The Simpsons is the longest running American sitcom ever and, since its first airing on December 17th, 1989, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Homer and Marge, have been poking fun at middle class America to the delight of millions of viewers in the US and all around the world. The Simpson has also attracted its fair share of critical acclaim too, and it has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was voted the 20th century’s best television show by Time Magazine and it has been awarded no less than 31 Emmy Awards. For fans of the Simpsons and the curious alike, here are ten facts about the dysfunctional family from Springfield USA.
1. Barbara Bush got a given a piece of Marge’s mind
When First Lady, Barbara Bush, dared to criticise the Simpsons in 1990, she got a firm rebuff from, none other, the Marge herself. Marge Simpson wrote to the First Lady, in response to Mrs. Bush comments that The Simpsons was “the dumbest thing I've ever seen” and told her not to be so judgmental. Mrs. Bush later apologised to Marge and complimented for setting a good example for the country.
2. The only characters to have five fingers and toes
Every character in The Simpsons only has three fingers and a thumb on each hand and the only have four toes. The only characters in The Simpsons that have a full complement of digits are the characters Jesus and God.
3. Homers email address is a real one
Homer’s email address in the show is "ChunkyLover53@aol.com" and, it’s a real email address. If you do send Homer and email, you are likely to get an automated response asking you to send Homer some beer. The automated response changed regularly, should you be sad enough to actually email Homer more than once.
4. Dustin Hoffman had an uncredited role in The Simpsons
There have been many famous actors and celebrities who have appeared in The Simpsons and most of them are happy to have their name associated with the show. In the shows second season, however, Dustin Hoffman provided the voice of playing Mr. Bergstrom, Lisa's substitute teacher. Hoffman wasn't sure he wanted to be identified with The Simpsons, so he was credited as "Sam Etic".
5. “D’oh” is in the dictionary
Homers trademark exclamation of “D’oh” is now an official word in the Oxford English Dictionary. The word was originally scripted to be more of an extended “Dooooooooh” but, was shortened to save time, when you The Simpsons, was just a one minute short, shown on the Tracey Ullmann Show.
6. Not everyone wants to be on The Simpsons
Not every celebrity has enough of a sense of humour to appear on The Simpsons. Stars that are said to have down to the opportunity include Bob Dylan, Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood and Prince.
7. Why the Simpsons characters are all yellow
The characters of the Simpsons where all made that distinctive yellow colour to make them stand out when someone is channel hoping. It works too; you know it’s the Simpsons, the moment you spot it.
8. Waylon Smithers was nearly black
Owing to a cock up in the animation, Mr Burns’ assistant, Waylon Smithers, originally appeared as a black man. The producers did consider keeping it that way, but it was decided that it could be offensive to portray a black man in a subservient role like Smithers.
9. The creatures of the Simpsons have a free hand to say what they want
There is a specific clause in the contract between the creators of The Simpsons and the network, Fox, which mean that Fox has no control on the content of the show. That’s why The Simpsons has been able to make fun of the network on several occasions.
10. Paul and Linda McCartney turned Lisa into a vegetarian.
Paul and Linda McCartney only agreed to appear in The Simpsons episode “Lisa the Vegetarian” so long as Lisa stayed a vegetarian for the rest of the show. To this day, Lisa is still a meat free girl.
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