"Y'know, a town with money is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No-one knows how he got it and danged if he knows how to use it!" - Lyle Lanley, "Marge versus The Monorail"
His name's Lanley, Lyle Lanley, and he's sold monorails to cities like Brockway
, and North Haverbrook
, and by gum it put them on the map. In episode 9F10 of The Simpsons
, "Marge versus The Monorail
", Lanley (voiced by Phil Hartman
) came to Springfield
after he heard about the city's massive windfall in form of local billionaire tyrant Charles Montgomery Burns
's three million dollar fine for dumping toxic waste. The city was about to spend the money on fixing up Main Street, but Lanley changed their minds with a catchy tune
and singing the praises of the monorail
. Under Lanley's guidance the town could have a monorail of their very own. The residents bought into the scheme, unaware that Lanley's monorails are built from substandard parts from the lowest bidder. Each town that has embraced Lanley's monorail has wound up ruined, victim of economic disaster and unemployment. Lanley's standard routine was to bilk a town into buying his worthless monorail, then conduct a fake search for a train conductor (in Springfield
he chose Homer Simpson
by merely pointing in an ambiguous manner), and skipping town with the reserve construction funds while the train made its deadly and disastrous maiden voyage. Lanley's regin of monorail terror finally came to an end when, while fleeing Springfield
, his plane had a brief layover in the ruined city of North Haverbrook
. The remaining citizens were ready for him, and they forcibly boarded the plane and beat him up, possibly to death. Lyle Lanley has not been seen since this incident.
Incidentially, Springfield was later taken three times more for disastrous city improvements, having spent massive amounts of public funds to build a popsicle stick skyscraper, the world's largest magnifying glass, and the escalator to nowhere.
kthejoker says that Lanley's character and the entire episode are based loosely on The Music Man.