The Simpsons' 20th anniversary is Dec. 17

Thursday will mark 20 years since “The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” the series’ first full length official episode aired.
The first 10 seasons or so were among the best television episodes ever produced. Yeah, the show jumped the shark awhile back, but I still find it somehow comforting that I can tune into Fox on Sunday night and catch new episodes.
Any thoughts on the upcoming anniversary?

The Simpsons should have called it quits 11 years ago.

Fox’s official anniversary is January 14, 1990, the date the first episode of the series, “Bart the Genius,” aired. (“Simpsons Roasting” was advertised as a stand-alone Christmas special.) No matter which day (or both) you choose to celebrate, it’s still amazing that The Simpsons has been on the air for 20 years. It’s hard to think of a piece of popular culture that hasn’t been touched by the Springfield crew- a lot of pop culture nowadays has an obvious bit of Simpsons in their DNA. The Simpsons is arguably one of the most influential pieces of popular culture, both in the United States and the world, of not only the late 20th century, but of all time. To quote Chris Turner in his book Planet Simpson, “If there is a common cultural currency, it’s got Homer Simpson’s picture on it.” But The Simpsons is the sort of show that sarcastically laughs off such praise put upon it, much like MAD magazine before it. The Simpsons took that sort of subversiveness, sarcasm, and satire and made it mainstream. And the world is better off for it.

Or, to put it another way:

As far as tributes go, it’s hard to top the compliment The Simpsons paid itself 14 years ago: America’s Favorite Non-Prehistoric Cartoon Family.

I think it’s incredible that I started watching this show when I was in middle school, and now I can sit down and watch it with my youngest brother, who is now finishing high school. Oh, and the show went on the air before he was born. (He was born between “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love” and “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?”)

This is probably not something fans want to be thinking about, but if you strung all the episodes back to back and took out all the commercials, I’ve probably spent a month of my life watching this show. I’d guess it’s more, but even as an estimate, a lot of us have gotten a ton out of this series.

Here’s an interesting piece from Mental Floss commemorating the anniversary:

I didn’t realize that Mr. X had a website.

Teenaged long-haired Homer: Aw, Dad! We’re rocking out! You’re just not with it.

Grampa Abe: I WAS with it, a long time ago. But then they changed what “it” was, and now “it” seems strange and frightening. IT’LL HAPPEN TO YOU ONE DAY!"

Teenaged long-haired Homer: No way man! We’re gonna rock on forever! Forever! Forever…

Dissolve to balding, paunchy, middle-aged Homer…

I just wanted to add that I remember watching the first Simpsons episode when I was in college.

There had been some kind of “animation festival” shown at the local arts theater that included a number of the Simpsons shorts from the Tracey Ullman Show. (This was before Youtube, you know.) I knew Matt Groening already from his “Life in Hell” strips and books.

Anyway, I thought that the Simpsons shorts were hilarious, so I pushed for the first Simpsons episode to be put on on the big TV in the commons at one of my university’s dorms. I got some pushback from someone who didn’t want to watch it–they thought it would be like The Flintstones.

The episode was a big hit, and the Simpsons were on every Sunday on the main TV in the dorm at least until I graduated the next year. I wonder if they’re still watching them there–if so, there are students watching it that weren’t even born when I watched that first episode.

You forgot a line!

Grampa Abe: I used to be with “it”, but then they changed what “it” was. Now what I’m with isn’t “it”, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me… and the same thing is going to happen to you!

One of my favorite Grampa quotes :smiley:

There were a couple of websites from the show that were actually bought by Fox. This was one of them, and was another (although it appears to no longer work). Writer Matt Selman at one time used Homer’s AOL e-mail address (chunkylover53) and gave responses in-character as Homer, although I am unsure if he still does.