I like the dig @ Family Guy right at the end.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/6872418/Simpsons-stories-the-tomacco-man.html
Simpsons stories: the tomacco man
Rob Baur is generally a straightforward, sensible man. A senior operations analyst at an Oregon sewage treatment utility company, he’s responsible for research and development in the wastewater field, something he’s been doing for 33 years. ‘I’ve had one wife, one employer’, he says, ‘try to keep it simple.’ He’s a liberal sort of fellow who loves The Simpsons.
It’s the latter point that has given Rob Baur 15 minutes of fame that have lasted seven years. In 2003, inspired by an episode of The Simpsons, he grafted together a tobacco root and a tomato stem to make ‘tomacco’.
In ‘E-I E-I D’oh’ (episode 231, first aired November 1999) Homer invents giant tomacco plants that taste disgusting but are completely addictive (‘That’s horrible!’ says Bart as he spits one onto the floor: ‘I want another one!’).
Baur’s tomacco, on the other hand, has made him something of a Simpsons legend and given him a story to dine out on to this day (at wastewater conferences, he says, he often gets introduced as ‘Mr Tomacco’). After the plant produced its first fruit, he sent a press release about what he’d done to a local television station, thinking they might find it reasonably funny.
Before long, people at The Simpsons heard about what Baur had done and invited him and his family to their offices. Baur had thought that one of the writing staff had probably read an article – as he had – in a mid-Seventies edition of Scientific American, in which a researcher grafted tobacco and tomato together. The idea was to show that you could grow tobacco leaves with no nicotine (which comes from the plant’s roots).
The writer of the tomacco episode was Ian Maxtone-Graham, who’d come up with the storyline as a satire on big tobacco. Baur gave Maxtone-Graham a tomacco he managed to grow, and Maxtone-Graham ate it.
Part of Baur’s intention in growing his tomacco was to poke fun at the tobacco industry. When he first read the article in Scientific American, he was moved: ‘I thought, wow, you could grow tobacco with no nicotine and prove the lie that people smoke for the flavour. They’re smoking for this insecticide, nicotine.’
His parents were both smokers: his mother died of lung cancer and his father had a lung removed when he got the disease as well. Watching the episode of The Simpsons reminded him of all of that – not the sort of epiphany you can imagine getting from an episode of, say, Family Guy.