The Simpsons Have Officially Been on TV for 30 Years

The first short aired on April 19, 1987 on 'The Tracey Ullman Show'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2017 6:25 PM CDT
The Simpsons Have Officially Been on TV for 30 Years
The Simpsons first appeared on television 30 years ago today in a short on "The Tracey Ullman Show."   (YouTube)

The Simpson family first appeared on television 30 years ago today—April 19, 1987—in a short on The Tracey Ullman Show called "Good Night," EW reports. Three decades later, The Simpsons is in its 28th season, has aired more than 600 episodes, and is the longest-running scripted prime-time series in TV history. Not bad for characters creator Matt Groening came up with at the last minute. According to the Guardian, Groening was supposed to pitch an animated version of his comic strip Life in Hell but didn't want to give up the rights to it. He quickly sketched out the Simpson family, naming its members after his own relatives.

That led to "Good Night" and the first words of The Simpsons' illustrious run on television: "Well, good night, son." The show would get funnier. The Simpsons appeared in 48 shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show before getting their own series in 1989. That series is currently renewed through its 30th season. A TV historian tells NPR The Simpsons broke ground when it came to what you could put on television: "When The Simpsons came out, people were so worried about the crude behavior." And the Ringer ranks the show's 100 best episodes. (Read more The Simpsons stories.)

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