Origin of 'meh'

[I’m putting it here because some of the types in GQ are a tad on the earnest side, and, anyway, this is the kind of query that probably has no definitive answer.]

So, the other day I was watching Blackadder 4, and Melchett goes “Meh” in his inimitable style in response to some question from the eponymous hero.

Is this the origin of ‘meh’ as used on message boards?

There are two different 'meh’s here, surely. Melchett’s ‘meh’ is a loud, bellowing MEHHHH! It may even by BEHHHH! rather than MEHHHH!

Message board ‘meh’ is an inconsequential sound, barely more than a low grunt.

I thought it came from the Simpsons–Marge asks the kids if they want to engage in some activity and they say “meh.” Marge presses further and Bart says “Mom, we said meh–m e h, meh.”

I’ve always thought of it as an extension of the “eh” sound you make when you shrug your shoulders in indifference. I seem to recall it being used before the Simpsons used it, but I’m not sure I can prove it.

Melchett’s noise is like the bah-ing of a sheep. It seems to have become more pronounced and more sheep-like as the series progressed.

‘Meh’, as used on message boards is more like ‘Mmm… Eh’ run together. It’s as if you’re so blasé about something that you can’t be bothered to actually open your mouth initially. It’s more ‘whatever’ than ‘Eh’.

Didn’t Seinfeld have extensive “meh’s” throughout pre Simpson?

Meh is used by those who haven’t yet learned that Feh or Pfffft are the more appropriate expressions of bemused indifference.

Meh is softer than w/e.

I believe it originated with The Simpsons. Little Bird’s example was not the first use, though. Homer said it on many occasions, and only much later did the kids actually spell it out.

Considering that The Simpsons started before Seinfeld, we’d have to find the earliest appearance in each and figure out which aired first.