It may be hard to believe but America’s first family of animation, The Simpsons, are 29 years old this day.
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 649 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and number of episodes.
1. The Simpsons are the longest-running US sitcom, the longest-running US animated programme, and the longest-running scripted primetime TV series of all time
2. All the characters in The Simpsons have three fingers and a thumb on each hand. The only character with four fingers and a thumb is God.
3. It takes between six to eight months to create each episode.
4. Homer’s favorite phrase “D’oh” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2001
5. The main voice actors for the show originally earned $30,000 per episode. Today, it’s an eye-watering $300,000 per episode.
6. President George H Bush lambasted the show in 1992 saying he wanted American families to be “a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons”. The writers hit back with Bart saying “Hey, we’re just like the Waltons. We’re praying for an end to the Depression”.
7. Bart is an anagram of ‘Brat’
8. Matt Groening called the town Springfield because there are so many cities with that name in the US. The real home state has never been revealed.
9. Milhouse Van Houten’s middle name is Mussolini.
10. In 1990, Do The Bartman topped the Irish Singles Chart for nine weeks. The song was written and produced by Michael Jackson.
11. Groundskeeper Willie’s phrase about the French being “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” was revived as a slur during France’s opposition to the Iraq War
12. One of the best-known former writers is Conan O’Brien, who was a contributor in the 1990s. Other famous names to have written for the show include Ricky Gervais and Seth Rogen
13. Homer once gatecrashed a U2 concert by telling the security that he’s “the Potato man”. A relieved Paul McGuinness replies “Where the hell have you been?”.
14. Among many other Irish references is the revelation that the Whacking Day holiday (to kill the local snake population) was invented in 1924 as an excuse to beat up the Irish.
15. Despite being a long-held ambition a Simpsons’ movie only came to pass in 2007.
16. The length of the opening scene couch gag is dependent upon how long the episode is i.e it’s all about padding.
17. Lisa’s first word was “Bart” and Maggie’s was “Daddy”, the first words out of young Bart’s mouth were “Ay caramba!”.
18. Springfield hillbillies Cletus and Brandine have 44 children. Their names include Crystal Meth, Incest, Dubya, Normal-Head Joe, and Mary WrestleMania.
19. Smithers was originally meant to be African-American. Writers thought it was too much having a character who was both gay and black, so changed his skin color but kept him gay.
20. It took Danny Elfman just two days to compose The Simpsons’famous theme in 1989.
21. In 1998, TIME Magazine named Bart Simpson as one of the most influential people of the century.
22. The Simpsons made the word “meh” popular.
23. Originally, Krusty was going to be Homer’s secret identity. That’s why the two look similar and share mannerisms
24. Sideshow Bob’s prisoner number was 24601, the same as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.
25. And finally….a child that was Bart’s age when The Simpsons first premiered would now be the same age as Homer.