Synopsis by Mark Deming
The citizens of Springfield decide they need to spruce up the town's image, and Marge Simpson (voice of Julie Kavner) suggests that sponsoring a Springfield Film Festival might be a good way to do it. The idea is enthusiastically received, and Marge is able to persuade well-known film critic Jay Sherman (voice of Jon Lovitz) to lead the jury. Though overweight and balding, Jay has charm and wit where Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta) does not, and after Jay wins over Marge and her sisters, Patty and Selma (both voiced by Julie Kavner), Homer insists on being made a judge for the festival in order to prove his intelligence and sophistication. However, while most of the jury is moved to tears by a film about the tragedy of alcoholism by Barney Gumble (voice of Dan Castellaneta), which bears the unfortunate title "Puke-ahontas," Homer is insistent upon handing the grand prize to a minute-long short in which Hans Moleman (voice of Dan Castellaneta) is hit in the crotch with a football. Meanwhile, C. Montgomery Burns (voice of Harry Shearer) wants to refurbish his image as an aging, cold-hearted energy czar, and decides to make a film about himself, "A Burns for All Seasons," which is to be directed either by Steven Spielberg, or his nonunion Mexican equivalent. "A Star Is Burns" introduced the character of Jay Sherman, who a few weeks later debuted in his own animated series, The Critic, which was produced by several members of the creative team behind The Simpsons. "A Star Is Burns" first aired on March 5, 1995.