A Few More Facts About The Simpsons

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. This post is in honor of The Simpsons anniversary tomorrow.

On December 17, 1989 The Simpsons made its debut on Fox TV. What can you say about The Simpsons? Now in its 23rd season, it is, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant television shows of all time. Let's take a look at some Simpsons trivia you may not have known  

Why are they yellow? Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, said he made the characters yellow to grab the attention of channel surfers.  

How much does Maggie cost in the opening sequence? O.K. we're all familiar with the classic opening sequence on the show, where Marge and Maggie are at the supermarket checkout line and Maggie goes through the market scanner. Ever wonder how much she scans for? Maggie originally scanned for $847.63, which was the price of raising a baby for one month back in 1989 (when the show debuted). Now things have changed and Marge's groceries add up to $243.36. When Maggie is added and scanned, she doubles the tab to $486.52.

Tracy Ullman sued the show. The Simpsons is one of the most successful spinoffs in history, spawning from The Tracy Ullman Show. Tracy Ullman's variety show ran for three years on Fox, and The Simpsons originated as brief cartoon vignettes on the show. Dan Castellanetta (the voice of "Homer") and Julie Kavner ("Marge") were regulars on the series, nancy Cartwright ("Bart") and Yeardley Smith ("Lisa") were brought in to do the voiceovers for the cartoons. After The Simpsons took off on its own, Tracy Ullman sued, unsuccessfully, to earn a share of The Simpsons' merchandising bonanza. (So far, The Simpsons has lasted twenty years longer than the show that spawned it.)  

Most unnecessary translation switch. The Simpsons is dubbed in by foreign-speaking actors for its runs in many different countries. In episodes dubbed in French, Homer's catchphrase "D'oh!" is translated and read as "T'oh!"

Most Parodied movie? The Simpsons is always incredibly clever satire. One of the show's favorite satire targets is, of course, the movies. According to the show's creators, the show's most parodied film is Citizen Kane. "They could create an entire film from Simpsons clips," a Simpsons writer has stated, referring to the amount of Citizen Kane gags they've used.he added that The Godfather films were very popular targets, too. Specifically, the show's creators listed the show's four most popular movie targets for satire as: 1. Citizen Kane 2. 2001: A Space Odyssey 3. The Shining 4. A Clockwork Orange  

What celebrity guest star has played the most roles? The Simpsons is not only the longest-running animated TV show in history, but it holds the record for the most celebrity guest star appearances. Albert Brooks has made the most guest appearances in the most different roles: five different appearances as five different characters.

Many last names come from actual streets. Matt Groening got many of the last names of characters on the show from streets in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Lovejoy, Quimby, Flanders, Kearney, Terwilliger, and Burnside are all actual street names in Portland. 

Who is the only character on The Simpsons to have five fingers on a hand? The Simpsons characters, like almost all animated characters, have only four fingers on each hand.Only one Simpsons character has ever had five fingers. "God" is the only character portrayed on The Simpsons to ever have five fingers.

Secret Hidden Beatles Message

In the episode "Lisa the Vegetarian," Paul McCartney made a guest appearance, along with his wife, Linda. In the closing credits of the episode, Paul sings "Maybe I'm Amazed." There is a background voice on the song that does not appear on the record. The voice is Paul's. If you play it backwards, the voice is a recipe for lentil soup read by Paul.
Six celebrity guests have played both themselves and also a fictional character. Of all the hundreds of Simpsons celebrity guest voices, just six have appeared in episodes as both themselves and as a fictional character. They are Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Mark Hamill, Steve Buscemi, and Joe Montagna.
Sensitive guest voice. Former heavyweight boxing champion "Smokin'" Joe Frazier guested on a Simpsons episode. In the episode, Joe gets into a fight with the local drunk, Barney Gumbel. Joe objected to Barney beating him in a fight, so the writers changed the scene so Joe would win.

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Minnesotastan, I believe, is from Minnesota, which is in the U.S. Myself, I watched the first season of The Simpsons, but haven't caught it in the last 20 years. I also have not seen South Park or Family Guy or American Idol, but I know a lot about them. I used to watch Seinfeld, but not religiously.

When you get to a certain age, you set priorities for what you do with your time. And TV is not a high priority anymore.
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"Minnesotastan
Dec 16th, 2011 at 7:08 am
I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person in this country never to have seen a single episode of The Simpsons. (or South Park, or Family Guy, or American Idol, or Seinfeld, or...)"

You don't mention what country you are from, are the programmes unavailable? If you are interested in pop culture, I'd say check out a Family Guy episode.

To me, and just my opinion, Simpsons is about as edgy and interesting as Garfield. (if you're unfamiliar, it's a comic strip about a guy who kind of... well, just whines to his cat). But even so, it does seem odd that you haven't seen an episode in 20 years just to see what it's about. If you get a chance to see one, write back and here and tell us what you thought of it.

"BM May
Dec 16th, 2011 at 10:35 pm
Why did you read the article then?
Just wondering, ya know?"

I can't answer for Minnesotastan, but I personally read all sorts of articles that I'm not personally familiar with. I read an article earlier about Beijing, although I've never been there. I find shipwrecks fascinating even though I've never been on one. I've never seen a senate debate, but I still like to read about what transpired. To each their own I guess!
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Surely not the whole saxophone? He must have had a big mouth.

Simpsons is indeed long-lasting, but the quality of shows have degraded to the point where I can take em or leave em. Kinda hit and miss, only when they miss, they really miss.
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Even thought I detest what became of the Simpsons after season 4, and now refuse to watch it, I need to point out that there used to be modern jazz references in it from time to time. The jazz musician that Lisa encounters playing at night on a bridge is a reference to Sonny Rllins, who famously used to practice on the Willliamsburge bridge, (referenced in his album The Bridge). The name "Bleeding Gums", due to his refusal to see a dentist, is presumably a reference to John Coltrane, who refused to seek dental assistance despite having terrible problems with his teeth. Also, the scene where Lisa is shown sleeping with the saxophone in her mouth also references Coltrane, who used to practice so intensively that he sometimes woke up and found he'd been sleeping with his saxophone in his mouth.
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