Krusty's film adaptation of the fictional novel The Sands of Space is based on several sci-fi film flops from the 1970s and 1980s. The most obvious parallel is to the attempts to adapt the Frank Herbert novel Dune, with Krusty's film having several similarities to the failed attempt by Alejandro Jodorowsky in the 1970s, as well as the 1984 film Dune directed by David Lynch. Zardoz and Krull were also cited as inspirations for the plot.
One of the movie posters at the studio is for Pope and a Half, a reference to the 1993 film Cop and a Half.
The El Bozo Loco theater is a parody of the El Pollo Loco restaurant chain.