The Simpsons is an American animation series devised by Matt Groening. The television series has won many awards since its debut in 1989, including the Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
The series can be characterized as a sitcom or situation comedy because the episodes always revolve around the same characters. It is a satire on (American) society, whereby the typical American family is particularly cheated. The series is all about the Simpson family, consisting of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
The series was an early hit for Fox Broadcasting Company and is world famous. The television program now consists of 30 seasons with a total of more than 600 episodes. This makes it one of the longest running television series in the world.
Matt Groening came up with the characters for the series while sitting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Brooks had asked Groening to come up with a number of short animated films and Groening actually wanted to offer his Life in Hell comic series. He realized, however, that he would probably have to give up the publication rights to his life's work. That's why he changed his mind at the last minute and came up with the Simpsons.
The first short animation films were broadcast in 1987 as part of The Tracey Ullman Show. They were still short films of a maximum of 3 minutes. After three seasons of this program, the yellow family, with only four fingers on each hand and the bizarre hairstyles, was so popular that they got their own program.
The first episode of the comedy series as an independent program was broadcast on January 14, 1990 on the American television channel Fox. Instead of 3 minutes, an episode now took almost half an hour. The audience responded enthusiastically to the series and the critics were also positive. In 1990 and 1991 The Simpsons won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program.
Some scenes are well known. Among them the opening scene of The Simpsons of 25 June 1992, in which Bart wrote "Potato, not potatoe" on a blackboard. This was a parody of a 10-day event in which the then vice-president Dan Quayle visited the New Jersey Elementary School and corrected the spelling of the word "potato" with a young student by erroneously "potatoe" of it to make.
In Flanders the first 27 seasons were broadcast on VT4 and later on FOUR. Since September 29, 2012 the series is repeated on 2BE (later Q2). This channel only broadcasts season 9 through 25.
In the early years, the series also received criticism. The figure Bart Simpson was said to have a bad influence on children and American politics were regularly criticized in the series, which was not good for some of the viewers. During an interview in the magazine People (September 1990), the American first lady Barbara Bush stated that The Simpsons was "the stupidest thing she had ever seen". The staff, in the guise of Marge Simpson, wrote a letter to Mrs. Bush and asked her for nuance, after which the first lady wrote back a letter in which she apologized for her statements.
In a speech on January 27, 1992 during The National Religious Broadcasters Convention, then President George Bush said that the American family should be much more like The Waltons and much less like the Simpsons. In response, at the start of a repeat of the episode "Stark Raving Dad", the makers of the Bart Simpson series had the following: "Hey, we are just like the Waltons! We are praying for the end of the depression!".
In 1994 the students of a new school in Greenwood (South Carolina) were allowed to choose their name themselves. They chose "Springfield Elementary", the name that also had the school that Bart and Lisa Simpson visited. The school board adopted this name, unaware of the connection with the animated series. A group of parents protested against the decision about the name, arguing that Bart Simpson was a bad example for the youth. The parents demanded that the name of the school be changed. However, the school board stood firm, the school was opened in August 1994 under the name "Springfield Elementary".
In 2017, after the documentary The Problem with Apu by Hari Kondabolu about Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, it turned out that many people have long experienced the character as too stereotyped and racist. The makers of The Simpsons felt compelled to justify themselves in an episode through the mouth of Lisa Simpson. The mood did not calm down. According to YouTube star Adi Shankar, the character would be scrapped in October 2018. The producer denied.
The series also received positive reactions from viewers. According to a mother in Auburn, Washington, The Simpsons had rescued her eight-year-old son Alex when he choked on an orange. Alex's brother Chris had seen in an episode of The Simpsons how the heimlich maneuver works and thus removed the piece of food from his throat. In the episode itself, however, the technology was not shown. Homer choked and coughed up the thing himself, while his colleagues looked at a poster that said how to perform the heimlich maneuver.
The Simpsons is a satirical TV series. In particular, the "American way of life" and cultural phenomena such as well-known film scenes and television series are often parodied.
The story has several layers, so that the program can be viewed with the entire family. For young viewers there is the storyline and for older viewers there is an extra layer with subtle humor that is not noticed by the youngest viewers. Following the Simpsons, several other animated series were created that focus on (young) adults, such as Beavis & Butthead, South Park, Family Guy and Futurama, also made by Groening.
In 2011/2012, the 23rd season was broadcast in the United States. With over 500 episodes broadcast, The Simpsons became both the longest running sitcom and the longest running animated series of all time. Because The Simpsons is actually a spin-off from the original short films from The Tracey Ullman Show, it is also the longest-running spin-off of all time.
In 2018 the 636th episode was broadcast in the United States. This made The Simpsons the longest-running American primetime television series ever, animated or not.
In 2019, the American media group Fox announced that they will continue two seasons with the satirical series.
Groening, Brooks and Simon have all served as executive producers of the series. A more involved position in the series is the "Show Runner", which is the lead writer and coordinates production for an entire season. These show runners are also called executive producers in the credits.
The voices of the characters in The Simpsons are expressed by:
- Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson - and also Krusty the Clown, Grandpa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Mayor Quimby, school caretaker Willie)
- Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson, her sisters Patty and Selma Bouvier and her mother Jacqueline Bouvier)
- Nancy Cartwright (Bart and Maggie Simpson and the children Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, Database and Rod and Todd Flanders)
- Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Commissioner Clancy Wiggum, Professor John Frink, Dr. Nick Riviera, Snake Jailbird)
- Harry Shearer (Charles Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, director Seymour Skinner, pastor Timothy Lovejoy and Otto Mann)
- Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson).
They all won at least one Emmy Award for their vote in the series. There are dozens of other characters, such as teachers, police officers and shop owners, who are also spoken by the regular actors. Of course there are also writers, directors and producers working on this series.
The first, second and third season of The Simpsons was broadcast in 1991-1992 by RTL 4 in a Dutch dubbing, titled The Simpsons. Peter van Hoof, Peter Joosten, Greet Mans and Simone LeRoy were among the speakers. On December 19, 2009, Comedy Central broadcast a one-time Dutch rendition of The Simpsons to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Katja Schuurman, Ruben van der Meer and Johnny de Mol, among others, gave their votes to this festive episode.
The writing team of The Simpsons consists of 16 screenwriters who come up with proposals for new episodes in early December. The main screenwriter of each episode writes a preliminary script, which is then discussed in groups. Often jokes are added or omitted, or some text is changed. The leader of these sessions is George Meyer, who has been working on the series since the first season. The total production time of each episode is around six months, which means that the program rarely responds directly to current events or situations.
John Swartzwelder is one of the most productive writers of the series. He has 60 episodes to his name. The English comedian Ricky Gervais was the first celebrity to write an episode of The Simpsons himself.
Various American and international studios have contributed to the drawing of the series. The short films from The Tracey Ullman Show were produced by Klasky Csupo. Later, due to the increasing workload, Fox also passed the drawing on to other studios. Most of these studios were in South Korea. The American studios draw the characters and background, while the color and film work is done in international studios.
For the first three seasons, Klasky Csupo signed The Simpsons in the United States. In season four, Gracie Films switched production with Film Roman, which still draws the series.
After the thirteenth season, the production was changed from a traditional animation to an animation with digital ink and paint. The first episodes with this animation were "Radioactive Man" and "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" in 1995.
The Simpson family itself provides the main characters in the series. Creator Matt Groening inspired his names for his own family. His father's name is Homer, his mother Marge and he also has two sisters, Lisa and Maggie. Bart is the only character whose name was invented. It is a play on the word "brat" (bad boy).
- Homer Simpson is the bald, fat and especially stupid father of the family. His hobbies are eating, drinking Duff beer, eating donuts and watching television. He works at the Springfield nuclear power plant, where he makes many mistakes. If Bart makes him angry, he strangles him. Homer's statements are often so stupid that some are high on all kinds of quotation lists, such as the English Wikiquote. The best known are: Trying is the first step towards failure (as Homer aliens met): Please do not eat me! I have a wife and kids. Eat them! (Please don't eat me, I have a wife and children. Eat them!), If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing, To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems! Even more famous is his cry D'oh, which he usually uses when something does not go as planned. His response to a logical argument is with facts you can prove anything.
- Marge Simpson has long hair. The hairstyle is derived from that of the Bride of Frankenstein in the film of the same name. She is a housewife, but she does a profession in some episodes. When the rest of the family or the city plans something stupid, it is often the only one that remains reasonable. She regularly succumbs to the stress of her difficult life and concerns about her family. Her family name is Bouvier, just like that of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Just like her roommate, she wears Chanel couture. The religious Margin is the stable factor in the labile family.
- Bart Simpson is a 10-year-old boy with spine haircut. He gets all kinds of mischief and rebels against any kind of authority, even though he often commits stupidities. Yet he is not really a bad person, since he often feels empathy or guilt for his environment. Bart is a popular boy at school and a good friend of Milhouse Van Houten.
- Lisa Simpson is 8 years old and the misunderstood genius. She is very intelligent and socially committed to her age, but therefore often lonely. She has the same haircut as Maggie. Lisa enjoys reading, playing the saxophone and has been a Buddhist since the episode She of Little Faith.
- Maggie Simpson is the baby in the family. She can't talk (at least not when there are other people). Her full name is Margaret Maggie Simpson. In an episode she pops Mr. Burns, the stingy boss of the nuclear power plant, and a mafia gang, and attacks Homer with a nail gun. Her hairstyle consists of 7 to 8 large spines. She always has a red pacifier in her mouth and when this hair is taken away she almost invents ingenious plans to get it back.
The world of The Simpsons also consists of a whole series of secondary characters. The best known of these are:
Family members/pets of The Simpsons
- Abraham (Grampa) Simpson is the father of Homer and grandfather of Bart, Lisa and Maggie. He lives in a retirement home. His favorite television program is Matlock. Grampa is senile, demented and falls asleep at the most odd moments. He was a soldier in World War II and, according to his often incoherent stories, he tried to seduce Adolf Hitler in a transvestite cabaret.
- Patty and Selma Bouvier are the cynical, chain-smoking sisters of Marge. They are owned by the MacGyver television series and hate Homer. Patty is a lesbian.
- Jacqueline Bouvier is the mother of Marge. She is terribly old and can barely talk because of the smoke. Her husband worked as a flight attendant on a plane (Marge thought he was a pilot).
- Mona Simpson is the mother of Homer. Once the unfortunate (housewife) of Abraham (grandfather) Simpson, who when Homer was a child abandoned her family to take action in the spirit of the free-spirited 60s. Abraham lied to Homer for years before she passed away. In the episode Mona Leaves-a she actually dies.
- Herbert Powell is the half-brother of Homer, a result of a free-range of Grampa. Herb is a car manufacturer, but after getting to know Homer he gets hit by a wreck when Homer designs a car for him. Afterwards he becomes an inventor and again rich with a translation machine for baby babbling.
- Snowball is the name of all males that the Simpson family had. Snowball I and Snowball II lived with the family for a long time before they died. Snowball III and Snowball IV died in the same episode, after which Snowball V, an exact copy of Snowball II, appeared. However, the family decided to call Snowball V just Snowball II, so that at the end of the episode, everything was the same as before.
- Santa's Little Helper is the greyhound of the Simpson family. It is a very stupid and poorly trained animal. He joined the Simpson family in the first episode, Simpson's Roasting on an Open Fire, in which he lost the dog race on which Homer had wagered his entire end-of-year bonus.
Characters at Bart and Lisa's school
- Seymour (Principal) Skinner (Armin Tamzarian) is the director of the local school. He is a former soldier who still lives with his mother, where he is firmly held under the slab. He often has traumatic flashbacks to his Vietnam time. In the episode The Principal and the Pauper it becomes clear that Armin Tamzarian has taken over the identity of a fellow soldier and called himself "Seymour Skinner".
- Agnes Skinner is the dominant and slightly senile mother of Skinner.
- Superintendent Gary Chalmers, school supervisor who always comes to inspect the school at the most unfortunate moments and thereby causes Principal Skinner to panic.
- Groundskeeper Willie is the school's grumpy caretaker. He is of Scottish descent and therefore speaks with a heavy accent. He lives in a cabin behind the school building. Has various weird hobbies, such as spying on people with a camera or collecting fat for his retirement.
- Otto Mann is the school bus driver of Springfield Elementary School. He is more interested in heavy metal and drugs than in other things. He somehow manages to get the children to school safely.
- Edna Krabappel is Bart's teacher. Krabappel is a frustrated teacher who is hopelessly trying to touch a man, but currently has a relationship with Ned Flanders, the neighbor of the Simpsons. She hates Bart, who constantly sets the class on their feet. She also hates her director, Seymour Skinner, but she has already had some relationships with it. After the death of voice actress Marcia Wallace, her character from the series was written.
- Elizabeth Hoover, the very uninterested teacher of Lisa's class. Among other things, she struggles with a drinking problem.
- Nelson Muntz, bully at Bart's school. He constantly teases and harasses everyone around him and laughs at them with his typical smile: HA-ha!
- Jimbo Jones, Dolph Timmerman and Kearney are already somewhat older adolescents who often bully the students at school. Allegations are regularly made to the fact that Kearney is already of age: he even has a son.
- Milhouse Van Houten, Bart's boyfriend. He is wearing glasses with very thick glasses. He is very intelligent, but also often the victim of all kinds of accidents and bullying. In some episodes it is suggested that he has homosexual tendencies, while other episodes show that he is in love with Bart's sister Lisa. His parents, Kirk and Luann, have been divorced in the series since the episode A Milhouse Divided.
- Martin Prince, a gifted streber in Bart's class. He is usually very absorbed in his rather unhappy hobbies and interests and is therefore very popular with teachers and less popular with his peers.
- Ralph Wiggum is the stupid, naive son of Chief Wiggum. He's in Lisa Simpson's class. Ralph is very childish and simple.
- Sherri and Terri, twin sisters from Bart's class. They have a rather underhanded character.
- Üter, an exchange student of German descent.
- Wendell Borton, a pale boy with curly hair, who must always vomit.
Characters at Homers work
- Charles Montgomery Burns, usually Mr. Called Burns, the eccentric, selfish owner of the Springfield nuclear power plant. He is an evil, unscrupulous 104-year-old businessman who is so physically weak that his assistant Smithers has to perform many tasks for him. His stop word is excellent.
- Mr. Waylon Smithers, Mr.'s loyal assistant Burns who are not open about his (homosexual) feelings towards Mr. Burns talks. Mr. is himself Burns barely aware of Smithers' feelings for him.
- Lenny Leonard and Carl Carlson, two colleagues from Homer. In later episodes, a homosexual relationship between them is suggested. Despite his dark skin color, Carl is of Icelandic descent.
- Krusty the Clown (Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski) is a TV clown of Jewish descent. He has had his own children's program since 1964, which he presents together with Sideshow Bob, and later Sideshow Mel. In addition, Krusty is also a bitter entertainer who is addicted to cigarettes, gambling and porn and is not very concerned about his youthful fans. He regularly releases all kinds of dangerous merchandising products.
- Mr. Teeny, Krusty's trained monkey. Smokes cigars and roller skates.
- Sideshow Mel, Krusty's sidekick in his TV show. He is wearing a large bone in his curly hair. Mel's main trait is his loud opera tenor voice, which often reinforces his statements. In most episodes he pops up in crowds and then makes a dramatic statement with a loud voice. He is the successor of Sideshow Bob, Bart's arch enemy.
- Itchy and Scratchy is a cartoon series broadcast on Krusty's shows. The short films revolve around a cat (Scratchy) and a mouse (Itchy) who fight each other in a very bloody violent way. This is a parody of Tom and Jerry.
- Kent Brockman, local news reader and TV presenter. He is very fond of sensation and is often carried away by media hypes and questionable messages.
- Bumblebee Man, a Mexican comedian who has his own TV show in which he is to dress up experiencing all kinds of accidents. His best known statements are: ¡Ay, ay, ay, no me gusta! (I don't like it!), ¡Ay, ay, ay, no es bueno! (That's no good!) And ¡Ay, Dios no me ama! (God doesn't love me!). His surreal experiences were inspired by a real-life Mexican sketch show El Chapulín Colorado, in which the comedian plays a grasshopper.
- Rainier Wolfcastle, a film actor of Austrian origin who plays in the mindless action films as the character McBain. He is a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Troy McClure is a media television actor. He introduces himself always with the phrase Hi, I'm Troy McClure, then there is usually something like you might remember me from Such movies as.... He was also married to Selma Bouvier. The character was canceled after the death of its interpreter, Phil Hartman.
- Radioactive Man, a cartoon character and parody of superheroes such as Superman and Spiderman. He obtained his super powers after an atomic bomb explosion and is assisted by his sidekick Fall-Out Boy (parody of Robin from Batman). Most guys in Springfield are enthusiastic fans of the series.
Characters with independent professions
- Judge Constance Harm, a hard but just judge.
- Joe Quimby, the corrupt and adulterous mayor of Springfield.
- Momar (Moe) Szyslak is the owner and manager of Homer's regular bar Moe's Tavern. Homer often considers him his best friend. Moe often deals with shady things, for example in the episode The Springfield Files, in which he houses an orca in his bar. He also organizes illegal betting. In the early years of the series, Moe was invariably the victim of telephone games from Bart and Lisa. In the recent seasons, more emphasis is placed on the lonely, suicidal side of Moe. In Bart-Mangled Banner he tells that he is of Dutch descent and the café ends in a few clogs. In Bart's Inner Child, however, he appears to be of Italian descent.
- Chief Clancy Wiggum is the head of Springfield's police force. It is corrupt, oil stupid and very easy to manipulate. He is married and has a son, Ralph.
- Dr. Julius Hibbert is the doctor and friend of the Simpson family. He is best known for his constant laughter, which even occurs during operations, funerals and when he has to tell bad news. He is probably the lost half-brother of Bleeding Gums Murphy.
- Dr. Nick Riviera is the surgeon who performs surgery very cheaply and often goes wrong, so more specifically a quack. When he enters a room, he says: Hi everybody, to which everyone always answers: Hi Doctor Nick.
- Professor John Frink is a stereotypical crazy professor who makes all kinds of crazy inventions. He is a parody of the characters of comedian Jerry Lewis, which is especially noticeable by his strange voice. Jerry Lewis plays his father in one episode.
- Dr. Marvin Monroe, a pseudo scientist and psychiatrist with a very raspy voice.
- Ned Flanders, the devout and extremely Christian neighbor of the Simpsons and owner of a shop that only sells items for left-handed people. Ned is a very good, helpful and friendly man, in fact the ideal neighbor, but that is why Homer hates him so much. Homer often borrows things from Flanders that he no longer gives back and in various episodes Homer Ned also tries to bother him and even stand life. Ned was originally married to Maude and has two children, Rod and Todd. Maude died in a later episode. Flanders could hardly get angry in the early seasons, but since Hurricane Neddyhe has become a bit more assertive. Over the years, he has also become increasingly conservative and prudish. He desperately tries to follow the Bible to the letter, even the passages that contradict each other.
- Comic Book Guy is the very big manager of a comic shop. He is a very intelligent man, but constantly expresses himself in sarcastic criticism. He charges an extortionate price for each item he sells in his store. In addition, the man also has an obsession with all kinds of popular cultural and cult issues, such as comics, cartoons, films and television series. In episode S16E08, he introduces himself as Jeff Albertson. He is a big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek.
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is the optimistic Indian owner of the Kwik-E-Mart supermarket. He never stops working. In the episode 22 Short Films About Springfield, he once took 5 minutes of vacation. He later married through an arranged marriage to Manjula. Together they received an eight, which means that Apu regularly ends up on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
- Timothy (Reverend) Lovejoy is the local pastor who delivers deadly boring sermons and is mainly concerned with raising money. He is extremely conservative, hypocritical and criticizes anyone who is not Christian, pious or righteous enough. Nevertheless, he even hates Ned Flanders because it often harasses him with questions of faith.
- Helen Lovejoy, wife of Reverend Lovejoy. She is a very conservative woman who deals with gossiping and reacting to issues that the youth must be protected against. Her catch phrase is: Won't somebody please think of the children?
- Hans Moleman, an apparently very old man who got such a grotesque appearance through alcoholism. He is actually only 31 years old. In many episodes he is the victim of very painful accidents.
- Lionel Hutz, a very unreliable and shady lawyer who loses more lawsuits than he wins. The character was canceled after the death of its interpreter, Phil Hartman.
- Cookie Kwan, a competitive businesswoman of Asian descent.
- Lindsey Naegle, a businesswoman with often dubious plans.
- Drederick Tatum, a little brainy boxer with a large criminal record and childlike voice. It is based on Mike Tyson.
- The Rich Texan, a stereotyped Texan oil billionaire who is in the habit of calling Yiiihaaa! to shoot with his revolvers in the air.
- Bleeding Gums Murphy, black jazz saxophonist that Lisa likes. He played mainly in the early seasons, but died in the series in the episode Round Springfield and has since been taken away.
- Captain Horatio McCallister, a stereotyped sailor, whose most famous stop word: Arrr! is.
- Snake Jailbird, a criminal who regularly attacks Apu Nahasapeemapetilons store and ends up in jail. He often escapes through Wigga's naivety and stupidities.
- Robert (Sideshow Bob) Underdunk Terwilliger is the former assistant of Krusty the Clown (replaced by Sideshow Mel). He ended up in jail after he wanted Krusty to pay for a robbery. Afterwards he tried, among other things, to kill Krusty, blow up Springfield and kill Selma, Marge's sister. His attempts are invariably prevented by Bart, causing him to have a great hatred of him. As a result, Bart is often also the target of his criminal plans.
- Fat Tony is a Mafia boss from Springfield. He is always accompanied by the gangsters Legs and Louie.
- Jasper Beardley is Grampa's best friend in the retirement home. He is myopic and sometimes even blind and has a leg prosthesis.
- The baby with one eyebrow (Baby Gerald) is the sworn enemy of Maggie Simpson. That is because he wants to be Marge's baby and is therefore jealous of Maggie.
- Bernard (Barney) Gumble is a regular customer of Moe and a good friend of Homer. Barney's main trait was his alcohol addiction. In one of the episodes, Mr. Plow, it appears that Homer is responsible for Barney's alcohol problem. Many of Barney's statements are concluded with a farmer. When he is sober, Barney turns out to be artistically gifted: he makes a prize-winning film and has a beautiful singing voice. Nowadays Barney is released from his addiction and has a job as a helicopter pilot.
- The guy who always says yééés is a very rare extra (5 or more times in the entire series) with a very strange way of speaking. He always says yes! (ie pronounced). His real name is unknown. He also has a Brazilian double, but he always says "siii!" The character is based on a character from comedian Jack Benny.
- DuffMan is the human mascot of the Duff brewery. He mainly appears in episodes in which parties occur. His characteristic quote is: Duffman, oooh YEAH! Another famous quote from him is Duffman can never be, only the actors who play him, oh yeah! When he appears on the scene, the song Oh yeah from the Swiss electro pop formation Yello always sounds.
- Disco Stu, a man obsessed with disco.
- Cletus Spuckler, a stereotypical hillbilly farmer from the southern states of the US. He is very stupid and very messy. In several episodes it is suggested that his wife Brandine would be his sister. It is not clear how many children the couple have, they themselves do not know exactly.
- Gil Gunderson, a very insecure, depressed man whose attempts to build a successful career always fail. He is a parody of Jack Lemmon's character in the Glengarry Glen Ross film.
- Luigi Risotto, a stereotypical Italian restaurant owner, who always seems very friendly when taking the order, but when he passes the order on to the cook, he always scolds the guests behind their backs.
- Squeaky Voiced Teen, a young person whose voice always skips. He usually did all kinds of poorly paid jobs, which he usually loses again due to his fumbling.
- Spider-pig/Harry Plopper is a pig that is saved by Homer in the film. It is unclear whether he survived the end of the film, but rumors are that the pig is coming back in series 19. It has its own theme song (Spider-pig) that can be heard in the credits of the film.
- Blinky is a fish with three eyes due to the radioactive waste from the nuclear power plant in the water. Bart once fished it from a river near Mr. Nuclear Power Station. Burns.
- Kang & Kodos, two aliens that usually only play in the Treehouse of Horror episodes.
- Matt Groening, the creator of the series, was born in Portland and has several characters named after street names that occur in the city. That's how Bob Terwilliger, Ned Flanders, Mayor Quimby and Pastor Lovejoy get their name.
- In the intro of all episodes, Maggie is scanned at a cash register. The price indicated is $847.63 (the makers had once read in a magazine that this is the price that parents pay for a baby each year). In the episode The Simpsons' 138th Episode Spectacular, it was claimed that the cash register indicates NRA4EVER, which refers to the National Rifle Association. According to Troy McClure, this was one of the many right-wing references that are hidden in every episode. In fact it is the other way around: The Simpsonsis often blamed for being a very left-wing (liberal) program. Many of the makers are also on the left politically. That is why they put this joke in the episode. Yet the series is mocking both sides of the political spectrum.
The home of the Simpson family and their friends is the town of Springfield. The location of this city is never mentioned in the episodes and the makers ensure that it cannot be traced. As a result, the search for the exact location has become a "running gag" within the series. The only thing that is certain is that Springfield is somewhere in the United States. Almost every US state has already been designated as a location, but has also been excluded as a contender. The only clue that is consistent in the series is that Springfield belonged to the Northern during the American Civil War.
Springfield usually borders the ocean, but there are also snow-capped peaks (including the Murderhorn), desert landscapes and forests nearby. In winter a lot of snow can fall, while summers are usually very hot. We also know that in 1979 a major hurricane raged over Springfield. We can conclude that Springfield is constantly being adjusted by the makers, so that all possible adventures can be experienced.
Springfield borders Shelbyville and the inhabitants of both cities hate each other. The capital of the state is Capital City. Some episodes take place in another country. In 2007, following the release of the Simpsons film, an election of the real Simpsons city was held between all American cities named Springfield.
One of the big successes of the series is that the producers of The Simpsons have always managed to get several celebrities to give their vote to the series:
- Buzz Aldrin
- Steve Allen
- Gillian Anderson
- Christina Applegate
- Alec Baldwin
- Drew Barrymore
- Tony Bennett
- Tony Blair
- Ernest Borgnine
- Russell Brand
- Mel Brooks
- Pierce Brosnan
- James Brown
- Steve Buscemi
- George Carlin
- Johnny Cash
- Sacha Baron Cohen
- Glenn Close
- Gary Coleman
- Elvis Costello
- David Crosby
- Danny DeVito (2 episodes)
- Kirk Douglas
- David Duchovny
- 50 Cent
- Jodie Foster
- Peter Frampton
- Lady Gaga
- Richard Gere
- Mel Gibson
- Kelsey Grammer (12 episodes)
- Green Day (in the movie The Simpsons Movie)
- Guns N 'Roses
- George Harrison
- Mark Hamill
- Tony Hawk
- Stephen Hawking (multiple episodes)
- Cypress hill
- Dustin Hoffman
- Ron Howard (multiple episodes)
- Helen Hunt
- Eric Idle
- Michael Jackson
- Mick Jagger
- The Jerky Boys
- Elton John
- Tom Jones
- Stephen King
- Lenny Kravitz
- Lisa Kudrow
- Lucy Lawless
- Stan Lee
- Jack Lemmon
- Jerry Lewis
- Rob Lowe
- Jackie Mason
- Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney
- Ian McKellen
- Bette Midler
- The Moody Blues
- Michael Moore
- Frankie Muniz
- Sam Neill
- Willie Nelson
- Paul Newman
- Leonard Nimoy
- * NSYNC
- Dolly Parton
- Matthew Perry
- Tom Petty
- Michelle Pfeiffer
- Tito Puente
- Daniel Radcliffe
- The Ramones
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Little Richard
- Keith Richards
- Lionel Richie
- Kid Rock
- Dennis Rodman
- Mickey Rooney
- JK Rowling
- Pete Sampras
- Brian Setzer
- The Smashing Pumpkins
- Sonic Youth
- Jerry Springer
- Ringo Starr
- Patrick Stewart
- Meryl Streep
- Elizabeth Taylor
- James Taylor
- Christopher Walken
- Barry White (multiple episodes)
- Betty White
- The White Stripes
- The Who
- "Weird Al" Yankovic
The opening video of the Simpsons is always a bit different. The opening film has thus become one of the best known features of the series. The opening tune of the video was composed by Danny Elfman.
A few things that differ per film clip are:
- Quite early to see the movie Bart that punishment rules writes on the blackboard. The text of these criminal rules differs per episode the so-called blackboard joke.
- Lisa can be seen halfway through a music lesson. She plays a different melody on her saxophone per episode.
- The video ends with the Simpson family who want to sit on the couch in their living room, but this always fails in a different way: the bank joke.
In 2009 the opening video was adapted for High-definition television and two extra jokes were added:
- Right at the start, when the text "The Simpsons" appears in the clouds, something or someone flies by (like a crow with three eyes, or Homer in a garden chair attached to balloons).
- When the camera then zooms in on the school, a billboard is displayed with something different on each episode.
Each season (excluding the first) contains an episode entitled "Treehouse of Horror", followed by a number in Roman numerals. These are the Halloween specials, which of course revolve around the typical American Halloween party and are broadcast. The exception to this is season 25, in which the "Treehouse of Horror" episode was broadcast in early October instead of around Halloween. Each episode consists of three short segments that each revolve around a different theme. In contrast to the regular series, these specials are much more absurd and more use is made of all kinds of fantasy figures, such as aliens, zombies and vampires.
The catch phrases from the series are world famous. "D'oh", Homer's expression of disappointment or frustration, made Webster's New World Dictionary. Bart's quotes as "Eat my shorts", "Smell you later" and "¡Ay, caramba!" are also known worldwide.
A lot of merchandising has been brought to market for The Simpsons, such as cups, towels, T-shirts, puzzles, computer games, comics, books and DVDs (see List of publications by The Simpsons).
The Simpsons have had a serious hit single, also in the Netherlands and Flanders: Do The Bartman from 1991, from the album The Simpsons Sing the Blues.
However, the broadcasting rights are a greater source of income: the series is broadcast in around 70 countries.
Prizes and achievements
The series has won many awards, including 27 Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. On January 14, 2000, the Simpsons received their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On 9 February 1997, The Simpsons surpassed the animation series The Flintstones as the longest-running primetime animation series in America with the episode "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show".
The series is in 2016/2017 working on its 28th season.
For years there had been plans for a big cinema film about the Simpsons. The story of the Kamp Krusty episode was originally written for a movie, but it didn't happen.
On July 27, 2007 was the worldwide premiere of the first Simpsons movie. The Simpsons Movie was directed by Simpson producer David Silverman. In the contract with the voice actors, an option has been kept open for three animation films.