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Twenty Years of The Simpsons Today

The Simpsons Logo 2009 On this day, 17 December 1989, the debut episode of The Simpsons aired on Fox. That’s twenty years ago; two decades.

The Simpsons is by far my favourite animated comedy series. Sure, there are others that I’ve seen, like South Park, and even a British series called 2DTV, which I only ever saw one series of – I’m not sure if they made any others, and of course Family Guy, which as far as I know doesn’t show here in S.A., but The Simpsons has been running longer, and most of the time, it’s been better.

I came across an article on Digg, originally from Yahoo news about the twentieth anniversary of the hilarious little program that started off as a Christmas special which grew into an ongoing series, and nowadays a cultural icon. There was a movie made in 2007, and there’ve been games based on The Simpsons and lots of other merchandise too, all featuring Bart (an anagram for brat), Lisa, the irritating feminist-wannabe, Maggie, the eternal baby, Marge, the gravelly-voiced mother with a curious hairdo, and Homer, the highlight of the show, as well as numerous other characters from the series. Marge even appeared in Playboy recently (that’s how hard up Playboy is right now, and has been for the last several years, because of the internet – it has to feed off of The Simpsons’ success). The Simpsons characters have even appeared on US postage stamps – madness.

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long. I’ve been watching the program since the early nineties, and right now on Vuzu, channel 123 on DSTV, they’ve been showing all the past episodes of The Simpsons, right from the very first one and then on to the first season and beyond, including one of the more infamous episodes, “Stark Raving Dad”, which featured the voice of the legendary late Michael Jackson.

Many stars have made appearances on the show, with their voices and likenesses, even including politicians and such. At the end of every episode, I usually wait until the end of the credits just to see if it really was Michael Jackson, only to see that it was “John Jay Smith”, which actually turned out to be a pseudonym for the man. I rarely do this with any other program.

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary, there will be a documentary called "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3D on Ice", to be directed by Morgan Spurlock, who made "Super Size Me", and it will air next year – a weird choice of director, but anyway.

Matt Groening, the show’s creator, has said that there may be the possibility of another Simpsons movie in the future.

Doh! The Simpsons still young and yellow at 20



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