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Brownlee invokes The Simpsons in rail debate

Friday 30 Nov 2012 7:53 a.m.

Brownlee and Lanley - partners in business?

Brownlee and Lanley - partners in business?

Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee in Parliament yesterday compared Auckland's plan for a city rail link to the infamous monorail episode of The Simpsons.

In response to questions from Labour MP Phil Twyford on the impact of the city's growing traffic woes, at first Mr Brownlee disputed the economic benefits of the proposed rail link, and questioned the impact it would have on congestion.

But towards the end of his answer, Mr Brownlee slipped in a reference to the classic Simpsons episode Marge vs the Monorail.

"I would consider hiring Lyle Lanley and associates to do a scoping study for us on the city rail link," he said.

"I know that they've done some very good work on some of the projects in Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, and if they think this stacks up, we'll give it some consideration further."

In the Simpsons episode Lanley is revealed to be a conman, building a cheap and nasty monorail which begins to fall apart on its maiden trip.

Mr Brownlee's quip appeared to go completely over the heads of other MPs in Parliament. When Marge visits North Haverbrook, she finds the town in a state of decay, and the residents deny ever having a monorail, despite the town being covered in advertisements for it.

Marge vs the Monorail first aired in 1993, and was penned by talk show host and comedian Conan O'Brien. It is often cited as one of the long-running series' greatest episodes.

Skip forward to 3:25 in the video below to hear Mr Brownlee's joke.

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