Original air date: February 22, 1998
At a charity comedy show, Krusty discovers that his brand of humor is out of step with modern stand-up comedy. After announcing his retirement and going on a drunken bender, Krusty wakes up at the Simpsons household and, with the help of Bart Simpson and special guest star, Jay Leno, Krusty becomes an anti-establishment stand-up comic (a la George Carlin, Denis Leary, Dennis Miller, and Bill Hicks), but must choose between his ethics and selling out when an agent offers him the chance to be the spokesman for a new SUV called The Canyonero.
"The Last Temptation of Krust" contains examples of:
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Krusty's offensive Asian impression ("ME SO SOLLY!") is complete with him putting in fake teeth. Only Bart approves.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: "Hey, hey. I'm Kent Brockman the Clown..."
- Brick Joke: At Krusty's last stand-up act, Homer complains about pants. When Krusty starts to bomb, Homer, in only his underwear and a shirt, throws his pants at Krusty.
- Call-Back: In "$pringfield, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling", Krusty also tried performing stand-up comedy, and did poorly, as well.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Kent Brockman filling in for Krusty:Kent Brockman: Today's top joke: It seems a local moron threw his clock out the window! We'll tell you why, right after this.
- The Dead Rise to AdvertiseSo I'm watching TV today, and all I keep seeing is dead celebrities hawking products! You've got poor old Vincent Price floating around in a toilet keg telling me about the horrors of an unfresh bowl! And I tell ya something else: I do not believe Winston Churchill would eat at a place called "Der Wienerschnitzel"!
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Krusty's outdated and offensive comedy act fails to impress the audience.
- Dude, Not Funny!: The In-Universe reaction to Krusty's racist performance.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even the snarky, cynical insult comics are turned off by Krusty's bad and blatantly offensive brand of comedy.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: Near the end, after the Canyonero commercial song appears to finish, the 20th Century Fox Television Vanity Plate appears...only to get pushed aside for more of the Canyonero song.
- Hint Dropping: Homer hopes that Krusty will rant on pants; during the act, Homer yells out, "Don't you hate pants?"
- Ho Yay: Invoked when two Canyonero execs watch Krusty's new act:Exec 1: Wow, they're hanging on his every word. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Exec 2: (tries to hold his hand) I hope so.
Exec 1: (retracts his hand) I thought I made myself clear in Boston.
- Hummer Dinger: The Canyonero.Twelve yards long, two lanes wide, sixty-five tons of American pride! Canyonero!''".
- Hypocritical Humor: When Krusty bombs, Bruce Baum (wearing swimming trunks and an inner tube, and with a "fish going through head" hat on) comments:Bruce: That guy cheapens our whole profession! What do you think of him, Internet Comic? (a nearby computer beeps twice)
- I Thought You Were Dead: Discussed, when devoted fan Bart asked why Krusty isn't among the other comedians, some thought he was dead, much to Bart's annoyance.
- The Last Title: The name of the episode.
- Late to the Punchline: Homer, during Steven Wright's act.Steven: I finally got around to reading the dictionary. Turns out the zebra did it.
(everyone laughs except Homer)
Homer: I don't get it.
Lisa: Dad, the zebra didn't do it; it's just a word at the end of the dictionary.
Homer: I still don't get it.
Lisa: It's just a joke.
Homer: (lights up) Oh, I get it! I get jokes! (laughs)
- The Makeover: When Krusty retools his act to be edgier, his appearance gets an update as well: He ties his hair strands back into a ponytail, and wears a jacket with a black shirt underneath.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever happened in Boston between the two execs.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Lampshaded. When Marge bought Bart and Lisa new shoes, Lisa complained the shoes were too big and Marge said they'll fit when the kids grow up. Bart then asked when it'd happen like he didn't expect it to happen. Marge then comments they're both overdue for a growth spurt.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Although Rod and Tod aren't fans of Krusty, it does seem uncharacteristically rude of them to poke their sticks at the passed-out clown on their front yard. One would think they would either be too afraid to approach him or would try to help him. Bart has to intervene to get them to leave Krusty alone.
- Overly Long Gag: Dr. Hibbert laughing when the comedy club promoter asks if he likes to laugh. It's cut a little bit in syndication.
- Produce Pelting: Krusty after selling out at Moe's.
- Product Placement: Krusty promoting the Canyonero during his comedy act.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Krusty is trying out his new act in front of the Simpsons:Krusty: I'm a real person and as a real person, I've made some humorous observations about real life. For example, did you never notice how there are two phone books: A white one and a yellow one? I mean, what's the deal with that?!
Lisa: (flatly) One's residential, the other's business.
Krusty: Oh...that makes sense... What'll they think of next: Blue pages?!
Marge: (also flatly) They have those; they're government listings.
- Sarcasm-Blind:Bart: I'm looking for someone named... (reading card) "Jay Leno"?
Jay Leno: Somebody wanna get this kid a TV?
Bart: Whoa, gee, thanks, mister!
Jay Leno: Just kidding. I'm Jay Leno.
- Sell-Out: Krusty gets applauded for being an anti-establishment comedian, but when he strikes a deal with Canyonero to blatantly promote their product during his shows he is perceived as a sell-out. Krusty, however, likes the fact that he is back on top in show business better than remaining true to his ideals.
- Spit Take: Marge at the comedy show when Janeane Garofalo opened her act with, "I got my period today."
- Strange Minds Think Alike: A couple people thought Krusty died.
- Stylistic Suck: Krusty's comedy is a marvel of So Unfunny, It's Funny, ranging from low-effort to stolen to outdated to outright racist.
- Take That!: When Krusty bombs at the comedy show making a joke about TV dinners, Janeane Garofalo sarcastically quips "Ooh, take that, Swanson's".
- Tempting Fate: During Krusty's performance at the comedy show.Jay Leno: What's he gonna do next? A flapping dickie?Krusty: Uh-oh, I'm losing them. Better give them the "A" material! Hey-hey! (flaps dickie)
- Too Much Information: During Krusty's rant about modern comics:Krusty: Then, you got these lady comics talkin' about stuff that would embarrass Redd Foxx! God rest his smutty soul. Who they slept with, what time they sit on the can; this is supposed to get you a husband?!
- Unusually Uninteresting SightHomer (as he's walking in to use the bathroom): I didn't know you, Jay Leno and a monkey were bathing a clown.