We all know The Simpsons, an American animated television sitcom starring the animated Simpson family, which was created by Matt Groening. He conceived of the characters in the lobby of James L. Brooks’s office and named them after his own family members, substituting “Bart” for his own name. The family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987.
Now that you know how everything started take a look at the evolution this popular animated sitcom has had through the years and how much their appearance has changed.
First episode: December 17, 1989
The half-hour series premiered on December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The series was originally set to debut in the fall of 1989 with the episode "Some Enchanted Evening", but the producers discovered that the animation was so appalling that 70 percent of the episode needed to be redone.
1990: Bart becomes the star of the show
"Bart Gets an F" was the first episode to air against The Cosby Show and averaged an 18.4 Nielsen rating and 29% of the audience. In the weeks ratings, it finished tied for eighth behind The Cosby Show which had an 18.5 rating.
1991: Bill Cosby attacks The Simpsons
In the October 1, 1990 edition of People, First Lady Barbara Bush called The Simpsons "the dumbest thing (she) had ever seen" which led to the writers sending a letter to Bush posing as Marge Simpson. Bush immediately sent a reply in which she apologized.
1992: George Bush uses the Simpsons as an example
A few years later, on January 27, 1992 then-President of the United States George H. W. Bush made a speech during his re-election campaign where he said, "We are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons."
They debuted in The Tracey Ullman Show- 1992
The Simpsons first appeared as short vignettes on the Tracey Ullman Show. These cartoon shorts acted as bumpers that are shown before and after commercials.
They become one of the most watched programs - 1993
By the year 1993, Fox had already gained a great popularity, reason why by that year this cartoon was one of the 30 programs more seen in the United States.
The series changed of executive producer - 1993
Several of the show's original writers who had worked on The Simpsons since the first season had left following the completion of season four. David Mirkin took over as showrunner and executive producer for the fifth and sixth season.
"Deep Space Homer" - 1994
The episode "Deep Space Homer" was controversial when the episode was in production. Some of the writers felt that having Homer go into space was too "large" of an idea and Groening felt that the idea was so big that it gave the writers "nowhere to go".
First episode with new technology - 1995
"Radioactive Man" is the first episode of The Simpsons to be digitally colored. The task went to USAnimation, who would later animate "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular". Digital coloring would not be attempted again until season 12's "Tennis the Menace", and again when the show permanently switched to digital coloring in Season 14 with "The Great Louse Detective".
Celebrities start making appearances - 1996
The episode is about two space aliens, Kang and Kodos pretending to be Bob Dole and Bill Clinton in 1996 in order to take over the world. And since no one is willing to vote for a third party, Kang wins.
The Flintstones made their appearance - 1997
Alan Sepinwall of The Star-Ledger, in a review printed two days after the episode originally aired, praised the writers for not airing a "very special" episode to celebrate the milestone of overtaking The Flintstones. He noted "the episode is so self-aware it put the best in-jokes on St. Elsewhere to shame."
The first 200 episodes in 1998
"Trash of the Titans" is the twenty-second episode of Season 9 and also the 200th broadcast episode of the series. This episode guest stars Steve Martin and the popular Irish rock group U2.
Salary dispute - 1999
Up until the production of season ten in 1998, these six main voice actors were paid $30,000 per episode. In 1998, a salary dispute between them and the Fox Broadcasting Company arose, with the actors threatening to strike. Fox went as far as preparing for casting of new voices, but an agreement was soon made and their salaries were raised to $125,000 per episode
On January 14, 2000, the Simpsons received a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as their popularity continued rising.
They Became more popular -2001
In 2001, The Simpsons were among the top 100 children's shows and among The 100 Best TV Characters .
Characters were perfected - 2002
This episode was first broadcast three days after the twenty-year anniversary of the first ever appearance of The
Simpsons on television, in The Tracey Ullman Show'
short "Good Night".
The 300th episode - 2003
"Barting Over" is the eleventh episode of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons, advertised by Fox, and indicated on-screen to be the 300th episode of the show. In this episode, Bart discovers that he used to be a child star in commercialS, and that Homer blew all the money he earned.
They are nominated for an Oscar - 2012
The show is the longest-running prime time scripted television series in the United States. It has won many different awards, including 32 Emmy awards, 33 Annie Awards, seven Environmental Media Awards, eleven Writers Guild of America Awards, six Genesis Awards, eight People's Choice Awards, three British Comedy Awards, among other awards.
It became the Longest-Running Primetime Animated Television Series
The Simpsons also holds two world records from the Guinness Book of World Records: Longest-Running Primetime Animated Television Series and Most Guest Stars Featured in a Television Series.