Watch The Simpsons Online
I believe that everyone knows what "The Simpsons" is and saw at least one episode, but to be sure I'll point it out.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom (like South Park and Family Guy) created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company.
The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.
The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the network's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989, the show has broadcast 515 episodes and the twenty-fourth season started airing on September 30, 2012. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million.
The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 27 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Time magazine's December 31, 1999, issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.
The show's humor turns on cultural references that cover a wide spectrum of society so that viewers from all generations can enjoy the show. Such references, for example, come from movies, television, music, literature, science, and history. The animators also regularly add jokes or sight gags into the show's background via humorous or incongruous bits of text in signs, newspapers, and elsewhere. The audience may often not notice the visual jokes in a single viewing. Some are so fleeting that they become apparent only by pausing a video recording of the show. Kristin Thompson argues that The Simpsons uses a ". . . flurry of cultural references, intentionally inconsistent characterization, and considerable self-reflexivity about television conventions and the status of the programme as a television show."
One of Bart's early hallmarks was his prank calls to Moe's Tavern owner Moe Szyslak in which Bart calls Moe and asks for a gag name. Moe tries to find that person in the bar, but soon realizes it is a prank call and angrily threatens Bart. These calls were based on a series of prank calls known as the Tube Bar recordings. Moe was based partly on Tube Bar owner Louis "Red" Deutsch, whose often profane responses inspired Moe's violent side. As the series progressed, it became more difficult for the writers to come up with a fake name and to write Moe's angry response, and the pranks were dropped as a regular joke during the fourth season. The Simpsons also often includes self-referential humor. The most common form is jokes about Fox Broadcasting. For example, the episode "She Used to Be My Girl" included a scene in which a Fox News Channel van drove down the street while displaying a large "Bush Cheney 2004" banner and playing Queen's "We Are the Champions", in reference to the 2004 presidential election.
The show uses catchphrases, and most of the primary and secondary characters have at least one each. Notable expressions include Homer's annoyed grunt "D'oh!", Mr. Burns' "Excellent..." and Nelson Muntz's "Ha-ha!". Some of Bart's catchphrases, such as "Ay, caramba!", "Don't have a cow, man!" and "Eat my shorts!" appeared on t-shirts in the show's early days. However, Bart rarely used the latter two phrases until after they became popular through the merchandising. The use of many of these catchphrases has declined in recent seasons. The episode "Bart Gets Famous" mocks catchphrase-based humor, as Bart achieves fame on the Krusty the Clown Show solely for saying "I didn't do it."