The Simpsons has been entertaining television audiences for 23 seasons and over 500 episodes over two decades. To say that it is a television institution would be an understatement, considering that it is the the longest-running American sitcom of all time. The show has been consistently funny over the years, although some people believe that it reached its peak in the 1990s and early 2000s. Regardless, this animated comedy masterpiece and its beloved characters have been able to make people laugh for a long time.
The show started out small as a feature on the Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. At that time, the characters looked and sounded much different than they do today, but the basic sensibilities of the show were installed at this time. After appearing on Ullman's show in the capacity of short, animated films, The Simpsons was finally given its own half-hour time slot on Sunday nights. It soon became a major hit for the FOX television network, and it earned praise from critics, as well.
The show was created by comedic animator and cartoonist Matt Groening who developed his original idea with legendary producer James L. Brooks. Groening named the characters after members of his own family, but he substituted the name of Bart for his own when naming the show's breakout character. Groening came up with the idea in the lobby of Brooks' office after Brooks requested ideas for animated short films, and the idea that Groening conjured so quickly that day has stuck for much longer than the creator ever thought possible.
The show follows the Simpsons family as its members deal with everyday concerns and situations. The heads of the family are beer-loving bumbler Homer and his wife, the beehive-hairdo-wearing Marge. At ten years old, the trouble-making Bart is the couple's oldest child. Lisa is the intelligent, thoughtful and aware eight year old daughter, and Maggie is the family's infant daughter, known for communicating solely through her pacifier. One of the wonders of the show is that the characters never age, even though the world has changed significantly since the program's debut. This allows each character to remain more or less static and dependable, which is one of the show's many strengths.
Throughout its long run, the show has been able to keep its talented voice-acting staff amazingly intact. Stars like Hank Azaria, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner and Harry Shearer have provided many of the voices for the show for nearly its entire run, and they have come to define the program's tone as much as anything or anyone else. In fact, the show would likely end its run if other voice actors were required to fill in for any of these stars.
The Simpsons holds a unique place in television history even as it continues to entertain audiences on Sunday nights with new episodes. Though it started small, it has blossomed into a genuine classic that is a favorite around the world. There will probably never be a show like The Simpsons again, but there will surely be imitators, even long after the show airs its last installment.
The Simpsons Full Episode Guide:
Season 24 (77 full episodes, 61 clips available)
Episode 22 - Dangers On a Train
First Aired: May 19, 2013
Episode 21 - The Saga Of Carl Carlson
First Aired: May 19, 2013
Episode 20 - Fabulous Faker Boy
First Aired: May 12, 2013
Episode 19 - Whiskey Business
First Aired: May 05, 2013
- Episode 18 - Pulpit Friction
- Episode 17 - What Animated Women Want
- Episode 16 - Dark Knight Court
- Episode 15 - Black-Eyed Please
- Episode 14 - Gorgeous Grampa
- Episode 13 - Hardly Kirk-Ing
- Episode 12 - Love Is a Many-Splintered Thing
- Episode 11 - The Changing of the Guardian
- Episode 10 - A Test Before Trying
- Episode 9 - Homer Goes to Prep School
- Episode 8 - To Cur With Love
- Episode 7 - The Day the Earth Stood Cool
- Episode 6 - A Tree Grows in Springfield
- Episode 5 - Penny-Wiseguys
- Episode 4 - Gone Abie Gone
- Episode 3 - Adventures in Baby-Getting
- Episode 2 - Treehouse of Horror XXIII
- Episode 1 - Moonshine River
- Episode 0 - Stand Up To Cancer
Season 23 (44 full episodes, 19 clips available)
- Episode 22 - Lisa Goes Gaga
- Episode 21 - Ned 'N Edna's Blend
- Episode 20 - The Spy Who Learned Me
- Episode 19 - A Totally Fun Thing Bart Will Never D...
- Episode 18 - Beware My Cheating Bart
- Episode 17 - Them, Robot
- Episode 16 - How I Wet Your Mother
- Episode 15 - Exit Through the Kwik-E-Mart
- Episode 14 - At Long Last Leave
- Episode 13 - The Daughter Also Rises
- Episode 12 - Moe Goes From Rags To Riches
- Episode 11 - The D'oh-cial Network
- Episode 10 - Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson
- Episode 9 - Holidays Of Future Passed
- Episode 8 - The Ten-Per-Cent Solution
- Episode 7 - The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants
- Episode 6 - The Book Job
- Episode 5 - The Food Wife
- Episode 4 - Replaceable You
- Episode 3 - Treehouse of Horrors XXII
- Episode 2 - Bart Stops to Smell the Roosevelts
- Episode 1 - The Falcon and the D'Ohman
Season 22 (44 full episodes, 20 clips available)
Season 21 (46 full episodes, 24 clips available)
Season 20 (42 full episodes, 26 clips available)
Season 19 (2 full episodes, 3 clips available)
Season 18 (2 full episodes)
Season 17 (2 full episodes)
Season 16 (2 full episodes)
Season 15 (2 full episodes)
Season 14 (2 full episodes, 1 clip available)
Season 13 (2 full episodes)
Season 12 (2 full episodes)
Season 11 (2 full episodes)
Season 10 (2 full episodes, 1 clip available)
Season 9 (2 full episodes, 1 clip available)
Season 8 (2 full episodes)
Season 7 (2 full episodes, 6 clips available)
Season 6 (2 full episodes, 3 clips available)
Season 5 (2 full episodes, 12 clips available)
Season 4 (2 full episodes, 61 clips available)
Season 3 (48 full episodes, 44 clips available)
Season 2 (66 full episodes, 39 clips available)
Season 1 (26 full episodes, 49 clips available)
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The Simpsons News
Homer becomes a church deacon. Guest starring Edward Norton.
Milhouse does his best to attract Lisa. Plus, Homer attempts to salvage his marriage by being a better man. Guest starring Wanda Sykes and George Takei.
Bart is falsely accused of pulling an Easter prank involving the brass section of the band. Lisa steps in to defend her brother. Guest Starring Janet Reno.
Flanders becomes envious of Homer when his parents enjoy Homer's company over his and he faces unbearable guilt after punching Homer in the eye. Guest starring Tina Fey.
Homer's obsession with the TV show "Storage Battles" inspires the family to discover Grampa's past identity.
After a shaving experiment, Milhouse suddenly resembles his father, so he and Bart experience life as adults. What kind of shenanigans will they get into?
An old love walks back into Bart's life, and Homer must win back Marge. Do they have what it takes to get the women back in their lives?
It's not so much a competitive "streak" that Lisa Simpson has - it's more of a "competitive neurosis." She doesn't tend to do well - at least initially - anywhere except the top rung of any ladder. So what will go down when Tina Fey of all people guns to make her feel squarely at home in an imperfect situation?