The episode: “Danger: Diabolik,” ep. 1013
The riff: Snarked by Crow as we get a close-up of a man in a military-type uniform.
The explanation: He’s referencing a very small detail of the uniform itself–the small, gold stripes on the guard’s left arm, clearly visible as he reaches into the frame. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist added similar (actually much more noticeable) gold bands to the arms of his own robe. A longtime fan of Gilbert and Sullivan operas, he was said to have gotten the idea from the character of “Lord Chancellor” in the play “Iolanthe.” It was criticized by some for being a little on the vain side, and the bands were eliminated by the next Chief Justice, John Roberts.
Novelty factor: This is definitely not the sort of thing I knew off-hand, but it’s an interesting tidbit, I think.