On December 17, 1989, the animated TV series "The Simpsons" premiered on Fox. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this cartoon series that has been on the air for thirty years...
The Characters Premiered on “The Tracey Ullman Show” Before the popular cartoon characters were given their own program, they appeared in animated shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” from 1987 through 1989. Matt Groening was the creator, and the shorts featured the same characters of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The characters from the shorts appeared once again as ghosts in “Treehouse of Horror XXV” during season 26.
The Simpsons Are All Yellow For a Reason Everybody knows what the Simpsons look like…and it’s mainly down to their striking yellow skin! Have you ever wondered why they’re all yellow? Simpsons creator Matt Groening explained that it was his idea to use yellow for his character’s skin color. Groening wanted to attract the attention of channel surfers and was convinced that bright yellow was the best color to do this. He explained the decision in an interview “When you’re flicking through channels with your remote control, and a flash of yellow goes by, you’ll know you’re watching The Simpsons.” The yellow theme didn’t go entirely to plan though. The Simpsons has never had a large following in Myanmar, because a bizarre national law bans yellow and red colors from being overly-used in movies and TV shows!
The Show Waged a Good-Natured War With the Bushes for Years During an interview with People Magazine in 1990, Barbara Bush, wife of President George H.W. Bush, said that “The Simpsons” was the “dumbest thing” she had ever seen, which prompted the show’s writing staff to respond through a letter written by the character Lisa. Then the president mentioned the Simpsons, saying American families would be strengthened to be similar to the Waltons and less like the Simpsons, and the war was on once again. It didn’t stop with the election of Bill Clinton because the cartoon version of the Bushes appear as neighbors to the Simpsons and a feud begins, which causes the Bush family to move away from Springfield.
The Show’s Best Writer Is Almost a Mystery Man You may know Conan O’Brien and Greg Daniels, who were comedy writers for “The Simpsons.” However, fans may be unfamiliar with the reclusive John Swartzwelder, even though he wrote some of the most famous episodes. Matt Groening said Swartzwelder generally wrote scripts while sitting in a diner. When the eatery banned smoking, he purchased the booth and used it at home. Swartzwelder seldom showed up at the writers' room for “The Simpsons” because smoking had been banned there too.
The Simpson’s House Really Exists Although it isn’t as easy to find these days since the owner repainted the house from its original brilliant orange with red fencing, the Simpsons’ house exists in full detail outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. All the rooms on the inside of the house are decorated and include the purple and orange kitchen cabinets, a fake fireplace in the living room, and even the photos and pictures on the walls. The house was built in 1997 as a prize for a contest held by Pepsi and Fox, but it ended up being sold by the winners for an undisclosed amount to a woman who still lives there.