The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by a family of the same name which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town, Springfield, and parodies American culture.
I would add that “The Simpsons” made audiences a lot smarter. They really raised the bar for what you could put out there and what audiences were ready for.
In Hollywood, they say you're not famous until you've done a guest spot on "The Simpsons,"
But “The Simpsons,” for all its mischief and iconoclasm, has become an institution, and that status has kept this film from taking too many chances. Why mess with the formula when you can extend the brand?
At one point retailers were selling approximately one million Simpsons T-shirts per week.
“The Simpsons” is now one of the longest-running sitcoms in television history, saddling up next to “Gunsmoke,” which holds the record with 635 episodes and closing in on “Lassie,” which was on for 588 episodes. The pop culture phenomenon has been creating laughter on the airwaves and couch potatoes for 23 straight seasons.
The little miracle of the movie is that this plays out at four times the length without giving you a headache. The film finds its own pace, and it keeps its personality. It doesn't try to be ruder or kinkier, just bigger and better.
More than 100 celebrities have featured in The Simpsons, including Sir Paul McCartney, Rupert Murdoch, J K Rowling and Elton John. The show currently holds the Guinness World Record for most guest stars in a television series.
The Simpsons went on to be a ratings and syndication winner for 18 years, and has grossed Fox sums of money measuring in the billions. It has won 23 Emmys and a Peabody Award, and was named the best TV show of all time by Time magazine in 1999. (The magazine also named Bart one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Groening named the Simpsons after members of his own family - except for Bart, which is an anagram of "brat" - and the finished product was first shown on variety series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987.
In 1987, the animated cartoon produced by Matt Groening aired in 30-second segments for "The Tracey Ullman Show" on Fox. Marge, Homer, Lisa, Maggie, and Bart are all there, but have a rougher look. But the "Simpsons" humor is unmistakable.
The Simpsons are the brainchild of Matt Groening. He started out as a cartoonist by drawing a weekly comic strip for a set of regional newspapers, called "Life In Hell." They featured a rabbit called Binky and detailed the dark side of life. Books of these early cartoons are sold in bookstores.
"The Simpsons" from the very beginning was based on our memories of brash '60s sitcoms — you had a main title theme that was bombastic and grabbed your attention -- and when you look at TV shows of the 1970s and '80s things got very mild and toned down and ... obsequious.
In celebration of the cartoon's historic 500th episode milestone (Sun., Feb. 19), Fox is inviting "The Simpsons" lovers to participate in a marathon that will hopefully lead to a new record for the longest continuous television viewing.
The Simpsons has been so influential, it is difficult to find any strain of television comedy that does not contain its DNA. And yet the show's footprint is so much larger. Homer's signature "D'oh!" has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.