According to various articles, Ricky Gervais is more than welcome to write or guest star in another episode. He later guest starred as himself in the episode "Angry Dad: The Movie".
In a December 2004 BBC article, Gervais called writing this The Simpsons episode "the most intimidating project of my career", describing The Simpsons as "the greatest TV show of all time."
This episode originally featured a live-action opening sequence. The live-action couch gag was not shown on some channels in Canada (such as Global) with the original airing for unspecified reasons. Also, it wasn't seen on FXX reruns and on The Complete Seventeenth Season DVD. This opening was taken directly from a Sky One promotion for the show, with the only alteration (in right-driving countries like the USA and Canada) being a mirrored flip of the scenes where Homer drives home and throws the carbon rod out, and where Marge and Maggie are driving the car to show Marge driving on the left side, unlike in the UK. The original can be seen here. It was filmed in Orpington, Kent, near London. A previous live action sequence took place near the end of the Homer3 segment in Treehouse of Horror VI.
A theatrical version of The Phantom of the Opera is playing on Lenny's plasma HDTV during his party.
The similarities between Trading Spouses and Wife Swap (ABC) are satirically addressed. Interestingly, Wife Swap had received a similar skewering by its network fellow Hope and Faith a season earlier.
This episode was preceded by Gervais commentating about the episode on Sky One, and how Channel 4 would not get it for another three years. Sky One issued an apology upon the return from commercial break during the episode acknowledging that this claim was inaccurate. Channel 4 shows new episodes four years after Sky One.
The episode aired in September 2010 on Channel 4, just over fours years after airing on Sky One.
Possibly due to the episode's storyline, Sky's high-definition service SkyHD was promoted twice during the first UK transmission; before the episode started and before the 'apology' mentioned above. The first advert in the commercial break was also for a high-definition television. Private Eye magazine in particular criticised this as an example of product placement on the part of Sky, and speculated as to how much Gervais was paid for writing it into the storyline.
This episode was promoted heavily in the UK, even making the front cover of the Radio Times. It holds the record for the highest rated Simpsons episode ever shown on Sky One, getting 2.301 million viewers, beating the previous record of 1.65 million set by "Skinner's Sense of Snow" in 2000.
Despite being written by a British person, the episode is filled with references that UK and/or USA audiences will not automatically be familiar with, such as Ryan Seacrest, Notre Dame football, etc.
This episode marks Patty's first official with a real woman relationship (Verity). In the past, Patty has dated Principal Skinner, and a man posing as a female golf-pro. However, Patty and Verity are never shown together again following this episode implying they broke off their relationship at some point.
At Lenny's party, while Homer flies onto the couch, the three people on the couch are Seymour Skinner, Edna Krabappel and Ned Flanders. Edna at the time is dating Skinner but soon she ends up dating and then marrying Ned. A love triangle is sitting on the same couch and they don't even know.
This is the first episode of the show to be written by a guest star, and also the first ever episode written by a person who is British.
Charles appears to be based on Gervais' character David Brent from the original version of The Office. He says that he is the manager of an office, and like Brent, appears to be a very inept one. Charles also tells an offensive joke to Marge and plays guitar.
The scene of Homer jumping on Lenny's couch in slow motion is a parody of the zero-gravity scene in 2001, complete with Strauss' "Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang" section of "Also sprach Zarathustra" playing in the background, similar to the "Homer Star Child" sequence at the end of "Deep Space Homer".
Homer collects all 40 years of The Family Circus, and then throws it in the fire.
The shot of Charles standing in front of the fire while singing about Princess Di echoes the famous and controversial photo of her standing in a school garden with the sun behind her, revealing the outline of her legs through her skirt.
The #42 car that crashes in the stock car race has a similar color scheme to Richard Petty's 1970 NASCAR Plymouth Superbird, and an almost identical number. (Petty used #43 for most of his NASCAR career.) "Fodell Jenks" Sr., Jr. and the III are also a Petty reference of sorts - the Petty family is the first four-generation family in American motorsports history.