Happy Anniversary Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie!
On April 5, 1987, prime time television on the FOX network was launched. The first shows that made their debuts were Married With Children and The Tracey Ullman Show, which featured an animated short about a dysfunctional cartoon family called The Simpsons. These shorts aired from April 17, 1987 until May 14, 1989.
Several months later on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons broke out on their own and expanded to a 30 minute series. And the rest as the saying goes, is history. The Simpsons is now in its 29th season and has aired 627 episodes making it the longest running American sitcom and animated series. In the changing landscape of television program especially with the many formats available for viewing, that’s a tremendous feat.
As one of the viewers when prime time television on FOX was launched that day in 1987, I watched the line-up of shows. My favorites were 21 Jumpstreet, Werewolf and Married With Children. I wasn’t a big comedy fan, but for some reason which I can’t remember, decided to watch The Tracey Ullman Show. In my opinion, the best part of it was The Simpsons. I found myself eagerly wanting the other sketches to end so I could see The Simpsons. Soon, my interest in The Tracey Ullman Show waned; I only recorded it on my VCR and fast-forward the episode until I got to The Simpsons sketch. I remember wishing that The Simpsons had their own show so I didn’t have to tape The Tracey Ullman Show. Little did I know at the time I would soon get my wish.
The first episode of The Simpsons called “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” aired on December 17, 1989. It earned a whooping rating of 26.7 million viewers.
There was no doubt about it, FOX had a hit. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted the wide range appeal (and longevity) of The Simpsons. Viewers continue to tune in on Sunday night to watch the antics of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and the other residents of Springfield. It doesn’t matter that Bart and Lisa will forever remain in Elementary School (Though we have gotten episodes that have shown them as adults) and Maggie is the pacifier sucking baby, The Simpsons is great because it doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. After all, The Simpsons think a cartoon called “Itchy and Scratchy” in which a cat and mouse meet their ends from violent deaths is funny! Like The Bundys of Married With Children, viewers seems to enjoy seeing a family being themselves, flaws and all. I guess it’s because real life is tough and if we can escape the harsh realities of the world through silly antics, it helps us get through it.
So, here’s to The Simpsons. This viewer thanks you for being a part of her Sunday night these past twenty-eight years.
Photos Taken from Internet; Credit Given to original sources
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