17 Dec: Meet The Simpsons

The debut episode of the world’s longest-running animated sitcom – ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ – aired in the U.S. on 17th December, 1989; attracting the Fox network’s highest ever Sunday night ratings.

It was an instant sensation, with many contemporary critics remarking that the ‘dysfunctionality’ of The Simpsons was in-keeping with other 90s hits Roseanne and Married… With Children, while conservative voices including George H W Bush criticised what they saw as its celebration of underachievement.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly discover how it came to be that a Christmas special should introduce the series; explain why Tracey Ullman filed a lawsuit about it; and reveal how many colours are in the show’s distinctive paint palette… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Honoring ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’’ (Vulture, 2018): https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/honoring-simpsons-roasting-on-an-open-fire.html

• ‘Did Tracey Ullman Get Rich Off ‘The Simpsons’?’ (Mental Floss, 2017): https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/94628/did-tracey-ullman-get-rich-simpsons

• ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ (Fox, 1989):

There’s three minutes more bonus material, about how Bart Simpson’s campaign for Butterfinger candy swung the production deal!

To hear it – and extra material every single week – visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors* or click ‘subscribe’ in Apple Podcasts, and support the show!

*top two tiers only

Tags: | | |