Just this morning, Denise and I received a list of editorial questions regarding our Simpsons book.
Although it’s never fun to deal with these questions, today is the absolute perfect day to be reminded that we are Simpsonologists. Today is the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons.
To be clear, the Simpsons as a family was first seen in 1987, but it was this day 20 years ago that The Simpsons appeared as a show with “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”
Since I had watched The Tracey Ullman Show religiously, I was excited about The Simpsons incarnation and mom and I set up the VCR. Luckily, my mom wasn’t one of those who only saw Bart’s bad behavior (it was in this episode that Bart first said “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?”). Instead, my mother saw the show as funny and familiar and ultimately celebratory of the nuclear family and of the Christmas spirit.
My mother did not become the fan I did, but she nurtured my interests. (She also allowed me to read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, after some members of my family said she shouldn’t–this eventually lead to me becoming the President of the Margaret Atwood Society. Surely there are lessons here about parents and permissiveness.) I’ve passed on my fandom to my son, who is 4 years shy of this 20 year anniversary. I also hope that I’ve nurtured things that will flower for him in unexpected ways.
So–happy birthday, The Simpsons! And many more!