'The Simpsons' Featured a Classic Solar Eclipse Joke in 1993

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'Marge vs. the Monorail'

Guest Leonard Nimoy made the moment perfect: "A solar eclipse, the cosmic ballet goes on."

Of course, The Simpsons did it first.

Millions in America are getting ready to see the total solar eclipse, viewable Monday for the first time in this part of the world since 1979.

It will be a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, but in the world of The Simpsons, it happened already in one of the most beloved episodes, "Marge vs. the Monorail."

First airing Jan. 14, 1993, the 30-minute cartoon revolves around Springfield getting a sudden influx of money after Mr. Burns is fined for illegally dumping nuclear waste. While deciding what to do with the cash, a fast-talking Music Man-like salesman named Lyle Lanley (the late Phil Hartman) convinces the townspeople they need a monorail. 

Of course, the construction of the monorail (running on solar energy) is done poorly, and the train begins to fall apart on its maiden voyage. 

And that is when a solar eclipse occurs and stops the train for a few moments, to passengers' relief. Guest Leonard Nimoy, playing a kooky version of himself, steals the scene. 

"A solar eclipse, the cosmic ballet goes on," Nimoy says. The random person next to him then tries to switch seats. 

The actual solar eclipse totality begins on the West Coast at 10:16 a.m.

Watch The Simpsons' moment below: