Since the first full-length episode of ‘The Simpsons’ premiered on Fox on December 17, 1989, the show has gone on to script some unbelievable records and, in the process, has etched its name modern culture. Created by Matt Groening, ‘The Simpsons’ was initially conceived of as a number of animated shorts, which went on to feature on ‘The Tracey Ullman Show’ from April 19, 1987. While the animated shorts were initially aired on the show sporadically, they were received so positively that they became a part of every episode of ‘The Tracey Ullman Show’ for two seasons. Subsequently, Fox decided to give ‘The Simpsons’ its own run, and unwittingly ended up creating history.
Since ‘The Simpsons’ debuted as a separate show in 1989, it was seen a whopping 30 seasons air, and has immortalized itself through its satirical depiction of working-class/middle-class American families in the late 1900s. As it stands, ‘The Simpsons’ is the longest-running American sitcom in television history, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and number of episodes. With Season 30, the number of ‘The Simpsons’ episodes to have been aired has reached a mind-blowing 659. But, there’s even better news. The show has been renewed for Seasons 31 and 32, which will see it touch an unprecedented milestone of 700 episodes.
The Simpsons Cast: Who is in it?
Since ‘The Simpsons’ first started airing, its six primary cast members have all remained unchanged.
Dan Castellaneta, through the decades, has voiced the patriarch of the Simpson family, Homer Simpson. Further, he has also voiced several major and minor adult, male characters, including Grampa Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby, and Barney Gumble.
Julie Kavner, in a similar fashion, has voiced Homer’s wife, Marge Simpson, Marge’s twin elder sisters, Patty and Selma, and several other characters. Nancy Cartwright has voiced the Simpsons’ eldest child, Bart Simpson, as well as other young characters such as Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum. Yeardley Smith, meanwhile, has voiced the Simpsons’ highly intelligent middle child, Lisa Simpson, and is the only cast member who has primarily focused on voicing just one character. The remaining member of the Simpson family, Margaret “Maggie” Simpson, is a baby who mostly makes suckling noises. These sounds are vocalized by show creator Matt Groening, while Maggie’s rare dialogues have, over the years, been voiced by several people, including Cartwright.
The two remaining long-standing cast members, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria, are mostly responsible for voicing the townsfolk of Springfield, the fictional town where the Simpsons stay. Among notable characters, Shearer voices Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Mr. Smithers, Principal Skinner, and others. Azaria, similarly, voices Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Professor Frink among others.
Additionally, the show has, over the years, seen many minor and episodic characters being voiced by guests and celebrities. When ‘The Simpsons’ returns with Seasons 31 and 32, we expect all six major cast members to reprise their roles. Seasons 31 and 32 will also reportedly see several celebrities voice some characters in some episodes.
The Simpsons Plot: What is it about?
Based in the fictional town of Springfield in the heartland of the US, ‘The Simpsons’ follows the daily lives, adventures, and misadventures of the show’s eponymous family, who according to Groening, are “creatures of consumption and envy, laziness and opportunity, stubbornness and redemption. Just like the rest of us. Only exaggerated.”
In a broad sense, these episodes chronicling the lives of the Simpson family serve as a satirical depiction of society, culture, and the lives of working-class/middle-class families (there’s some debate on whether the Simpsons are a working-class or a middle-class family) in America. Further, the show often includes genuinely funny yet insightful commentary on the human condition, which adds yet another dimension to the show’s social commentary. The show’s legendary status has also been augmented by its eerie ability to seemingly foretell real-life events – in case you didn’t know, ‘The Simpsons’ “predicted” Donald Trump becoming the US President, the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle, FIFA’s corruption scandal, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the US, the NSA spying scandal, and the Greek financial crisis, among many other things. The show also foreshadowed the invention of FaceTime and smartwatches.
Understandably, over the 30 years it has been around, ‘The Simpsons’ has left a discernible mark on modern culture. Most notably, ‘The Simpsons’ has stamped its mark on the English language, and a number of neologisms that originated on the show have made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary and several other lexicons. Phrases and expressions from ‘The Simpsons’ have also been used scientific journals and works of journalism. In fact, the show’s impact on the English language has been so profound that Mark Liberman, the founder and director of the Linguistic Data Consortium, remarked in 2005: “The Simpsons has apparently taken over from Shakespeare and the Bible as our culture’s greatest source of idioms, catch phrases and sundry other textual allusions.”
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that ‘The Simpsons’ is the winner of many awards and accolades, and has 33 Primetime Emmy Awards to its name. In terms of ratings, the show enjoys unparalleled popularity among audiences, and has brilliant overall rating of 8.7/10 on IMDb, after over 328,000 votes. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a great average score of 85%, which is beyond impressive, considering that it has aired for three decades.
The Simpsons Season 31 Release Date: When will it premiere?
‘The Simpsons’ Season 30 premiered on Fox on September 30, 2018, keeping in tune with the show’s broad pattern of season releases. With Season 30 still airing, Fox, on February 6, 2019, announced that it had renewed ‘The Simpsons’ for Seasons 31 and 32.
Now after less than six months since season 30 ended, ‘The Simpsons’ Season 31 is all set to release on September 29, 2019. Don’t forget to mark your calendars.
The Simpsons Trailer:
While we wait for ‘The Simpsons’ season 31, here is a sneak peek into the first episode of Season 30, which, incidentally, also has cameos from Emily Deschanel and ‘Wonder Woman‘ star Gal Gadot. When Fox releases a first look or a trailer for Season 31, we will be sure to update this section to reflect the same. So, stay tuned.
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