episode we learn Milhouse's father works at the cracker factory (later, in "Bart On the Road," we find out that Kirk oversees production on crackers).
- Writing Around Trademarks:
Bill: "At this rate you'll be broke in a month. The only thing left todo is...open a Clown College and train some regional Krustys."
Krusty: "You mean like that bozo, Bonko the Clown?"