The Simpsons
Overview
 
The Simpsons is an American animated
Cartoon series
A cartoon series is a set of regularly presented animated television programs with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes typically share the same characters and a basic theme...

 sitcom created by Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

 for the Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

. The series is a satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 of a middle class
American middle class
The American middle class is a social class in the United States. While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use, contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class...

 American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name
Simpson family
The Simpson family is a family of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town...

, which consists of Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Marge
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Bart
Bart Simpson
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Lisa
Lisa Simpson
Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening...

 and Maggie
Maggie Simpson
Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James...

. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield
Springfield (The Simpsons)
Springfield is the fictional town in which the American animated sitcom The Simpsons is set. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its...

 and parodies American culture
Culture of the United States
The Culture of the United States is a Western culture originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore...

, society, television and many aspects of the human condition
Human condition
The human condition encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc. — a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of...

.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. After dropping out of New York University, he got a job as an usher at CBS, going on to write for the...

.
Encyclopedia
The Simpsons is an American animated
Cartoon series
A cartoon series is a set of regularly presented animated television programs with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes typically share the same characters and a basic theme...

 sitcom created by Matt Groening
Matt Groening
Matthew Abram "Matt" Groening is an American cartoonist, screenwriter, and producer. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell as well as two successful television series, The Simpsons and Futurama....

 for the Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

. The series is a satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 parody
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 of a middle class
American middle class
The American middle class is a social class in the United States. While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use, contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class...

 American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name
Simpson family
The Simpson family is a family of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town...

, which consists of Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Marge
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Bart
Bart Simpson
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Lisa
Lisa Simpson
Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening...

 and Maggie
Maggie Simpson
Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James...

. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield
Springfield (The Simpsons)
Springfield is the fictional town in which the American animated sitcom The Simpsons is set. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its...

 and parodies American culture
Culture of the United States
The Culture of the United States is a Western culture originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore...

, society, television and many aspects of the human condition
Human condition
The human condition encompasses the experiences of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. It can be described as the irreducible part of humanity that is inherent and not connected to gender, race, class, etc. — a search for purpose, sense of curiosity, the inevitability of...

.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. After dropping out of New York University, he got a job as an usher at CBS, going on to write for the...

. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show was an American television variety show, hosted by British comedian and onetime pop singer Tracey Ullman. It debuted on April 5, 1987 as the Fox network's second primetime series after Married... with Children, and ran until May 26, 1990. The show blended sketch comedy shorts...

on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast episodes and the twenty-third season
The Simpsons (season 23)
The Simpsons twenty-third season is the current season of The Simpsons. It premiered on September 25, 2011. It will include the 500th episode which is expected to air February 19, 2012. Due to financial difficulties, the network was unable to produce the show under its current contract and unless...

 started airing on September 25, 2011. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series. The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress...

, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million.

The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 27 Primetime Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award
The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming...

s, 27 Annie Award
Annie Award
The Annie Awards have been presented by the Los Angeles, California branch of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood since 1972...

s and a Peabody Award
Peabody Award
The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. In 1939, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting...

. Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!
D'oh!
"D'oh!" is a catchphrase used by the fictional character Homer Simpson, from the long-running American animated sitcom The Simpsons . It is typically used when Homer injures himself, realizes that he has done something stupid, or when something bad has happened or is about to happen to him...

" has been adopted into the English language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.

Development

Groening conceived of the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. After dropping out of New York University, he got a job as an usher at CBS, going on to write for the...

's office. Brooks had asked Groening to pitch an idea for a series of animated shorts, which Groening initially intended to present as his Life in Hell
Life in Hell
Life in Hell is a weekly comic strip by Matt Groening. The strip features anthropomorphic rabbits and a pair of gay lovers. Groening uses these characters to explore a wide range of topics about love, sex, work, and death...

series. However, when Groening realized that animating Life in Hell would require the rescinding of publication right
Publication right
The publication right is a copyright granted to the publisher who first publishes a previously unpublished work after that work's original copyright has expired...

s for his life's work, he chose another approach and formulated his version of a dysfunctional family
Dysfunctional family
A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehavior, and often abuse on the part of individual members occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such an arrangement is...

. He named the characters after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name, adapting an anagram
Anagram
An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; e.g., orchestra = carthorse, A decimal point = I'm a dot in place, Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort. Someone who...

 of the word "brat".

The Simpson family
Simpson family
The Simpson family is a family of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town...

 first appeared as shorts in The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show
The Tracey Ullman Show was an American television variety show, hosted by British comedian and onetime pop singer Tracey Ullman. It debuted on April 5, 1987 as the Fox network's second primetime series after Married... with Children, and ran until May 26, 1990. The show blended sketch comedy shorts...

on April 19, 1987. Groening submitted only basic sketches to the animators and assumed that the figures would be cleaned up in production. However, the animators merely re-traced his drawings, which led to the crude appearance of the characters in the initial short episodes. One of the earliest jobs of the Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo, Inc. is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer, Arlene Klasky and animator, Gábor Csupó.- History :...

 company was creating animated sequences for The Tracey Ullman Show, on which the characters first appeared. The animation was produced domestically at Klasky Csupo, with Wes Archer
Wes Archer
Wesley Meyer Archer is a television animation director. He was one of the original three animators on The Simpsons' Tracey Ullman shorts and subsequently directed a number of The Simpsons episodes before becoming supervising director at King of the Hill. A...

, David Silverman
David Silverman
David Silverman is an animator best known for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie...

, and Bill Kopp
Bill Kopp
Bill Kopp is an American animator and film director who animated the Whammy on the 1980s game show Press Your Luck, and voiced the title character on Nelvana's Eek! The Cat and Kutter in The Terrible Thunderlizards, which he created with Savage Steve Holland...

 being animators for the first season. Colorist Gyorgyi Peluce was the person who decided to make the characters yellow.

In 1989, a team of production companies adapted The Simpsons into a half-hour series for the Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

. The team included what is now the Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo, Inc. is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer, Arlene Klasky and animator, Gábor Csupó.- History :...

 animation house. Jim Brooks negotiated a provision in the contract with the Fox network that prevented Fox from interfering with the show's content. Groening said his goal in creating the show was to offer the audience an alternative to what he called "the mainstream trash" that they were watching. The half-hour series premiered on December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire
Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire
"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", is the first full-length episode of The Simpsons to air despite originally being the eighth episode produced for season one. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 17, 1989...

", a Christmas special. "Some Enchanted Evening
Some Enchanted Evening (The Simpsons)
"Some Enchanted Evening" is the thirteenth, final aired, and first produced episode of The Simpsons first season and originally aired on the Fox network on May 13, 1990. Although it was the first episode produced, it aired as the season finale due to significant animation problems. The episode...

" was the first full-length episode produced, but it did not broadcast until May 1990, as the last episode of the first season, because of animation problems. In 1992, Tracey Ullman filed a lawsuit against Fox, claiming that her show was the source of the series' success. The suit said she should receive a share of the profits of The Simpsons—a claim rejected by the courts.

Executive producers and showrunners

Matt Groening and James L. Brooks have served as executive producer
Executive producer
An executive producer is a producer who is not involved in any technical aspects of the film making or music process, but who is still responsible for the overall production...

s during the show's entire history, and also function as creative consultants. Sam Simon
Sam Simon
Samuel "Sam" Simon is an American director, producer, writer, boxing manager and philanthropist. While at Stanford University, Simon worked as a newspaper cartoonist and after graduating became a storyboard artist at Filmation Studios. He submitted a spec script for the sitcom Taxi, which was...

, described by former Simpsons director Brad Bird
Brad Bird
Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an Academy Award-winning American director, voice actor, animator and screenwriter. He is best known for writing and directing Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille . He also adapted and directed the critically acclaimed 2D animated 1999 Warner Brothers...

 as "the unsung hero" of the show, served as creative supervisor for the first four seasons. He was constantly at odds with Groening, Brooks and Gracie Films and left in 1993
1993 in television
The year 1993 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 1993.For the American TV schedule, see: 1993-94 United States network television schedule.-Events:-Debuts:-1950s:...

. Before leaving, he negotiated a deal that sees him receive a share of the profits every year, and an executive producer credit despite not having worked on the show since 1993. A more involved position on the show is the showrunner, who acts as head writer and manages the show's production for an entire season.

Writing

The first team of writers, assembled by Sam Simon, consisted of John Swartzwelder
John Swartzwelder
John Swartzwelder is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series The Simpsons, as well as a number of novels. He is credited with writing the largest number of Simpsons episodes by a large margin...

, Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti is an American writer best known for his work on the television series The Simpsons. He has also written for the King of the Hill and The Critic series, and has served as a consultant for several animated movies, including Ice Age and Robots...

, George Meyer
George Meyer
George A. Meyer is an American producer and writer. Raised in Tucson, Arizona in a Roman Catholic family, Meyer attended Harvard University. There, after becoming president of the Harvard Lampoon, he graduated in 1978 with a degree in biochemistry. Abandoning plans to attend medical school, Meyer...

, Jeff Martin
Jeff Martin (writer)
Jeff Martin is an American television producer and writer. He was a writer for The Simpsons during the first four seasons. He attended Harvard University, where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon, as have many other Simpsons writers...

, Al Jean
Al Jean
Al Jean is an award-winning American screenwriter and producer, best known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss...

, Mike Reiss
Mike Reiss
Michael "Mike" Reiss is an American television comedy writer. He served as a show-runner, writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons and co-created the animated series The Critic...

, Jay Kogen
Jay Kogen
-Early life:Jay Steven Kogen was born on May 3rd, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York. He is the son of Mad writer Arnie Kogen, and Sue Kogen . His paternal grandparents, Samuel Kogen and Pauline Gorin, were Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire , while his maternal grandparents, Harold Hirsch and Ida...

 and Wallace Wolodarsky
Wallace Wolodarsky
Wallace Wolodarsky is an American television writer and director. He wrote for The Simpsons during the first four seasons; all of his episodes were co-written with former writing partner Jay Kogen...

. Newer Simpsons writing teams typically consist of sixteen writers who propose episode ideas at the beginning of each December. The main writer of each episode writes the first draft. Group rewriting sessions develop final scripts by adding or removing jokes, inserting scenes, and calling for re-readings of lines by the show’s vocal performers. Until 2004, George Meyer, who had developed the show since the first season, was active in these sessions. According to long-time writer Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti is an American writer best known for his work on the television series The Simpsons. He has also written for the King of the Hill and The Critic series, and has served as a consultant for several animated movies, including Ice Age and Robots...

, Meyer usually invented the best lines in a given episode, even though other writers may receive script credits. Each episode takes six months to produce so the show rarely comments on current events.
Credited with sixty episodes, John Swartzwelder is the most prolific writer on The Simpsons' staff. One of the best-known former writers is Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien
Conan Christopher O'Brien is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer and performer. Since November 2010 he has hosted Conan, a late-night talk show that airs on the American cable television station TBS....

, who contributed to several episodes in the early 1990s before replacing David Letterman
David Letterman
David Michael Letterman is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC...

 as host of the talk show
Late Night
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am...

. English comedian Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais
Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, radio presenter, producer, musician, and writer.Gervais achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and frequent collaborator...

 wrote the episode "Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife
Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife
"Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife" is the fifteenth episode of the seventeenth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 26, 2006, and was watched by around ten million viewers during that broadcast. In the episode, Homer signs the Simpson family...

", becoming the first celebrity to both write and guest star in an episode. Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen
Seth Rogen is a Canadian stand-up comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, and voice artist. Rogen began his career doing stand-up comedy during his teen years, winning the Vancouver Amateur Comedy Contest in 1998. While still living in his native Vancouver, he landed a small part in Freaks and...

 and Evan Goldberg
Evan Goldberg
Evan Goldberg is a Canadian film screenwriter and producer. Goldberg attended Point Grey Secondary School and McGill University before joining the staff of Da Ali G Show along with his childhood friend and comedy partner Seth Rogen. Rogen and Goldberg collaborated the films Knocked Up, Superbad,...

, writers of the film
Superbad, wrote the episode "Homer the Whopper
Homer the Whopper
"Homer the Whopper" is the season premiere of The Simpsons twenty-first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 27, 2009. In the episode, Comic Book Guy creates a new superhero called Everyman who takes powers from other superheroes. Homer is cast as the...

", with Rogen voicing a character in it.

At the end of 2007 the writers of
The Simpsons went on strike
2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike
The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, more commonly referred to as simply the Writers' Strike, was a strike by the Writers Guild of America, East and the Writers Guild of America, West ....

 together with the rest of the Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East
Writers Guild of America, East is a labor union representing writers of television and film and employees of television and radio news. The 2006 membership of the guild was 3,770....

. The show's writers had joined the guild in 1998.

Voice actors

The Simpsons has six main cast members: Dan Castellaneta
Dan Castellaneta
Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble,...

, Julie Kavner
Julie Kavner
Julie Deborah Kavner is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. Noted for her role as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, she also voices other characters for the show, including Jacqueline Bouvier, and Patty and Selma Bouvier.Born in Los...

, Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Campbell Cartwright is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. She is best known for her long-running role as Bart Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons...

, Yeardley Smith
Yeardley Smith
Yeardley Smith is a French-born American actress, voice actress, writer and painter. She is best known for her long-running role as Lisa Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons....

, Hank Azaria
Hank Azaria
Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria is an American film, television and stage actor, director, voice actor, and comedian. He is noted for being one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series The Simpsons , on which he performs the voices of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief...

 and Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer
Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons, his work on Saturday Night Live, the comedy band Spinal Tap and his radio program Le Show...

. Castellaneta performs Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Barney Gumble
Barney Gumble
Barnard "Barney" Gumble is a fictional character on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. The character is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the town drunk and Homer Simpson's best friend. His capacity for...

 and other adult, male characters. Julie Kavner
Julie Kavner
Julie Deborah Kavner is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. Noted for her role as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, she also voices other characters for the show, including Jacqueline Bouvier, and Patty and Selma Bouvier.Born in Los...

 speaks the voices of Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

 and Patty and Selma, as well as several minor characters. Castellaneta and Kavner had been a part of The Tracey Ullman Show cast and were given the parts so that new actors would not be needed. Cartwright performs the voices of Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Nelson Muntz
Nelson Muntz
Nelson Mandela Muntz is a fictional character and bully from the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Nelson was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as a bully but later turned into a friend of Bart Simpson, who is best identified by his signature laugh .-Role...

, Ralph Wiggum
Ralph Wiggum
Ralph Wiggum is a recurring fictional character on the animated series The Simpsons, voiced by Nancy Cartwright. The son of Police Chief Wiggum and a classmate of Lisa Simpson, Ralph is best known as the show's resident oddball, and is noted for his non sequiturs and erratic behavior...

 and other children. Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson
Lisa Simpson
Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening...

, is the only cast member who regularly voices only one character, although she occasionally plays other episodic characters. The producers decided to hold casting for the roles of Bart and Lisa. Smith had initially been asked to audition for the role of Bart, but casting director Bonita Pietila believed her voice was too high, so she was given the role of Lisa instead. Cartwright was originally brought in to voice Lisa, but upon arriving at the audition, she found that Lisa was simply described as the "middle child" and at the time did not have much personality. Cartwright became more interested in the role of Bart, who was described as "devious, underachieving, school-hating, irreverent, [and] clever". Matt Groening let her try out for the part instead, and upon hearing her read, gave her the job on the spot. Cartwright is the only one of the six main Simpsons cast members who had been professionally trained in voice acting prior to working on the show. Azaria and Shearer do not voice members of the title family, but play a majority of the male townspeople. Azaria, who has been a part of the Simpsons regular voice cast since the second season, voices recurring characters such as Moe Szyslak
Moe Szyslak
Momar / Morris "Moe" Szyslak is a fictional character in the American animated television series, The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"...

, Chief Wiggum and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Apu is the proprietor of the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and a friend of Homer Simpson. He is also...

. Shearer provides voices for Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers, Jr., usually referred to as Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although he could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open...

, Principal Skinner
Seymour Skinner
Principal W. Seymour Skinner is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. Born in Capitol City, he is the principal of Springfield Elementary School...

, Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders
Nedward "Ned" Flanders, Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the next door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally...

, Reverend Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy "Tim" Lovejoy is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Lovejoy is the minister at The First Church of Springfield—the Protestant church in Springfield which most of...

 and Dr. Hibbert
Julius Hibbert
Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, usually referred to as Dr. Hibbert, is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons. His speaking voice is provided by Harry Shearer and his singing voice was by Thurl Ravenscroft, and he first appeared in the episode "Bart the Daredevil". Dr...

. With the exception of Shearer, every main cast member has won a Primetime Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award
The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming...

 for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance is a creative arts Emmy Award given out by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is awarded to a performer for an outstanding "continuing or single voice-over performance in a series or a special." Prior to 1992, voice-actors...

. However, Shearer was nominated for the award in 2009
61st Primetime Emmy Awards
The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place on September 20, 2009. CBS broadcast the Primetime event and E! the Creative Arts event; both take place at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The nominations for the Awards were announced on July 16....

.

With one exception, episode credits list only the voice actors, and not the characters they voice. Both Fox and the production crew wanted to keep their identities secret during the early seasons and, therefore, closed most of the recording sessions while refusing to publish photos of the recording artists. However, the network eventually revealed which roles each actor performed in the episode "Old Money
Old Money (The Simpsons)
"Old Money" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 28, 1991. In the episode, Grampa's new girlfriend at the Retirement Castle passes away and leaves him with $106,000...

", because the producers said the voice actors should receive credit for their work. In 2003, the cast appeared in an episode of Inside the Actors Studio
Inside the Actors Studio
Inside the Actors Studio is a series on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton. It is produced and directed by Jeff Wurtz; the executive producer is James Lipton. The program, which premiered in 1994, is distributed internationally by CABLEready and is broadcast in 125 countries...

, doing live performances of their characters' voices.

Up until 1998, the six main actors were paid $30,000 per episode. In 1998 they were involved in a pay dispute with Fox. The company threatened to replace them with new actors, even going as far as preparing for casting of new voices, but series creator Groening supported the actors in their action. The issue was soon resolved and, from 1998 to 2004, they were paid $125,000 per episode. The show's revenue continued to rise through syndication and DVD sales, and in April 2004 the main cast stopped appearing for script readings, demanding they be paid $360,000 per episode. The strike was resolved a month later and their salaries were increased to something between $250,000 and $360,000 per episode. In 2008, production for the twentieth season was put on hold due to new contract negotiations with the voice actors, who wanted a "healthy bump" in salary to an amount close to $500,000 per episode. The negotiations were soon completed, and the actors' salary was raised to $400,000 per episode.
Main cast members
Dan Castellaneta
Dan Castellaneta
Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble,...

Julie Kavner
Julie Kavner
Julie Deborah Kavner is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. Noted for her role as Marge Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, she also voices other characters for the show, including Jacqueline Bouvier, and Patty and Selma Bouvier.Born in Los...

Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Cartwright
Nancy Campbell Cartwright is an American film and television actress, comedian and voice artist. She is best known for her long-running role as Bart Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons...

Yeardley Smith
Yeardley Smith
Yeardley Smith is a French-born American actress, voice actress, writer and painter. She is best known for her long-running role as Lisa Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons....

Hank Azaria
Hank Azaria
Henry Albert "Hank" Azaria is an American film, television and stage actor, director, voice actor, and comedian. He is noted for being one of the principal voice actors on the animated television series The Simpsons , on which he performs the voices of Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief...

Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer
Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons, his work on Saturday Night Live, the comedy band Spinal Tap and his radio program Le Show...

Homer
Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Grampa
Abraham Simpson
Abraham J. "Abe" Simpson, often known simply as Grampa, is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and he is also the patriarch of the Simpson family, the father of Homer Simpson, and the grandfather of Bart, Lisa, and Maggie Simpson...

, Barney
Barney Gumble
Barnard "Barney" Gumble is a fictional character on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. The character is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the town drunk and Homer Simpson's best friend. His capacity for...

, Krusty, Groundskeeper Willie
Groundskeeper Willie
William McDougal, usually referred to as Groundskeeper Willie, is a recurring character on The Simpsons, voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He is head groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary School. Willie is a Scottish immigrant, almost feral in nature and immensely proud of his homeland...

, Mayor Quimby
Joe Quimby
Mayor Joseph "Joe" Quimby, nicknamed "Diamond Joe," is a recurring character from the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, and first appeared in the episode "Bart Gets an F". A member of the Democratic Party, Quimby is the mayor of Springfield, and is a...

, Hans Moleman
Hans Moleman
Hans Moleman is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, and first appeared in the episode "Principal Charming". He normally appears in a running gag, where he usually suffers unfortunate, nearly fatal, events...

 and others
Marge
Marge Simpson
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by actress Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Patty and Selma
Bart
Bart Simpson
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...

, Nelson
Nelson Muntz
Nelson Mandela Muntz is a fictional character and bully from the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Nelson was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as a bully but later turned into a friend of Bart Simpson, who is best identified by his signature laugh .-Role...

, Ralph
Ralph Wiggum
Ralph Wiggum is a recurring fictional character on the animated series The Simpsons, voiced by Nancy Cartwright. The son of Police Chief Wiggum and a classmate of Lisa Simpson, Ralph is best known as the show's resident oddball, and is noted for his non sequiturs and erratic behavior...

, Todd Flanders, and others
Lisa
Lisa Simpson
Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening...

Moe
Moe Szyslak
Momar / Morris "Moe" Szyslak is a fictional character in the American animated television series, The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"...

, Chief Wiggum, Apu
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Apu is the proprietor of the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and a friend of Homer Simpson. He is also...

, Comic Book Guy
Comic Book Guy
Comic Book Guy is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria, and first appeared in the second-season episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", which originally aired on May 9, 1991. He is the proprietor of a comic book store, The...

, Carl, Cletus
Cletus Spuckler
Cletus Delroy Spuckler is a recurring character in the Fox animated series, The Simpsons, and is voiced by Hank Azaria. Cletus is Springfield's resident hillbilly stereotype. He is very messy and is usually portrayed wearing a white sleeveless shirt and pair of blue jeans.- Biography :Cletus was...

, Professor Frink
Professor Frink
Professor John Nerdelbaum Frink, Jr., or simply Professor Frink, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria, and first appeared in the 1991 episode "Old Money". Frink is Springfield's nerdy scientist and professor and is extremely...

, Dr. Nick and others
Mr. Burns, Smithers
Waylon Smithers
Waylon Smithers, Jr., usually referred to as Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated series The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although he could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open...

, Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders
Nedward "Ned" Flanders, Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the next door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally...

, Rev. Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
Reverend Timothy "Tim" Lovejoy is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Lovejoy is the minister at The First Church of Springfield—the Protestant church in Springfield which most of...

, Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer and first appeared in the episode "Krusty Gets Busted"...

, Dr. Hibbert
Julius Hibbert
Dr. Julius M. Hibbert, usually referred to as Dr. Hibbert, is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons. His speaking voice is provided by Harry Shearer and his singing voice was by Thurl Ravenscroft, and he first appeared in the episode "Bart the Daredevil". Dr...

, Lenny, Principal Skinner, Otto
Otto Mann
Otto Mann is a fictional character on the animated TV series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the school bus driver for Springfield Elementary School...

, Rainier Wolfcastle and others.

In addition to the main cast, Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden is an American actress, best known for providing various voices for the animated television show The Simpsons.-Biography:...

, Tress MacNeille
Tress MacNeille
Tress MacNeille is an American voice actress best known for providing various voices on the animated series The Simpsons, Futurama, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Disney's House of Mouse, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Rugrats, All Grown Up!, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, and Dave the...

, Marcia Wallace
Marcia Wallace
Marcia Karen Wallace is an American character actress, comedienne and game show panelist, primarily known for her roles in television situation comedies...

, Maggie Roswell
Maggie Roswell
Maggie Roswell is an American film and television actress and voice artist from Los Angeles, California. She is well known for her voice work on the Fox network's animated television series The Simpsons, in which she has played recurring characters such as Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss...

, and Russi Taylor
Russi Taylor
Russi Taylor is an American voice actress. She is the current voice actress of Disney's Minnie Mouse character. She has held this role since 1986, longer than any other voice actress...

 voice supporting characters. From 1999 to 2002, Roswell's characters were voiced by Marcia Mitzman Gaven
Marcia Mitzman Gaven
Marcia Mitzman Gaven is an award-winning American actress from New York. Since studying at the High School of Performing Arts and the State University of New York at Purchase, she has appeared in many musicals during her career singing in both mezzo-soprano and soprano roles...

. Karl Wiedergott
Karl Wiedergott
Karl Wiedergott, born Karl Aloysious Treaton is a German actor. He is noted for his voice work on the long-running Fox sitcom The Simpsons since 1998, voicing background characters and some celebrities such as John Travolta and Bill Clinton...

 has also appeared in minor roles, but does not voice any recurring characters. Repeat "special guest" cast members include Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks
Albert Lawrence Brooks is an American actor, voice actor, writer, comedian and director. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1987 for his role in Broadcast News...

, Phil Hartman
Phil Hartman
Philip Edward "Phil" Hartman was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, screenwriter, and graphic artist. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Hartman and his family moved to the United States when he was 10...

, Jon Lovitz
Jon Lovitz
Jonathan "Jon" Lovitz is an American comedian, actor, and singer. He is best known as a cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990.-Early life:...

, Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer,director, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos , The Godfather Part III , Forget Paris , and Up Close & Personal...

, and Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
Allen Kelsey Grammer is an American actor and comedian. He is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier...

. Following Hartman's death in 1998, the characters he voiced were retired.

Episodes will quite often feature guest voices from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, bands, musicians and scientists. In the earlier seasons, most of the guest stars voiced characters, but eventually more started appearing as themselves. Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett is an American singer of popular music, standards, show tunes, and jazz....

 was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer
Dancin' Homer
"Dancin' Homer" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 8, 1990. In the episode, Homer fires up the crowd at a Springfield Isotopes baseball game and is chosen to be the team's new mascot. He immediately becomes a...

". The Simpsons holds the world record
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

 for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a Television Series".

The show has been dubbed into several other languages
Non-English versions of The Simpsons
The animated TV show The Simpsons is an American English language animated sitcom which has been broadcast in the United States since 1989 on FOX...

, including Japanese, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. It is also one of the few programs dubbed in both French and Quebec French
Quebec French
Quebec French , or Québécois French, is the predominant variety of the French language in Canada, in its formal and informal registers. Quebec French is used in everyday communication, as well as in education, the media, and government....

.
The Simpsons has been broadcast in Arabic, but due to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

ic customs, numerous aspects of the show have been changed. For example, Homer drinks soda
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

 instead of beer and eats Egyptian beef sausages instead of hot dogs. Because of such changes, the Arabized version of the series met with a negative reaction from the life-long
Simpsons fans in the area.

Animation

Several different U.S. and international studios animate
The Simpsons. Throughout the run of the animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, the animation was produced domestically at Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo, Inc. is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer, Arlene Klasky and animator, Gábor Csupó.- History :...

. With the debut of the series, because of an increased workload, Fox subcontracted production to several international studios, located in South Korea. These are AKOM
AKOM
AKOM Productions is a South Korean animation studio in Songpa-gu, Seoul that has provided much work since its conception in 1985 by Nelson Shin. Its biggest claim to fame is the overseas animation for 200 episodes of The Simpsons, to which that number is consistently rising...

, Anivision
Anivision
Anivision Korea, Inc. is a division of Sunwoo Entertainment, a large Korean animation studio. It was founded in March 1991, and then merged with Sunwoo Entertainment in April 2000.-Filmography:*Aaahh!!! Real Monsters*As Told By Ginger*Care Bears*Duckman...

, Rough Draft Studios
Rough Draft Studios
Rough Draft Studios, Inc. is an animation studio based in Glendale, California, United States, with its sister studio Rough Draft Korea located in Seoul, South Korea. RDS was founded in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California by Gregg Vanzo...

, USAnimation, and Toonzone Entertainment
Toonzone Entertainment
Toonzone Entertainment is an animation studio that worked on The Simpsons and King of the Hill...

. A subcontractor connection to the North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n SEK studio
SEK Studio
SEK Studio is a North Korean animation studio, based in Pyongyang. It was registered in 1997 in order to take part at a festival of animated film in France...

 has been suspected but not confirmed. Artists at the U.S. animation studio, Film Roman, draw storyboard
Storyboard
Storyboards are graphic organizers in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence....

s, design new characters, backgrounds, props and draw character and background layouts, which in turn become animatics to be screened for the writers at Gracie Films for any changes to be made before the work is shipped overseas. The overseas studios then draw the inbetweens, ink and paint, and render the animation to tape before it is shipped back to the United States to be delivered to Fox three to four months later.

For the first three seasons, Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo
Klasky Csupo, Inc. is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer, Arlene Klasky and animator, Gábor Csupó.- History :...

 animated The Simpsons in the United States. In 1992, the show's production company, Gracie Films
Gracie Films
Gracie Films is an American film and television production company, created by James L. Brooks in 1986. The company has produced many award-winning films and television series, including Broadcast News, Jerry Maguire, and most notably The Simpsons...

, switched domestic production to Film Roman
Film Roman
Film Roman is an animation studio founded by Phil Roman, best known for producing the animation for The Simpsons, King of the Hill for 20th Century Fox, as well as the Garfield and Peanuts animated TV specials....

, who continue to animate the show as of 2010. In Season 14
The Simpsons (season 14)
The fourteenth season of the animated television series The Simpsons was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States between November 3, 2002 and May 18, 2003. The show runner for the fourteenth production season was Al Jean, who executive produced 21 of 22 episodes. The other...

, production switched from traditional cel animation to digital ink and paint. The first episode to experiment with digital coloring was "Radioactive Man
Radioactive Man (The Simpsons episode)
"Radioactive Man" is the second episode of The Simpsons seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 24, 1995. The episode sees the film version of the comic book series Radioactive Man set up production in Springfield. Much to Bart's disappointment, the...

" in 1995. Animators used digital ink and paint during production of the Season 12
The Simpsons (season 12)
The Simpsons 12th season began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI".The season contains four hold over episodes from the season 11 production line. The show runner for the twelfth production was Mike Scully. The season features three episodes that were produced for the...

 episode "Tennis the Menace
Tennis the Menace
"Tennis the Menace" is the twelfth episode of the twelfth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 11, 2001. In the episode, the Simpsons build a tennis court in their backyard, but Homer's inferior tennis ability...

", but Gracie Films delayed the regular use of digital ink and paint until two seasons later. The already completed "Tennis the Menace" was broadcast as made.

The series began high-definition
High-definition television
High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

 production in Season 20; the first episode, "Take My Life, Please
Take My Life, Please
"Take My Life, Please" is the tenth episode of the twentieth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 15, 2009...

", aired February 15, 2009. The move to HDTV included a new opening sequence. Matt Groening called it a complicated change because it affected the timing and composition of animation.

Characters

The Simpsons are a typical family who live in a fictional "Middle American" town of Springfield. Homer, the father, works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position at odds with his careless, buffoonish personality. He is married to Marge Simpson, a stereotypical
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

 American housewife
Homemaker
Homemaking is a mainly American term for the management of a home, otherwise known as housework, housekeeping or household management...

 and mother. They have three children: Bart, a ten-year-old troublemaker; Lisa, a precocious eight-year-old activist; and Maggie
Maggie Simpson
Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James...

, the baby of the family who rarely speaks, but communicates by sucking on a pacifier
Pacifier
A pacifier is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple given to an infant or other young child to suck upon. In its standard appearance it has a teat, mouth shield, and handle...

. The family owns a dog, Santa's Little Helper
Santa's Little Helper
Santa's Little Helper is a recurring character in the American animated television series The Simpsons. He is the pet greyhound of the Simpson family. The dog was introduced in the first episode of the show, the 1989 Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", in which his owner abandons...

, and a cat, Snowball V, renamed Snowball II in "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot". Both pets have had starring roles in several episodes. Despite the passing of yearly milestones such as holidays or birthdays, the Simpsons do not physically age and still appear just as they did at the end of the 1980s. Although the family is dysfunctional, many episodes examine their relationships and bonds with each other and they are often shown to care about one another.

The show includes an array of quirky characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople and local celebrities. The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokesters or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the comedy show SCTV
Second City Television
Second City Television is a Canadian television sketch comedy show offshoot from Toronto's The Second City troupe that ran between 1976 and 1984.- Premise :...

.

Setting

The Simpsons takes place in the fictional American town of Springfield
Springfield (The Simpsons)
Springfield is the fictional town in which the American animated sitcom The Simpsons is set. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its...

 in an unknown and impossible-to-determine U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

. The show is intentionally evasive in regard to Springfield's location. The name "Springfield" is a common one in America and appears in 22 states. Springfield's geography, and that of its surroundings, contain coastlines, deserts, vast farmland, tall mountains, or whatever the story or joke requires. Groening has said that Springfield has much in common with Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, the city where he grew up.

Themes

The Simpsons uses the standard setup of a situational comedy, or sitcom, as its premise. The series centers on a family and their life in a typical American town, serving as a satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 parody of a working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 American lifestyle. However, because of its animated nature,
The Simpsons scope is larger than that of a regular sitcom. The town of Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. By having Homer work in a nuclear power plant, the show can comment on the state of the environment. Through Bart and Lisa's days at Springfield Elementary School, the show's writers illustrate pressing or controversial issues in the field of education. The town features a vast array of media channels—from kids' television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry.

Some commentators say the show is political in nature and susceptible to a left-wing bias. Al Jean
Al Jean
Al Jean is an award-winning American screenwriter and producer, best known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss...

 admitted in an interview that "We [the show] are of liberal bent." The writers often evince an appreciation for liberal ideals, but the show makes jokes across the political spectrum. The show portrays government and large corporations as callous entities that take advantage of the common worker. Thus, the writers often portray authority figures in an unflattering or negative light. In The Simpsons, politicians are corrupt, ministers such as Reverend Lovejoy are indifferent to churchgoers, and the local police force is incompetent. Religion also figures as a recurring theme. In times of crisis, the family often turns to God, and the show has dealt with most of the major religions.

Opening sequence


The Simpsons' opening sequence
Title sequence
A Title Sequence is the method by which cinematic films or television programs present their title, key production and cast members, or both, utilizing conceptual visuals and sound...

 is one of the show's most memorable hallmarks. Most episodes open with the camera zooming through the show's title towards the town of Springfield
Springfield (The Simpsons)
Springfield is the fictional town in which the American animated sitcom The Simpsons is set. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its...

. The camera then follows the members of the family on their way home. Upon entering their house, the Simpsons settle down on their couch to watch television. The opening was created by David Silverman
David Silverman
David Silverman is an animator best known for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie...

, the first task he did when production began on the show. The series' distinctive theme song
The Simpsons Theme
"The Simpsons Theme", also referred to as "The Simpsons Main Title Theme" in album releases, is the theme song of the animated television series The Simpsons. It plays during the opening sequence and was composed by Danny Elfman in 1989, after series creator Matt Groening approached him requesting...

 was composed
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 by musician Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman
Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman is an American composer, best known for scoring music for television and film. Up until 1995, he was the lead singer and songwriter in the rock band Oingo Boingo, a group he formed in 1976...

 in 1989, after Groening approached him requesting a retro style piece. This piece has been noted by Elfman as the most popular of his career.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the opening is that three of the segments change from episode to episode: Bart writes different things on the school chalkboard, Lisa plays different solos on her saxophone, and different gags accompany the family as they enter their living room to sit on the couch. On February 15, 2009, a new opening credit sequence was introduced to accompany the switch to HDTV. The sequence had all of the features of the original opening, but added numerous details and characters.

Halloween episodes


The special Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

 episode has become an annual tradition. "Treehouse of Horror
Treehouse of Horror
"Treehouse of Horror" is the third episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1990. The episode was inspired by 1950s horror comics, and begins with a disclaimer that it may be too scary for children. It is the first of a...

" first broadcast in 1990 as part of season two
The Simpsons (season 2)
The Simpsons second season originally aired between October 11, 1990 and May 9, 1991, and contained 22 episodes, beginning with "Bart Gets an F". Another episode, "Blood Feud" aired during the summer after the official season finale. The show runners for the second production season were Matt...

 and established the pattern of three separate, self-contained stories in each Halloween episode. These pieces usually involve the family in some horror
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

, science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, or supernatural setting and often parody or pay homage to a famous piece of work in those genres. They always take place outside the normal continuity of the show. Although the Treehouse series is meant to be seen on Halloween, in recent years, new installments have premiered after Halloween due to Fox's current contract with Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

's World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

.

Humor

The show's humor turns on cultural references that cover a wide spectrum of society so that viewers from all generations can enjoy the show. Such references, for example, come from movies, television, music, literature, science, and history. The animators also regularly add jokes or sight gags into the show's background via humorous or incongruous bits of text in signs, newspapers, and elsewhere. The audience may often not notice the visual jokes in a single viewing. Some are so fleeting that they become apparent only by pausing a video recording of the show. Kristin Thompson argues that The Simpsons uses a "...flurry of cultural references, intentionally inconsistent characterization, and considerable self-reflexivity about television conventions and the status of the programme as a television show."

One of Bart's early hallmark
Hallmark
A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of precious metals — platinum, gold, silver and in some nations, palladium...

s were his prank calls to Moe's Tavern owner Moe Szyslak
Moe Szyslak
Momar / Morris "Moe" Szyslak is a fictional character in the American animated television series, The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"...

 in which Bart calls Moe and asks for a gag name
Gag name
A gag name is a false name used to elicit humor through its simultaneous resemblance to a real name on the one hand, and to a term or phrase that is funny, strange, or vulgar on the other hand. The source of the humor is the pun and double entendre; frequently, the humor arises when an unknowing...

. Moe tries to find that person in the bar, but soon realizes it is a prank call and angrily threatens Bart. These calls were based on a series of prank calls known as the Tube Bar recordings
Tube Bar prank calls
The Tube Bar prank calls are a legendary series of prank calls. Performed in the mid-1970s, John Elmo and Jim Davidson made a number of phone calls to the Tube Bar in Jersey City, asking the proprietor if they could speak to a named customer. The given names were homophones for other, often...

. Moe was based partly on Tube Bar owner Louis "Red" Deutsch, whose often profane responses inspired Moe's violent side. As the series progressed, it became more difficult for the writers to come up with a fake name and to write Moe's angry response, and the pranks were dropped as a regular joke during the fourth season. The Simpsons also often includes self-referential
Meta-reference
Metareference, a metafiction technique, is a situation in a work of fiction whereby characters display an awareness that they are in such a work, such as a film, television show or book. Sometimes it may even just be a form of editing or film-making technique that comments on the...

 humor. The most common form is jokes about Fox Broadcasting. For example, the episode "She Used to Be My Girl
She Used to Be My Girl
"She Used to Be My Girl" is the fourth episode from the sixteenth season of the animated TV series The Simpsons. It features actress Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City. It was the last episode to-date animated by Toonzone Entertainment.-Plot:...

" included a scene where a Fox News
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 van drove down the street while displaying a large "Bush Cheney 2004" banner and playing Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

's "We Are the Champions
We Are the Champions
"We Are the Champions" is a power ballad written by Freddie Mercury, recorded and performed by British rock band Queen for their 1977 album News of the World. One of their most famous and popular songs, it remains among rock's most recognisable anthems...

", in reference to the 2004 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

.

The show uses catchphrases, and most of the primary and secondary characters have at least one each. Notable expressions include Homer's annoyed grunt "D'oh!
D'oh!
"D'oh!" is a catchphrase used by the fictional character Homer Simpson, from the long-running American animated sitcom The Simpsons . It is typically used when Homer injures himself, realizes that he has done something stupid, or when something bad has happened or is about to happen to him...

", Mr. Burns' "Excellent..." and Nelson Muntz
Nelson Muntz
Nelson Mandela Muntz is a fictional character and bully from the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright. Nelson was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as a bully but later turned into a friend of Bart Simpson, who is best identified by his signature laugh .-Role...

's "Ha-ha!". Some of Bart's catchphrases, such as "¡Ay, caramba!
¡Ay, caramba!
¡Ay, caramba! comes from the Spanish interjection ¡ay! and caramba ,; which is an exclamation used in the Spanish of Spain to denote surprise...

", "Don't have a cow
Don't have a cow
Don't have a cow is a humorous cautionary phrase, dating from the late 1950s at least, possibly of US origin. The metaphoric warning means "don't get so worked up." If one pauses to reflect on the physical aspects of a human being giving birth to a full-grown cow, one can see what this phrase...

, man!" and "Eat my shorts!" appeared on t-shirts in the show's early days. However, Bart rarely used the latter two phrases until after they became popular through the merchandising
Merchandising
Merchandising is the methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity. In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer...

. The use of many of these catchphrases has declined in recent seasons. The episode "Bart Gets Famous
Bart Gets Famous
"Bart Gets Famous" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 3, 1994. In the episode, Bart gets a job as Krusty the Clown's production assistant. However, he soon becomes sick of the job and comes close to quitting....

" mocks catchphrase-based humor, as Bart achieves fame on the Krusty the Clown Show solely for saying "I didn't do it."

Idioms

A number of neologisms that originated on The Simpsons have entered popular vernacular. Mark Liberman
Mark Liberman
Mark Liberman is an American linguist. He has a dual appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, as Trustee Professor of Phonetics in the Department of Linguistics, and as a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He is the founder and director of the Linguistic Data...

, director of the Linguistic Data Consortium
Linguistic Data Consortium
The Linguistic Data Consortium is an open consortium of universities, companies and government research laboratories. It creates, collects and distributes speech and text databases, lexicons, and other resources for linguistics research and development purposes. The University of Pennsylvania is...

, remarked, "The Simpsons has apparently taken over from Shakespeare and the Bible as our culture's greatest source of idioms, catchphrases and sundry other textual allusions." The most famous catchphrase is Homer's annoyed grunt: "D'oh!
D'oh!
"D'oh!" is a catchphrase used by the fictional character Homer Simpson, from the long-running American animated sitcom The Simpsons . It is typically used when Homer injures himself, realizes that he has done something stupid, or when something bad has happened or is about to happen to him...

" So ubiquitous is the expression that it is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

, but without the apostrophe. Dan Castellaneta says he borrowed the phrase from James Finlayson
Jimmy Finlayson
James Henderson "Jimmy" Finlayson was a Scottish actor who worked in both silent and sound comedies. Bald, with a fake moustache, Finlayson had many trademark comic mannerisms and is famous for his squinting, outraged, "double take and fade away" head reaction, and characteristic expression...

, an actor in early Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema...

 comedies, who pronounced it in a more elongated and whining tone. The staff of The Simpsons told Castellaneta to shorten the noise, and it went on to become the well-known exclamation in the television series.

Groundskeeper Willie
Groundskeeper Willie
William McDougal, usually referred to as Groundskeeper Willie, is a recurring character on The Simpsons, voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He is head groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary School. Willie is a Scottish immigrant, almost feral in nature and immensely proud of his homeland...

's description of the French as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys
Cheese-eating surrender monkeys
"Cheese-eating surrender monkeys", sometimes shortened to "surrender monkeys", is a derogatory description of French people that was coined in 1995 by a writer of the television series The Simpsons. The phrase has since entered two Oxford quotation dictionaries...

" was used by National Review
National Review
National Review is a biweekly magazine founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr., in 1955 and based in New York City. It describes itself as "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."Although the print version of the...

columnist Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Jacob Goldberg is an American conservative syndicated columnist and author. Goldberg is known for his contributions on politics and culture to , of which he is editor-at-large...

 in 2003, after France's opposition to the proposed invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

. The phrase quickly spread to other journalists. "Cromulent" and "Embiggen", words used in "Lisa the Iconoclast", have since appeared in the Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon, and scientific journals respectively. "Kwyjibo", a fake Scrabble
Scrabble
Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary. Official reference works provide a list...

 word invented by Bart in "Bart the Genius
Bart the Genius
"Bart the Genius" is the second episode of The Simpsons first season, which originally aired on the Fox network on January 14, 1990. It was the first episode written by Jon Vitti. It was also the first ever episode to use the signature title sequence, as well as the first regular episode...

", was used as one of the aliases of the creator of the Melissa worm
Melissa (computer worm)
The Melissa virus, also known as "Mailissa", "Simpsons", "Kwyjibo", or "Kwejeebo", is a mass-mailing macro virus. As it is not a standalone program, it is not a worm.-History:...

. "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords", was used by Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman
Kent Brockman is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer and first appeared in the episode "Krusty Gets Busted"...

 in "Deep Space Homer
Deep Space Homer
"Deep Space Homer" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons fifth season and first aired on February 24, 1994. The episode was directed by Carlos Baeza and was the only episode of The Simpsons written by David Mirkin, who was also the executive producer at the time...

" and has become a common variety of phrase. Variants of Brockman's utterance are used to express mock submission, usually for the purpose of humor. It has been used in media, such as New Scientist
New Scientist
New Scientist is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine, which since 1996 has also run a website, covering recent developments in science and technology for a general audience. Founded in 1956, it is published by Reed Business Information Ltd, a subsidiary of...

magazine. The dismissive term "Meh", believed to have been popularized by the show, entered the Collins English Dictionary
HarperCollins
HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

 in 2008. Other words credited as stemming from the show include "yoink" and "craptacular".

The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations includes several quotations from the show. As well as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys", Homer's lines, "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is never try", from "Burns' Heir
Burns' Heir
"Burns' Heir" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 14, 1994. In the episode, Mr. Burns has a near-death experience which prompts him to find an heir to inherit his wealth after he dies...

" (season five
The Simpsons (season 5)
The Simpsons fifth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 30, 1993 and May 19, 1994. The show runner for the fifth production season was David Mirkin who executive produced 20 episodes. Al Jean and Mike Reiss executive produced the remaining two, which were both hold overs...

, 1994) as well as "Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all", from "Eight Misbehavin'
Eight Misbehavin'
"Eight Misbehavin" is the seventh episode of the eleventh season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 21, 1999...

" (season 11
The Simpsons (season 11)
The Simpsons 11th season originally aired between September 1999 and May 2000, beginning on Sunday, September 26, 1999, with "Beyond Blunderdome". The show runner for the 11th production season was Mike Scully...

, 1999), entered the dictionary in August 2007.

Television

The Simpsons was the first successful animated program in American prime time since Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
Wait Till Your Father Gets Home was an animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera that aired in first-run syndication in the United States from 1972 to 1974...

in the 1970s. During most of the 1980s, US pundits considered animated shows as appropriate only for children, and animating a show was too expensive to achieve a quality suitable for prime-time television. The Simpsons changed this perception. The use of Korean animation studios for tweening
Tweening
Inbetweening or tweening is the process of generating intermediate frames between two images to give the appearance that the first image evolves smoothly into the second image. Inbetweens are the drawings between the key frames which help to create the illusion of motion...

, coloring, and filming made the episodes cheaper. The success of The Simpsons and the lower production cost prompted US television networks to take chances on other animated series. This development led US producers to a 1990s boom in new, animated prime-time shows, such as South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

, Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

, King of the Hill
King of the Hill
King of the Hill is an American animated dramedy series created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, that ran from January 12, 1997, to May 6, 2010, on Fox network. It centers on the Hills, a working-class Methodist family in the fictional small town of Arlen, Texas...

, Futurama
Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

, and The Critic
The Critic
The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, both of whom had worked as writers on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994,...

. "The Simpsons created an audience for prime-time animation that had not been there for many, many years", said Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

creator Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane
Seth Woodbury MacFarlane is an American animator, writer, comedian, producer, actor, singer, voice actor, and director best known for creating the animated sitcoms Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show, for which he also voices many of the shows' various characters.A native of Kent,...

. "As far as I'm concerned, they basically re-invented the wheel. They created what is in many ways—you could classify it as—a wholly new medium." South Park later paid homage to The Simpsons with the episode "Simpsons Already Did It
Simpsons Already Did It
"Simpsons Already Did It" is the seventh episode of the sixth season of the American animated television series South Park, and the 86th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on June 26, 2002...

". In Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, the animated television sitcom The Samsonadzes
The Samsonadzes
The Samsonadzes is a Georgian animated television sitcom created and produced by Shalva Ramishvili. It first aired in Georgia in November 2009. It almost immediately became a "hit", "taking Georgia by storm" and "sho[oting] to the number two spot among the most-popular shows on one of Georgia's...

, launched in November 2009, has been noted for its very strong resemblance with The Simpsons, which its creator Shalva Ramishvili has acknowledged.

The Simpsons has also influenced live-action shows like Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Network. The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000, and ended its six-and-a-half-year run on May 14, 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes...

, which featured the use of sight gags and did not use a laugh track
Laugh track
A laugh track is a separate soundtrack invented by Charles "Charley" Douglass, with the artificial sound of audience laughter, made to be inserted into television programming of comedy shows and sitcoms.The term "laugh track" does not apply to the genuine audience laughter on shows that shoot in...

 unlike most sitcoms. Malcolm in the Middle debuted January 9, 2000 in the time slot after The Simpsons. Ricky Gervais
Ricky Gervais
Ricky Dene Gervais is an English comedian, actor, director, radio presenter, producer, musician, and writer.Gervais achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and frequent collaborator...

 has called The Simpsons a major influence on his British comedy The Office
The Office (UK TV series)
The Office is a British sitcom television series that was first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 9 July 2001. Created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the programme is about the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictitious...

, which also dispenses with a laugh track. Fellow British sitcom Spaced
Spaced
Spaced is a British television sitcom written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and directed by Edgar Wright. It is noted for its rapid-fire editing, frequent pop culture references and jokes, eclectic music, and occasional displays of surrealism and non-sequitur humour...

was, according to its director Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright
Edgar Howard Wright is an English film and television director and writer. He is most famous for his work with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the TV series Spaced, and for directing the film Scott Pilgrim vs...

, "an attempt to do a live-action The Simpsons."

Early success

The Simpsons was the Fox network's first television series to rank among a season's top 30 highest-rated shows. While later seasons would focus on Homer, Bart was the lead character in most of the first three seasons. In 1990, Bart quickly became one of the most popular characters on television in what was termed "Bartmania". He became the most prevalent Simpsons character on memorabilia, such as T-shirt
T-shirt
A T-shirt is a style of shirt. A T-shirt is buttonless and collarless, with short sleeves and frequently a round neck line....

s. In the early 1990s, millions of T-shirts featuring Bart were sold; as many as one million were sold on some days. Believing Bart to be a bad role model, several American public schools banned T-shirts featuring Bart next to captions such as "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" and "Underachiever ('And proud of it, man!')". The Simpsons merchandise sold well and generated $2 billion in revenue during the first 14 months of sales. Because of his popularity, Bart was often the most promoted member of the Simpson family in advertisements for the show, even for episodes in which he was not involved in the main plot.

Due to the show's success, over the summer of 1990 the Fox Network
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 decided to switch The Simpsons' time slot so that it would move from 8:00 p.m. ET
Eastern Time Zone
The Eastern Time Zone of the United States and Canada is a time zone that falls mostly along the east coast of North America. Its UTC time offset is −5 hrs during standard time and −4 hrs during daylight saving time...

 on Sunday night to the same time on Thursday, where it would compete with The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show is an American television situation comedy starring Bill Cosby, which aired for eight seasons on NBC from September 20, 1984 until April 30, 1992...

on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, the number one show
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

 at the time. Through the summer, several news outlets published stories about the supposed "Bill vs. Bart" rivalry. "Bart Gets an F
Bart Gets an F
"Bart Gets an F" is the first episode of The Simpsons second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 11, 1990. In the episode, Bart fails four consecutive history exams and the school psychiatrist recommends that Bart repeat the fourth grade...

" (season two
The Simpsons (season 2)
The Simpsons second season originally aired between October 11, 1990 and May 9, 1991, and contained 22 episodes, beginning with "Bart Gets an F". Another episode, "Blood Feud" aired during the summer after the official season finale. The show runners for the second production season were Matt...

, 1990) was the first episode to air against The Cosby Show, and it received a lower Nielsen ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

, tying for eighth behind The Cosby Show, which had an 18.5 rating. The rating is based on the number of household televisions that were tuned into the show, but Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films and newspapers...

 estimated that 33.6 million viewers watched the episode, making it the number one show in terms of actual viewers that week. At the time, it was the most watched episode in the history of the Fox Network, and it is still the highest rated episode in the history of The Simpsons.

The Simpsons has been praised by many critics, being described as "the most irreverent and unapologetic show on the air." In a 1990 review of the show, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

described it as "the American family at its most complicated, drawn as simple cartoons. It's this neat paradox that makes millions of people turn away from the three big networks on Sunday nights to concentrate on The Simpsons." Tucker would also describe the show as a "pop-cultural phenomenon, a prime-time cartoon show that appeals to the entire family."

Run length achievements

On February 9, 1997, The Simpsons surpassed The Flintstones
The Flintstones
The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that screened from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Flintstones was about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend. It...

with the episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show
"The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" is the fourteenth episode of the eighth season of The Simpsons, which originally aired February 9, 1997. In the episode, The Itchy & Scratchy Show attempts to regain viewers by introducing a hip new character named Poochie, who will be voiced by Homer...

" as the longest-running prime-time animated series in the United States. In 2004, The Simpsons replaced The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet is an American sitcom, airing on ABC from October 3, 1952 to September 3, 1966, starring the real life Nelson family. After a long run on radio, the show was brought to television where it continued its success, running on both radio and TV for a couple of years...

(1952 to 1966) as the longest-running sitcom (animated or live action
Live action
In filmmaking, video production, and other media, the term live action refers to cinematography, videography not produced using animation...

) in the United States. In 2009, The Simpsons surpassed The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriets record of 435 episodes and is now recognized by Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

 as the world's longest running sitcom (in terms of episode count). In October 2004, Scooby-Doo
Scooby-Doo
Scooby-Doo is an American media franchise based around several animated television series and related works produced from 1969 to the present day. The original series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, was created for Hanna-Barbera Productions by writers Joe Ruby and Ken Spears in 1969...

briefly overtook The Simpsons as the American animated show with the highest number of episodes. However, network executives in April 2005 again cancelled Scooby-Doo, which finished with 371 episodes, and The Simpsons reclaimed the title with 378 episodes at the end of their seventeenth season. In May 2007, The Simpsons reached their 400th episode at the end of the eighteenth season. While The Simpsons has the record for the number of episodes by an American animated show, other animated series have surpassed The Simpsons. For example, the Japanese anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 series Sazae-san has over 3,000 episodes to its credit.

In 2009, Fox began a year-long celebration of the show titled "Best. 20 Years. Ever." to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere of The Simpsons. One of the first parts of the celebration is the "Unleash Your Yellow" contest in which entrants must design a poster for the show. The celebration ended on January 10, 2010 (almost twenty years after "Bart the Genius
Bart the Genius
"Bart the Genius" is the second episode of The Simpsons first season, which originally aired on the Fox network on January 14, 1990. It was the first episode written by Jon Vitti. It was also the first ever episode to use the signature title sequence, as well as the first regular episode...

" aired on January 14, 1990) with The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!
The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!
The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special – In 3-D! On Ice! is a documentary special that examined the "cultural phenomenon" of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It aired on January 10, 2010 on Fox...

, a documentary special by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Valentine Spurlock is an American documentary filmmaker, humorist, television producer, screenwriter and journalist best known for the documentary film Super Size Me...

 that examines the "cultural phenomenon of The Simpsons".

As of the twenty-first season (2009–2010), The Simpsons became the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series, having surpassed Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West....

. However, Gunsmokes episode count of 635 episodes far surpasses The Simpsons, which would not reach that mark until its approximate 29th season, under normal programming schedules. In October 2011, Fox announced that The Simpsons had been renewed for a 24th and 25th season, which means the show will reach over 550 episodes.

Awards

The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 27 Primetime Emmy Award
Primetime Emmy Award
The Primetime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming...

s, 27 Annie Award
Annie Award
The Annie Awards have been presented by the Los Angeles, California branch of the International Animated Film Association, ASIFA-Hollywood since 1972...

s and a Peabody Award
Peabody Award
The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. In 1939, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting...

. In a 1998 issue celebrating the 20th century's greatest achievements in arts and entertainment,
Time magazine named The Simpsons the century's best television series. In that same issue, Time included Bart Simpson in the Time 100, the publication's list of the century's 100 most influential people. Bart was the only fictional character on the list. On January 14, 2000, the Simpsons were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

. Also in 2000,
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

magazine TV critic Ken Tucker named The Simpsons the greatest television show of the 1990s. Furthermore, viewers of the UK television channel Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 have voted
The Simpsons at the top of two polls: 2001's 100 Greatest Kids' TV shows, and 2005's The 100 Greatest Cartoons, with Homer Simpson voted into first place in 2001's 100 Greatest TV Characters. Homer would also place ninth on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Greatest TV icons". In 2002, The Simpsons ranked #8 on TV Guides 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
TV Guides 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time is TV Guides list of the 50 most entertaining and influential television series in American pop culture...

, and in 2007 it was included in
TIME's list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All Time". In 2008 the show was placed in first on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 100 Shows of the Past 25 Years". Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

named it the greatest TV show of all time. In 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Homer "the greatest character of the last 20 years."

Criticism and controversy

Bart's rebellious nature, which frequently resulted in no punishment for his misbehavior, led some parents and conservatives
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 to characterize him as a poor role model
Role model
The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behaviour is emulated by others".The term first appeared in Robert K. Merton's socialization research of medical students...

 for children. In schools, educators claimed that Bart was a "threat to learning" because of his "underachiever and proud of it" attitude and negative attitude regarding his education. Others described him as "egotistical, aggressive and mean-spirited". In a 1991 interview, Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in his own series, the...

 described Bart as a bad role model for children, calling him "angry, confused, frustrated". In response, Matt Groening said, "That sums up Bart, all right. Most people are in a struggle to be normal he thinks normal is very boring, and does things that others just wished they dare do." On January 27, 1992, then-President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 said, "We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons
The Waltons
The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show centered on a family growing up in a rural Virginia community during the Great Depression and World War II. The series pilot was a television...

 and a lot less like the Simpsons." The writers rushed out a tongue-in-cheek reply in the form of a short segment which aired three days later before a rerun of "Stark Raving Dad
Stark Raving Dad
"Stark Raving Dad" is the first episode of the third season of American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 19, 1991...

" in which Bart replied, "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the Depression, too."

Various episodes of the show have generated controversy. The Simpsons visit Australia in "Bart vs. Australia
Bart vs. Australia
"Bart vs. Australia" is the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 19, 1995. In the episode, Bart is indicted for fraud in Australia, and the family travels to the country so Bart can apologize...

" (season six
The Simpsons (season 6)
The Simpsons sixth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 4, 1994 and May 21, 1995 and consists of 25 episodes. The Simpsons is an animated series about a working class family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie...

, 1995) and Brazil in "Blame It on Lisa
Blame It on Lisa
"Blame It on Lisa" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons thirteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 31, 2002. In the episode, the family goes to Brazil in search of a Brazilian orphan named Ronaldo whom Lisa has been sponsoring...

" (season 13
The Simpsons (season 13)
The Simpsons thirteenth season originally aired on the Fox network between November 6, 2001 and May 22, 2002 and consists of 22 episodes. The show runner for the thirteenth production season was Al Jean who executive-produced 17 episodes...

, 2002) and both episodes generated controversy and negative reaction in the visited countries. In the latter case, Rio de Janeiro's tourist board – who claimed that the city was portrayed as having rampant street crime, kidnappings, slums, and monkey and rat infestations – went so far as to threaten Fox with legal action. Groening was a fierce and vocal critic of the episode "A Star Is Burns
A Star is Burns
"A Star Is Burns" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons sixth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 5, 1995. In the episode, Springfield decides to hold a film festival, and famed critic Jay Sherman is invited to be a judge...

" (season six
The Simpsons (season 6)
The Simpsons sixth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 4, 1994 and May 21, 1995 and consists of 25 episodes. The Simpsons is an animated series about a working class family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie...

, 1995) which featured a crossover
Fictional crossover
A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common...

 with The Critic
The Critic
The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, both of whom had worked as writers on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994,...

. He felt that it was just an advertisement for The Critic, and that people would incorrectly associate the show with him. When he was unsuccessful in getting the episode pulled, he had his name removed from the credits and went public with his concerns, openly criticizing James L. Brooks and saying the episode "violates the Simpsons' universe." In response, Brooks said "I am furious with Matt, [...] he's allowed his opinion, but airing this publicly in the press is going too far. [...] his behavior right now is rotten." "The Principal and the Pauper
The Principal and the Pauper
"The Principal and the Pauper" is the second episode of The Simpsons ninth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 28, 1997. In the episode, Seymour Skinner begins to celebrate his twentieth anniversary as principal of Springfield Elementary School when a man...

" (season nine
The Simpsons (season 9)
The Simpsons ninth season originally aired between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997 with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". The show runner for the ninth production season was Mike Scully...

, 1997) is one of the most controversial episodes of The Simpsons. Many fans and critics reacted negatively to the revelation that Seymour Skinner
Seymour Skinner
Principal W. Seymour Skinner is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. Born in Capitol City, he is the principal of Springfield Elementary School...

, a recurring character since the first season, was an impostor. The episode has been criticized by Groening and by Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer
Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons, his work on Saturday Night Live, the comedy band Spinal Tap and his radio program Le Show...

, who provides the voice of Skinner. In a 2001 interview, Shearer recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. You're taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we've done before with other characters. It's so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it's disrespectful to the audience."

The show has reportedly been taken off the air in several countries. China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 banned it from prime-time television in August 2006, "in an effort to protect China's struggling animation studios." In 2008, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 barred the show from airing on morning television as it was "unsuitable for children". The same year, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 moved to ban the show, alongside Family Guy and South Park, "and replace them with programmes teaching children to be patriotic."

Criticism of declining quality

Critics' reviews of early
Simpsons episodes praised the show for its wit, realism, and intelligence. In the late 1990s, around the airing of season ten, the tone and emphasis of the show began to change. Some critics started calling the show "tired". By 2000, some long-term fans had become disillusioned with the show and pointed to its shift from character-driven plots to what they perceived as an overemphasis on zany antics. The BBC noted "the common consensus is that The Simpsons' golden era ended after season nine
The Simpsons (season 9)
The Simpsons ninth season originally aired between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997 with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". The show runner for the ninth production season was Mike Scully...

", while Todd Leopold of CNN, in an article looking at its perceived decline, stated "for many fans the glory days are long past." Jim Schembri of the Sydney Morning Herald, despite claiming that the show was "a cultural touchstone for at least two—possibly three—generations of couch potatoes", stated that the show suffered a drastic decline in its recent seasons, which he attributed to its abandonment of character-driven storylines in favour of celebrity cameo appearance
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

s and pop culture references; "The central tragedy of The Simpsons is that it has gone from commanding attention to merely being attention seeking. It began by proving that cartoon characters don't have to be caricatures; they can be invested with real emotions. Now the show has in essence fermented into a limp parody of itself. Memorable story arcs have been sacrificed for the sake of celebrity walk-ons and punchline-hungry dialogue." Author Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. His first novel, the 1991 international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, popularized terms such as McJob and...

 described claims of declining quality in the series as "hogwash", saying "The Simpsons hasn't fumbled the ball in fourteen years, it's hardly likely to fumble it now." Mike Scully
Mike Scully
Mike Scully is an American television writer and producer. He is known for his work as executive producer and showrunner of the animated sitcom The Simpsons from 1997 to 2001. Scully grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and long had an interest in writing. He was an underachiever at school...

, who was showrunner during seasons nine through twelve
The Simpsons (season 12)
The Simpsons 12th season began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI".The season contains four hold over episodes from the season 11 production line. The show runner for the twelfth production was Mike Scully. The season features three episodes that were produced for the...

, has been the subject of criticism. Chris Suellentrop of
Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

wrote that "under Scully's tenure, The Simpsons became, well, a cartoon. Episodes that once would have ended with Homer and Marge bicycling into the sunset now end with Homer blowing a tranquilizer dart into Marge's neck. The show's still funny, but it hasn't been touching in years." When asked in 2007 how the series' longevity is sustained, Scully joked, "Lower your quality standards. Once you've done that you can go on forever."

In 2003
2003 in television
The year 2003 in television involved some significant events.Below is a list of television-related events in 2003.For the American TV schedule, see: 2003-04 United States network television schedule.-Events:-Debuts:-1940s:...

, to celebrate the show's 300th episode "Barting Over
Barting Over
"Barting Over" is an episode of The Simpsons advertised by Fox, and indicated on-screen, to be the 300th episode of the show . It aired on February 16, 2003. In this episode, Bart discovers that he used to be a child star in commercials—and that Homer blew all the money he earned...

", USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

published a pair of Simpsons related articles: a top-ten episodes list chosen by the webmaster of The Simpsons Archive
The Simpsons Archive
The Simpsons Archive, better known as snpp.com or simply SNPP , is a Simpsons fan site that has been online since 1994...

 fansite, and a top-15 list by
The Simpsons own writers. The most recent episode listed on the fan list was 1997's "Homer's Phobia
Homer's Phobia
"Homer's Phobia" is the fifteenth episode of the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 16, 1997. In the episode, Homer dissociates himself from new family friend John after discovering that John is gay...

"; the Simpsons' writers most recent choice was 2000's "Behind the Laughter
Behind the Laughter
"Behind the Laughter" is the twenty-second episode of The Simpsons eleventh season. It first aired in the United States on the Fox network on May 21, 2000. In the episode, which is a parody of the VH1 series Behind the Music, the Simpson family are portrayed as actors on a sitcom, and their...

". In 2004, Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer
Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons, his work on Saturday Night Live, the comedy band Spinal Tap and his radio program Le Show...

 criticized what he perceived as the show's declining quality: "I rate the last three seasons as among the worst, so Season Four looks very good to me now." In response, Dan Castellaneta
Dan Castellaneta
Daniel Louis "Dan" Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter. Noted for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons, he voices many other characters on The Simpsons, including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble,...

 stated "I don't agree, [...] I think Harry's issue is that the show isn't as grounded as it was in the first three or four seasons, that it's gotten crazy or a little more madcap. I think it organically changes to stay fresh."

Despite the criticism, The Simpsons manages to maintain a large viewership and attract new fans. While the first season enjoyed an average of 13.4 million viewers per episode in the U.S., the twenty-first season had an average of 7.2 million viewers. In an April 2006 interview, Matt Groening said, "I honestly don't see any end in sight. I think it's possible that the show will become too financially cumbersome... but right now, the show is creatively, I think, as good or better than it's ever been. The animation is incredibly detailed and imaginative, and the stories do things that we haven't done before. So creatively there's no reason to quit."

Comic books

Numerous Simpson-related comic books have been released over the years. So far, nine comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 series have been published by Bongo Comics
Bongo Comics
Bongo Comics Group is a comic book publishing company founded in 1993 by Steve and Cindy Vance, Bill Morrison, and Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening. It publishes comics related to the animated television series The Simpsons and Futurama, along with original material...

 since 1993. The first comic strips based on The Simpsons appeared in 1991 in the magazine Simpsons Illustrated
Simpsons Illustrated
Simpsons Illustrated was a companion magazine to the American animated television show The Simpsons. It featured, among many other things, articles and interviews about the show and comics based on the Simpsons universe...

, which was a companion magazine to the show. The comic strips were popular and a one-shot comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 titled Simpsons Comics and Stories, containing four different stories, was released in 1993 for the fans. The book was a success and due to this, the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, and his companions Bill Morrison, Mike Rote, Steve Vance and Cindy Vance created the publishing company Bongo Comics. Issues of Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Bart Simpson have been collected and reprinted in trade paperbacks
Trade paperback (comics)
In comics, a trade paperback is a collection of stories originally published in comic books, reprinted in book format, usually capturing one story arc from a single title or a series of stories with a connected story arc or common theme from one or more titles...

 in the United States by HarperCollins
HarperCollins
HarperCollins is a publishing company owned by News Corporation. It is the combination of the publishers William Collins, Sons and Co Ltd, a British company, and Harper & Row, an American company, itself the result of an earlier merger of Harper & Brothers and Row, Peterson & Company. The worldwide...

.

Film

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

, Gracie Films
Gracie Films
Gracie Films is an American film and television production company, created by James L. Brooks in 1986. The company has produced many award-winning films and television series, including Broadcast News, Jerry Maguire, and most notably The Simpsons...

, and Film Roman
Film Roman
Film Roman is an animation studio founded by Phil Roman, best known for producing the animation for The Simpsons, King of the Hill for 20th Century Fox, as well as the Garfield and Peanuts animated TV specials....

 produced The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress...

, an animated film that was released on July 27, 2007. The film was directed by long-time Simpsons producer David Silverman
David Silverman
David Silverman is an animator best known for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie...

 and written by a team of Simpsons writers comprising Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, George Meyer, Mike Reiss
Mike Reiss
Michael "Mike" Reiss is an American television comedy writer. He served as a show-runner, writer and producer for the animated series The Simpsons and co-created the animated series The Critic...

, John Swartzwelder
John Swartzwelder
John Swartzwelder is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series The Simpsons, as well as a number of novels. He is credited with writing the largest number of Simpsons episodes by a large margin...

, Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti
Jon Vitti is an American writer best known for his work on the television series The Simpsons. He has also written for the King of the Hill and The Critic series, and has served as a consultant for several animated movies, including Ice Age and Robots...

, David Mirkin
David Mirkin
David Mirkin is an American feature film and television director, writer and producer. Mirkin grew up in Philadelphia and intended to become an electrical engineer, but abandoned this career path in favor of studying film at Loyola Marymount University. After graduating, he became a stand-up...

, Mike Scully
Mike Scully
Mike Scully is an American television writer and producer. He is known for his work as executive producer and showrunner of the animated sitcom The Simpsons from 1997 to 2001. Scully grew up in West Springfield, Massachusetts and long had an interest in writing. He was an underachiever at school...

, Matt Selman
Matt Selman
Matthew "Matt" Selman is an American writer and producer. Selman grew up in Massachusetts, attended the University of Pennsylvania and was editor-in-chief of student magazine 34th Street Magazine. After considering a career in journalism, he decided to try and became a television writer...

, and Ian Maxtone-Graham
Ian Maxtone-Graham
Ian Maxtone-Graham is an American television writer and producer. He has written for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons , and has also served as a co-executive producer and consulting producer for The Simpsons...

. Production of the film occurred alongside continued writing of the series despite long-time claims by those involved in the show that a film would enter production only after the series had concluded. There had been talk of a possible feature-length Simpsons film ever since the early seasons of the series. James L. Brooks originally thought that the story of the episode "Kamp Krusty
Kamp Krusty
"Kamp Krusty" is the first episode of The Simpsons fourth season, which originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 24, 1992. During summer vacation, the children of Springfield attend Kamp Krusty, a summer camp named after Krusty the Clown. The camp is extremely...

" was suitable for a film, but he encountered difficulties in trying to expand the script to feature-length. For a long time, difficulties such as lack of a suitable story and an already fully engaged crew of writers delayed the project.

Music

Collections of original music featured in the series have been released on the albums Songs in the Key of Springfield
Songs in the Key of Springfield
Songs in the Key of Springfield is a soundtrack/novelty album from The Simpsons compiling many of the musical numbers from the series. The album was released in the United States on March 18, 1997, and in the United Kingdom in June 1997...

, Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons
Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons
Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons is the 1999 soundtrack album from The Simpsons. It takes many of the musical numbers from the series which were either not included in the previous album, Songs in the Key of Springfield, or were created since the previous album's release. The album has 53 tracks,...

and The Simpsons: Testify
The Simpsons: Testify
The Simpsons: Testify is an album that features songs from the animated television series The Simpsons. It was released on September 18, 2007 and includes songs from season 11 to season 18...

. Several songs have been recorded with the purpose of a single or album release and have not been featured on the show. The album The Simpsons Sing the Blues
The Simpsons Sing the Blues
The Simpsons Sing the Blues is the first album released as an offshoot of The Simpsons. The album contains originally recorded music not featured in the series save for the first verse of the track "Moaning Lisa Blues" which was first featured in the episode "Moaning Lisa", aired February 11, 1990...

was released in September 1990 and was a success, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 and becoming certified 2× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

. The first single from the album was the pop rap song "Do the Bartman
Do the Bartman
"Do the Bartman" is a pop rap song from the 1990 Simpsons album The Simpsons Sing the Blues. It was performed by The Simpsons cast member Nancy Cartwright and was released as a promotional single from the album on November 20, 1990. The song was written and produced by American recording artist...

", performed by Nancy Cartwright and released on November 20, 1990. The song was written by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

, although he did not receive any credit. The Yellow Album
The Yellow Album
The Yellow Album is The Simpsons second album of originally recorded songs, released as a follow up to the 1990 album The Simpsons Sing the Blues. Though it was released in 1998, it had been recorded years earlier, after the success of the first album...

was released in 1998, but received poor reception and did not chart in any country.

The Simpsons Ride

In 2007, it was officially announced that The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride
The Simpsons Ride is a simulator ride featured at the Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks. The ride is based on the animated television series The Simpsons. It was first announced in 2007 and replaced the Back to the Future: The Ride at both locations...

, a simulator ride
Simulator ride
Simulator rides are a type of amusement park ride, where the audience is shown a movie while their seats move to correspond to the action on screen.-History:...

, would be implemented into the Universal Studios Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio and theme park in the unincorporated Universal City community of Los Angeles County, California, United States. It is one of the oldest and most famous Hollywood movie studios still in use...

. It officially opened May 15, 2008 in Florida and May 19, 2008 in Hollywood. In the ride, patrons are introduced to a cartoon theme park called Krustyland built by Krusty the Clown. However, Sideshow Bob
Sideshow Bob
Robert Underdunk Terwilliger, better known as Sideshow Bob, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Kelsey Grammer and first appeared briefly in the episode "The Telltale Head". Bob is a self-proclaimed genius who is a graduate of Yale, a member of...

 is loose from prison to get revenge on Krusty and the Simpson family
Simpson family
The Simpson family is a family of fictional characters featured in the animated television series The Simpsons. The Simpsons are a nuclear family consisting of the married couple Homer and Marge and their three children Bart, Lisa and Maggie. They live at 742 Evergreen Terrace in the fictional town...

. It features more than 24 regular characters from The Simpsons and features the voices of the regular cast members, as well as Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden is an American actress, best known for providing various voices for the animated television show The Simpsons.-Biography:...

, Russi Taylor
Russi Taylor
Russi Taylor is an American voice actress. She is the current voice actress of Disney's Minnie Mouse character. She has held this role since 1986, longer than any other voice actress...

 and Kelsey Grammer
Kelsey Grammer
Allen Kelsey Grammer is an American actor and comedian. He is most widely known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier...

. Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer
Harry Julius Shearer is an American actor, comedian, writer, voice artist, musician, author, radio host and director. He is known for his long-running role on The Simpsons, his work on Saturday Night Live, the comedy band Spinal Tap and his radio program Le Show...

 decided not to participate in the ride, so none of his characters have vocal parts.

Video games

Numerous video games back on the show have been produced. Some of the early games include Konami
Konami
is a Japanese leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling toys, trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines, arcade cabinets and video games...

's arcade game
Arcade game
An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars, and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers...

 The Simpsons (1991) and Acclaim Entertainment
Acclaim Entertainment
Acclaim Entertainment was an American video game developer and publisher. It developed, published, marketed and distributed interactive entertainment software for a variety of hardware platforms, including Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, and Game Gear, Nintendo's NES, SNES, Nintendo...

's The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants is the title of the first video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons. It was released in 1991 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Atari ST, Amiga, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC, and in 1992 for Mega...

(1991). More modern games include The Simpsons Road Rage
The Simpsons Road Rage
The Simpsons Road Rage is a 2001 video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, and is part of a series of games based on the show. It was developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for the PlayStation 2, the Xbox, and the GameCube...

(2001), The Simpsons Hit & Run
The Simpsons Hit & Run
The Simpsons Hit & Run is an action-adventure video game based on the animated sitcom The Simpsons. It was released for the GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Windows in North America on September 16, 2003, In Europe and Australia on October 31, 2003 and in Japan on December 25, 2003...

(2003) and The Simpsons Game
The Simpsons Game
The Simpsons Game is an action/platformer video game based on the animated television series The Simpsons, made for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. The game was developed, published, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It was released in North...

(2007). Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts, Inc. is a major American developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers...

, who produced The Simpsons Game, have owned the exclusive rights to create video games based on the show since 2005. In 2010 they released a game called The Simpsons Arcade for the iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

. Two Simpsons pinball
Pinball
Pinball is a type of arcade game, usually coin-operated, where a player attempts to score points by manipulating one or more metal balls on a playfield inside a glass-covered case called a pinball machine. The primary objective of the game is to score as many points as possible...

 machines have been produced; one that was available briefly after the first season, and another that is still available for purchase.

Merchandise

The popularity of The Simpsons has made it a billion-dollar merchandizing industry. The title family and supporting characters appear on everything from t-shirts to posters. The Simpsons has inspired special editions of well-known board games, including Clue
Cluedo
Cluedo is a popular murder/mystery-themed deduction board game originally published by Waddingtons in Leeds, England in 1949. It was devised by Anthony E. Pratt, a solicitor's clerk from Birmingham, England. It is now published by the United States game and toy company Hasbro, which acquired its U.S...

, Scrabble
Scrabble
Scrabble is a word game in which two to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a game board marked with a 15-by-15 grid. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion and must appear in a standard dictionary. Official reference works provide a list...

, Monopoly
Monopoly (game)
Marvin Gardens, the leading yellow property on the board shown, is actually a misspelling of the original location name, Marven Gardens. The misspelling was said to be introduced by Charles Todd and passed on when his home-made Monopoly board was copied by Charles Darrow and thence to Parker...

, Operation
Operation (game)
Operation is a battery-operated game of physical skill that tests players' hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Originally made by Milton Bradley, and currently made by Hasbro it has been in production since 1965, the year in which the game was invented by John Spinello.The game is a...

, and The Game of Life
The Game of Life
The Game of Life, also known simply as LIFE, is a board game originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley, as The Checkered Game of Life . The Game of Life was America's first popular parlor game...

, as well as the trivia
Trivia
The trivia are the three lower Artes Liberales, i.e. grammar, rhetoric and logic. These were the topics of basic education, foundational to the quadrivia of higher education, and hence the material of basic education, of interest only to undergraduates...

 games What Would Homer Do? and Simpsons Jeopardy!. Several card games such as trump cards
Trump (card game)
A trump is a playing card which is elevated above its normal rank in trick-taking games. Typically an entire suit is nominated as a trump suit - these cards then outrank all cards of plain suits...

 and The Simpsons Trading Card Game
The Simpsons Trading Card Game
The Simpsons Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the popular FOX animated television series, The Simpsons. The game was published in September 2003 by Wizards of the Coast.-Card types:The game features three card types:...

 have also been released. Many official or unofficial Simpsons books such as episode guides have been published. Many episodes of the show have been released on DVD and VHS over the years. When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history, although it was later overtaken by the first season of Chappelle's Show
Chappelle's Show
Chappelle's Show is an American sketch comedy television series created by comedian Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan, with Chappelle hosting the show as well as starring in various skits. Chappelle, Brennan and Michele Armour were the show's executive producers. The series premiered on January 22,...

. In particular, seasons one through twelve have been released on DVD in the U.S. (Region 1
DVD region code
DVD region codes are a digital-rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region...

), Europe (Region 2
DVD region code
DVD region codes are a digital-rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region...

) and Australia/New Zealand/Latin America (Region 4
DVD region code
DVD region codes are a digital-rights management technique designed to allow film distributors to control aspects of a release, including content, release date, and price, according to the region...

) with more seasons expected to be released in the future.

In 2003, about 500 companies around the world were licensed to use Simpsons characters in their advertising. As a promotion for The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie
The Simpsons Movie is a 2007 American animated comedy film based on the animated television series The Simpsons. The film was directed by David Silverman, and stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress...

, twelve 7-Eleven
7-Eleven
7-Eleven is part of an international chain of convenience stores, operating under Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd, which in turn is owned by Seven & I Holdings Co...

 stores were transformed into Kwik-E-Mart
Kwik-E-Mart
The Kwik-E-Mart is a fictional chain of convenience stores in the animated television series The Simpsons. It is a parody of American convenience store chains, such as 7-Eleven and Circle K, and represents many myths and stereotypes of them. It is notorious for its high prices and the poor quality...

s and sold The Simpsons related products. These included "Buzz Cola", "Krusty-O" cereal, pink doughnuts with sprinkles, and "Squishees".

In 2008 consumers around the world spent $750 million on merchandise related to The Simpsons, with half of the amount originating from the United States. By 2009 20th Century Fox increased merchandising efforts. On April 9, 2009, the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 unveiled a series of five 44 cent stamps featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, to commemorate the show's twentieth anniversary. The Simpsons is the first television series still in production to receive this recognition. The stamps, designed by Matt Groening, were made available for purchase on May 7, 2009. Approximately one billion were printed.

External links

  • The Simpsons Archive
  • The Simpsons at the Encyclopedia of Television
    Museum of Broadcast Communications
    The Museum of Broadcast Communications is an American museum that currently exists exclusively on the Internet and not in any physical capacity. Its stated mission is "to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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