What started as a side cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show created by indie cartoonist Matt Groening, The Simpsons has become one of the most celebrated and acclaimed comedies of all time. It holds several television records, from longest-running animated series to the longest-running scripted television series. Time Magazine named the show the greatest television show of the 20th century, the A.V. Club described the show as 'television's crowning achievement regardless of format,' the show has its own star on the walk of fame, and it has won dozens of Emmy Awards, Peabodies, and Annie awards. More than anything else, The Simpsons has influenced generations of American comedy. The writing staff – many drawn from Harvard Lampoon writers – has created innumerable catch phrases, jokes, and observations about life that resonate to this day.
Set in the small town of Springfield – don’t ask which state it’s in – The Simpsons tells the story of the Simpson family and their struggles with every day life. The patriarch of the family is Homer Simpson. Working as the safety inspector of the town’s nuclear power plant (a job he’s woefully unqualified for), Homer is an impulsive and often idiotic man who is supported by his loving wife Marge. As Marge acts as the often emotionally repressed voice of reason, they work to raise three children; Bart, the original animated brat; Lisa, the sensitive and smart one; and Maggie, the baby with mysterious levels of competence in dangerous skills.
The show would not have lasted over 25 years without a cast of compelling characters backing them up and the show really has become a broad portrayal of small town life. Dozens of side characters, from the crabby bartender Moe Szyslak to the nice-but-creepily-devout Flanders family to Homer’s sharp tongued in-laws Patty and Selma have become part of the cultural lexicon.
Odds are that, if you’re reading this, you have your own favorite Simpsons characters and moments. Simpsons fans are a long running and devoted breed, and we have hundreds of great products and souvenirs to call your own.