'The Simpsons' Fans To Attempt Landmark Endurance Feat
And to think, it wasn't even six months ago that it looked like "The Simpsons" may have met their end.
Instead, with the 23-season immortal FOX animated sitcom nearing its 500th episode, devotees will honor the show's seemingly eternal life Feb. 8 by attempting a Guinness World Record-breaking marathon run-through of the series. The network is offering up $10,500 to the last fan standing in the Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge who could potentially watch a consecutive 86 hours, six minutes and 42 seconds at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. The winner will also reportedly take home some great "Simpsons" swag that includes some items designed just to commemorate the 500th show, according to the show's official Facebook page.
Just to clarify, that absolutely entails watching every single existing episode, including the show's landmark 500th.
Fans can keep tabs on the event at http://www.facebook.com/thesimpsons or at http://www.thesimpsons.com to keep up to date on the location, the start time of the contest and how to register. Fans on location can watch the entire event from a special fan area with interactive animation cells and other activities looking back on the show's two-decades-plus run. Outside L.A., the Facebook page and the show's official website will have video and photo updates from the marathon record attempt.
The actual 500th episode, called "At Long Last Leave," airs Feb. 19 on FOX at 8 PM ET/PT. In it, the Simpson family face eviction by fed-up citizens of Springfield and go off-the-grid outside city limits.
Think for a moment about the staggering feat "The Simpsons" will achieve. In the time the show has been consecutively on the air, "Family Guy" has been green-lit, canceled, then resurrected. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening's other revered animated sitcom, "Futurama," received a four-season run on FOX, followed by cancelation, a cult following on DVD, several direct-to-DVD films, and finally a resurrection on Comedy Central lasting another three seasons and counting. Count also such fondly remembered favorites as "24," "Arrested Development" and "MadTV" among the shows that have both come and gone since the show began.
And yet, Springfield's yellow fellows have marched on. That's worth 86 reverent hours and then some.