You knew I was going to include this, didn't you?
As a entertainment-obsessed youth, there were few things more important than THE SIMPSONS. When we kids heard that Mr. Burns was going to be shot we all became detectives. Who could do it? Homer, finally seeking revenge for a crappy job? Smithers, sick of being pushed around by an ungrateful boss? Maybe it's Bart or Lisa, striking down Burns to save their beloved Springfield.
I guess none of us realized that this was THE SIMPSONS and that it was going to be a funny, inconsequential pay-off. Regardless, "Who Shot Mr. Burns" was a big deal for SIMPSONS viewers. Not only was it a cliffhanger (the only one in the show's history) it was genuinely funny with an epic plot involving Burns and his plan to blot out the sun. I remember watching a VHS with the episode taped on it during the summer hiatus. Over and over and over again I watched, hoping to discover new clues. Yeah, I was kind of an idiot.
Admit it, you had your own theories too.