The Simpsons – 20 and still going strong
America’s most famous dysfunctional cartoon family, The Simpsons, this week marks two decades of making the world laugh while offering alternative television therapy to millions of fans.
The now distinctive yellow characters of Homer, Maggie and their children, the intellectually-challenged Bart, his smart sister Lisa and pacifier-sucking baby Maggie first burst onto American TV screens on December 17 1989.
Over the past 20 years, they have entered into the national and global consciousness as an icon of television entertainment.
The Fox network show’s influence on popular American culture was highlighted when The Simpsons were idolised on US postage stamps earlier this year, and in November Marge Simpson was the cover girl for Playboy magazine.
The gravelly-voiced Marge, whose upswept blue hair-do defies gravity, became the first cartoon character to grace the cover of the magazine, more known for featuring movie stars, athletes and other celebrities in states of undress.
The show’s success has surprised even creator Matt Groening and executive producer Al Jean, the creative pens behind the family which lives in the shadow of a nuclear reactor in a fictional town called Springfield.