According to various articles, Gervais is more than welcome to write or guest star in another episode. He later starred as himself in the episode "Angry Dad: The Movie."
In a December 2004 BBC article, Gervais called writing The Simpsons episode "the most intimidating project of my career", describing The Simpsons as "the greatest TV show of all time."
This episode featured a live-action opening sequence. The live-action couch gag was not shown on some channels in Canada with the original airing for unspecified reasons. Also it wasntt shown on the FXX airing and on the Season 17 DVD. This was taken directly from a Sky One promotion, with the only alteration (in right-driving countries) being a mirrored flip of the scene 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 in the Homer3 segment of Treehouse of Horror VI.
A theatrical version of The Phantom of the Opera is playing on Lenny's plasma TV during his party.
With Dan Castellaneta, this is the second time a member of the main cast of The Simpsons has guest-starred as themselves (the first was Harry Shearer as part of Spinal Tap in "The Otto Show"). In this episode he was simply billed as a "star of The Tracey Ullman Show" while in season Thirteen's "I Am Furious Yellow" he appeared to voice the character of Angry Dad (although he was not referred to by name in that episode).
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 Ricky 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 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 2001.
Despite being written by a British person, the episode is filled with references that UK 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. Although, 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.
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' "Also sprach Zarathustra" playing in the background, similarly to the potato chip sequence in "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.