The first episode of “The Simpsons” aired 30 years ago today
D’oh! The most famous American family in the world, The Simpsons turns 30 today
The first episode of “The Simpsons” aired on December 17, 1989, on FOX. Nearly 30 years later, the Simpson family and their fellow Springfield residents are still going strong. Let’s look back at where it all started “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” This would also be the first independent episode of “The Simpsons”, with the previous episodes, the Ullman Shorts, having only been aired as part of “The Tracey Ullman Show”. The episode was originally planned to premiere earlier in the fall of 1989, but because of animation problems, the series began on December 17 with “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” (aka “The Simpsons Christmas Special”). The original pilot, “Some Enchanted Evening,” later aired as the season finale. The episode lacked the now-famous opening sequence, which was added in the second episode, “Bart the Genius,” because creator Matt Groening thought a longer opening sequence would mean less animation. The episode begins as Homer hastily drives Marge and Maggie, in the family car, to watch Bart and Lisa’s Christmas pageant at school. But it looks like it’s going to be a not-so-merry Christmas for the Simpsons when Mr. Burns decides to cut the Christmas bonuses and Marge has to spend the family’s Christmas savings to erase a tattoo Bart thought would make a great Christmas present. In order to hide the fact he did not get the bonus, Homer takes a second job as a mall Santa. Fox considers the episode as a special, so it was one of two episodes from the first season to be nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Series.
Watch a clip taken from the first episode of “The Simpsons”, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”
By Ken Warren, 2017
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