Sometimes the best ideas begin as spoofs. Mary Wollstonecroft wrote cogently on the inequalities extent in contemporary society in A Vindication of the Rights of Men and A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1790 and 1792 respectively. Thomas Taylor parodied these ideas in his book A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes. Peter Singer was entirely serious in 1975 when he wrote Animal Liberation, which contained many of the same ideas.
Robert Popper has pointed out that Medibot from Look Around You seems to be entering clinical practice in the form of the da Vinci Surgical System. Families of medicines commonly begin life as analogues of substances found in nature. Penicillins and statins were first discovered being produced by Penicillium fungi; aspirin is based on a substance found in willow bark. Researchers looking for the next big thing in medical technology may decide that there are better places to look for ideas than comedy on television, but the nature of a Eureka moment dictates that you do not know when it is going to come or where you are going to find inspiration.