Friday, April 19, 2013
April 19 - The Simpsons
Bart Simpson and his dysfunctional family made their debut as an animated short on Fox TV’s “The Tracey Ullman Show” on April 19, 1987. The Simpsons – Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie – were the brainchild of animator and voice actor Matt Groening, who named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. Groening submitted only basic sketches for the short video, assuming they would be enhanced in production. But the animators simply re-traced his drawings, which resulted in the characters’ initially crude appearance. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time “adult animated sitcom,” a sometimes-subtle, sometimes-brutal send-up of middle-class American society that debuted in December 1989. “The Simpsons” is now the longest-running U.S. TV sitcom and the longest-running U.S. animated program. In 2009 it surpassed “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running U.S. primetime, scripted TV series. Pictured: now, and then.