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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.

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Sunday 8:00 PM et/pt on FOX
25 Seasons, 553 Episodes - Currently Airing
Animation & Cartoons, Comedy
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The Simpsons Full Episode Guide

  • Nelson bullies Milhouse so that Bart can win the annual "last day of school" race, leaving Bart feeling a little guilty. Homer works to bring the 4th of July fireworks back.

  • Marge decides no more friends when Homer offends their new British neighbors.

  • Homer wakes up in Lego world where everyone including his family are made of Legos. He needs to figure out how he got there and how to get back home before he's stuck there forever.

  • After Bart casts a spell on a voodoo doll, his teacher becomes unexpectedly pregnant. Soon, many couples wanting to get pregnant come seeking Bart’s help.

The Simpsons News

Every Single 'The Simpsons' Episode Will Be Available Online Soon

Are you ready for the ultimate binge-watch? As one of the longest-running shows still on the air today, "The Simpsons" is a television staple. But the animated comedy is about to find a secondary home online. Simpsons World is the latest endeavor from cable network FXX, and will soon offer every single episode of "The Simpsons" to date available for online streaming.

'Family Guy' - 'The Simpsons' Cross-Over Episode Confirmed
'The Simpsons'' Marcia Wallace Was a 70s TV Fixture

Marcia Wallace had been the voice of Edna Krabappel on "The Simpsons" for more than two decades, but she'd made her mark on television much longer ago than that. In the 1970s, she was one of the most familiar faces on TV.

What's New Tonight: Sunday, May 5th.
The Simpsons: Season 24, Episode 18: 'Pulpit Friction'

Homer becomes a church deacon. Guest starring Edward Norton.

'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 17: 'What Animated Women Want' Recap

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.

What's New Tonight: Sunday, April 14th.
'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 16: 'Dark Knight Court' Recap

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.

'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 15: 'Black-Eyed, Please' Recap

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.

'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 14: 'Gorgeous Grampa' Recap

Homer's obsession with the TV show "Storage Battles" inspires the family to discover Grampa's past identity.

'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 13: 'Hardly Kirk-ing' Recap

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?

'The Simpsons' Season 24, Episode 12: 'Love Is a Many Splintered Thing' Recap

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 Guest Star Tina Fey vs. Lisa On 'The Simpsons'

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?

The Best Of: Clint Eastwood Memes
Fall 2012 TV Preview: FOX Premiere Schedule and Trailers
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