, created by cartoonist Matt Groening
, first appeared in 1987 as a series of bumps (short transition clips) on The Tracey Ullman Show
. The Simpsons
premiered as a half-hour comedy series on Fox on January 14, 1990. The Simpsons
has won many Emmy awards and even spawned a feature film, The Simpsons Movie
. Now the longest-running comedy in TV history, The Simpsons
immediately struck a chord with viewers across the country as it poked fun of itself and everything in its wake.
is about an everyday family who live in mythical Springfield and all the mishaps and adventures they find themselves in. One of the most enjoyable aspects of The Simpsons
is the world of Springfield, full of other characters fans have come to know and love. Because the characters don't age (much) they find themselves in the same situations time and again: in trouble, fired, competing, being duped, fighting and making up. With its subversive humor and delightful wit, the series has made an indelible imprint on American pop culture, and the family members have become TV icons.
The characters of The Simpsons
are the keystones in the success of the show. We tune in not just for the main characters in the family, but also for the other folks in Springfield, such as Moe, Apu, Barney, Milhouse and Comic Book Guy.
Matt Groening was a cartoonist, drawing Life in Hell
, when he came up with The Simpsons
. He was approached by James L. Brooks, the executive producer of The Tracey Ullman Show
, to create short transitional cartoons to air between the show and commercials. After that, Groening and Brooks created a half-hour series for Fox and expanded the world of the Simpsons to include Springfield.
Groening has said in many interviews that the characters are based on his own family. And if you look at Homer's hair and ears, you'll see the initials "MG."
On July 27, 2007 the world finally watched the Simpson family on the big screen. The movie took nearly 20 years to come to fruition, simply because the TV show took up so much of the writers time. The Simpsons Movie
took in almost $75 million in its opening weekend, growing steadily to a domestic take of nearly $200 million.
My Two Cents:
gave me my love of primetime cartoons. Though I had watched The Flintstones
as a child, I could really get the humor and messages of The Simpsons
as an adult. After twenty years, The Simpsons
is still going strong in ratings, though I don't feel it's been the same since Matt Groening left it in the hands of other executive producers. There are still moments that shine, but overall, it's become too slick and lacking in depth. The characters have been reduced to (literally) two dimensions, rather being flawed, complicated, lovable folks.
Trivia About 'The Simpsons':
Recognized as a pop culture icon, Homer Simpson's annoyed grunt - "D'oh!" - is an official word in the Oxford English Dictionary, and The Simpsons
has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame