Having trouble getting your head round the ins and outs of America's 'fiscal cliff'? Or maybe you're too busy worrying about our own dear Chancellor's Autumn Statement to give a monkey's about the financial woes of other nations?

Either way, help is at hand from an unlikely source - Mr Burns from 'The Simpsons' - who's kindly taken time out from his busy schedule to explain the fiscal cliff in terms we can all understand. (A hint? It helps to think of the economy as a car with a rich man as the driver.)

If you're a 'Simpsons' fan - and frankly, who isn't? - you may also be interested to see whether they made it into our Top 20 sitcom families...

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  • Only Fools And Horses - The Trotters

    The wheelin' and dealin', Peckham-based Trotter family - brothers Del Boy and Rodney, their Grandad and, later, their Uncle Albert - were quite possibly John Sullivan's finest creations.

  • Frasier - The Cranes

    The creators of <em>Cheers</em> took one of its most uptight characters, gave him an even more uptight brother, and forced him to live with his ex-cop dad. The result? Sitcom gold.

  • The Royle Family - The Royles

    A family who rarely moved from their sofa, the Royles may not have done much, but they were consistently funny while (not) doing it. Check out this clip, when they meet 'our Anthony''s girlfriend (a young Sheridan Smith) for the first time .

  • Family Guy - The Griffins

    Seth MacFarlane's animated creation may have your usual sitcom parents (Peter and Lois) and teenagers (Meg and Chris), but its brilliance arguably lies in the addition of a hilariously conniving baby (Stewie) - and in a dog (Brian) who's the smartest member of the family.

  • 'Til Death Us Do Part - The Garnetts

    Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't deny Alf Garnett's clan their place in sitcom history. Johnny Speight's sitcom ran for seven series, from 1965 to 1975.

  • Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Spencers

    The Spencers weren't always just Frank and Betty - they were joined by baby Jessica, of course. (And we challenge you to <em>not</em> say 'Jessica' in a Frank Spencer voice...)

  • The Cosby Show - The Huxtables

    The everyday tale of a doctor father, a lawyer mother and their three kids. That the Cosbys were black wasn't the point of the show -and that's exactly what made it groundbreaking.

  • Open All Hours - The Arkwrights

    The way that grown-up errand boy Granville was put upon by his uncle Arkwright melted all our hearts, as well as tickled our funny bones. But when you've got David Jason and Ronnie Barker sharing the screen, what do you expect?

  • Malcolm In The Middle - The Wilkersons

    The eponymous Malcolm may be a genius - but he's still the middle child who has to contend with the rest of his family. Fun fact: the writers of the show wanted to keep the family's surname a secret - and the fact that it's 'Wilkerson' has only been revealed twice in the show.

  • Steptoe And Son - The Steptoes

    The relationship between rag and bone men Albert and his son Harold was full of spite, hate and need. And it didn't get much darker than in this clip, when Steptoe Jr dreams of murdering his father...

  • Outnumbered - The Brockmans

    Kudos to Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin not just for creating great characters and scripts - but also, in its improvised nature, the least annoying child cast of any sitcom, ever.

  • Roseanne - The Connors

    Sitcoms don't get much sassier than Roseanne Barr's slice of blue-collar American family, which co-starred the always-wonderful John Goodman as her husband and Laurie Metcalf as her sister.

  • Bread - The Boswells

    The Boswell family - headed by god-fearing matriarch, Ma - were experts at beating the welfare system, getting into hilarious scrapes along the way, of course. Check out this episode, in which we meet Adrian's girlfriend, the legendary Carmen, for the first time.

  • Absolutely Fabulous - The Monsoons

    Take a mother who acts like a child, and a child who acts like a grown-up, and you've got Jennifer Saunders' Eddy and Julia Sawalha's Saffy - a sitcom goldmine.

  • Arrested Development - The Bluths

    A father in prison, a son called 'George Michael', a never-nude, 'analrapist' brother-in-law... Are the Bluths the oddest family in TV sitcom history? Quite possibly. But that's what makes them so darn funny.

  • On The Buses - The Butlers

    The tales of bus driver Stan (Reg Varney), his mother (Cicely Courtneidge followed by Doris Hare) and his sister Olive (Anna Karen) may not have been the most politically correct - but the Britain of the 1970s loved them.

  • Butterflies - The Parkinsons

    Another Carla Lane creation, <em>Butterflies</em> centres around the life of Wendy Craig's Ria - a frustrated housewife (and terrible cook) trapped in a 19-year marriage and daydreaming of another man. Craig's co-stars included Geoffrey Palmer as her husband and a sweet, gangly Nicholas Lyndhurst as her younger son.

  • Happy Days - The Cunninghams

    The definitive, permanently happy, 1950s family? Quite possibly. But then there was the addition of the Fonz to shake things up, of course. Check out the pilot episode here - complete with The Best Sitcom Theme Tune Of All Time.

  • The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air - The Bankses

    The story of a street-smart teenager (Will Smith) who's sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel Air after getting in a fight. But then you knew that from the theme tune, right?

  • The Simpsons

    We'll also tip our hats to the Flanders, the Van Houtens and the Wiggums, of course. But no one beats Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie - the animated family who have made us laugh (and also in Homer's case: think) since 1989. Cowabunga!

(Via Animation on Fox)