This episode parodies Tuesdays with Morrie (1999), including a cameo by author Mitch Albom. Hank Azaria, who played Albom in the film, is also a series regular. That film's other lead, 'Jack Lemmon', has also made a guest appearance, and was the inspiration for the character Gil.
The poster for the film Marshall is going to make about his book, reveals that he is to be played by Hank Azaria. Azaria not only played Marshall Goldman in this episode but also played Mitch Albom in Tuesdays with Morrie (1999), the film that inspired this episode.