TV’s Favourite Family
The Simpsons is one of the world’s oldest and longest-running sitcoms. Indeed, the world of television changed when it debuted on December 17, 1989. As of this writing, there are now 673 episodes spanning a little over three decades. The show has accumulated millions of fans through the years and has established itself as a pop culture institution. Given this, there might be a few things that newer fans (and even veteran Simpsons aficionados) still don’t know about the show. This is why we’ve put together a list of fun facts. Read on to know more about TV’s first family!
Close to Their Hart
The Simpsons has hosted an impressive bunch of guest stars through the years. They’ve had everyone from Daniel Radcliffe to Sir Paul McCartney appear on the show as a Simpsonized version of themselves. However, out of all the guests on the show, comedian Phil Hartman has the most guest appearances. Hartman has appeared on the show 52 times, playing the recurring character Troy McClure.
His Name is Jeff
There is a slew of unnamed characters on The Simpsons. Characters such as the Sea Captain (created by late-night host and former The Simpsons writer Conan O’Brien) and the Crazy Cat Lady have been mainstays on the show — quickly developing into fan favourites. However, out of all these characters, one stands out from the rest: Comic Book Guy. He first appeared on the show in the 1991 episode ‘Three Men and a Comic Book’. What many don’t know is that Comic Book Guy is actually named Jeff Albertson. This was revealed in 2005 in the episode ‘Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass’.
Give Me Five
Here’s one that might have gone over the heads of less astute fans: the character of God appeared in the episode ‘Thank God It’s Doomsday’ back in 2005 — but something was a little off about the show’s depiction. While it may be normal in real life to have five fingers on each hand, Gala Bingo points out that only God has all five in The Simpsons. The rest of the characters on the show only have four. They’ve been consistent with this detail in all of God’s other appearances on the show, their subtle way of setting the deity apart from the rest of the mere mortals on the show.
We’re all aware of Seymour Skinner’s stint in the military. In fact, the principal was even a prisoner of war in Vietnam. And while that’s interesting in itself, his prisoner number in Vietnam was 24601. If you’re familiar with the French historical novel Les Misérables, then you would know that Skinner shares the same prisoner number as the book’s protagonist Jean Valjean.
(Tree)House of Horror
The Simpsons Halloween special ‘Treehouse of Horror’ is one of the most iconic specials in the history of televisions. They usually use the special as a way to satirise the horror genre, with episodes heavily influenced by The Twilight Zone and horror classics such as Friday the 13th. However, what you may not know is that the creators of the show used the special to pay homage to cancelled TV shows such as Family Dog and Capitol Critters by engraving their names in the tombstones of the graveyard featured in the special’s intro.
A Family Affair
Homer, Marge, Lisa, Maggie, and Bart make up television’s first family. However, what you may not know is that The Simpsons creator Matt Groening named the characters after his own family members. He substituted his own name with Bart, an anagram for the word “brat”.
Have you ever wondered why the characters on The Simpsons are yellow?
Simpsons are yellow because it’s easy to spot when flipping through channels. While there’s a long-running theory that the characters are yellow due to the radiation from the nuclear power plant in Springfield, the truth is much simpler: Matt Groening revealed that he designed the characters to be yellow so that they would stand out when viewers would flip through TV channels.
While the end of The Simpsons is nowhere in sight, the showrunner Al Jean wants to end the series with the family getting ready to go to a Christmas pageant. Now, this may seem random but it’s a callback to the very first episode of the series of The Simpsons‘ three-decade-long run. Ending the series like this would imply that the last episode spills into the first, creating an infinite loop.