|German title||The simpsons|
|Original title||The Simpsons|
|Country of production||
United States ,
South Korea (animation)
20th Century Studios
|Episodes||706 in 32+ seasons ( List )|
|genre||Comedy , satire|
|Theme music||Danny Elfman|
Richard Gibbs (1989–1990)
Alf Clausen (1990–2017)
Bleeding Fingers Music (since 2017)
|First broadcast||December 17, 1989 (USA) on Fox|
|September 13, 1991 on ZDF|
The Simpsons (original title: The Simpsons ) is a multi-award-winning American cartoon series created by Matt Groening and broadcast by Fox , which has been in production since 1989. It is the longest running US cartoon and prime time series. So far, 706 episodes have been produced in 32 seasons, and the movie The Simpsons was released on July 27, 2007 .
The series focuses on the Simpson family , consisting of parents Homer and Marge and their children Bart , Lisa and Maggie . The plot often satirizes aspects of American everyday and family life such as fast food , television , religion , corruption, etc. These are caricatured and thus criticized - openly and covertly.
The main location is the fictional US city of Springfield , one of the most common place names in the United States (see Springfield (place name) ). In this way the attempt is made to express the triviality of the plot situation: Springfield can be in any state, but in reality it does not exist. This effect is reinforced by the running gag that either avoids betraying the state in which the Simpsons live, or misleading comments about the situation are made. The Simpsons live in Springfield at 742, Evergreen Terrace.
James L. Brooks became aware of Matt Groening through the comic book Life in Hell . He called Groening in 1985 and asked if he would like to draw something for the Tracey Ullman Show . At the agreed meeting, according to some sources, Groening should have learned that he should present something new and extraordinary. So he drew the characters for the series in 15 minutes. It is said that he had the idea that Homer was working in a nuclear power plant . In an interview, however, he revealed that at the said meeting he had decided not, as originally planned, to turn the comic series Life in Hell into a television series, as this, as he had to learn, would have meant the rights to Life in Hell submit. Instead, he spontaneously developed the idea for the series The Simpsons . The Simpsons first aired as a short film on the Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987 . The characters were drawn extremely crudely at this point, as Matt Groening gave the rough drafts to the animators in the hope that they would take care of the necessary fine-tuning; instead, they transferred the sketches without further changes. In 1989 the idea was expanded by the television broadcaster FOX into a television series, the pilot episode of which Christmas is hard was broadcast on December 17, 1989 and reached an audience of almost 27 million viewers. As the official first episode of the first season, FOX aired on January 14, 1990 Bart Becomes a Genius . Since then, The Simpsons have been running there weekly. After just one year, the series achieved a large, sometimes fanatical group of fans and enjoyed cult status .
The series was produced in the first three seasons by the production company Klasky Csupo . Film Roman has been responsible for this since the fourth production season . With the tenth episode of season 20, the series was first broadcast in HD on February 16, 2009 .
In the USA, The Simpsons is the longest-running prime-time series and also the most successful animated series to date. In 1997, the series overtook the Feuerstein family in the record for the longest running US animated series at prime time and thus got an entry in the Guinness Book of Records . In 2004, The Simpsons of Scooby-Doo overtaken in the number of episodes, but were able to win back the title in 2005. In 2009, the series became the longest-running sitcom and the series with the most Emmy Awards. With the 636th episode, The Simpsons replaced Smoking Colts as the longest-running prime time series.
In early 2019, the series was extended by a 31st and 32nd season.
The series was first broadcast in German-speaking countries in 1991 on ZDF , since 1994 it has been broadcast on ProSieben and was also available on Sat.1 Comedy . In Austria the series runs on ORF 1 and in Switzerland it ran on SF Zwei in two-channel sound until it switched to 3 Plus TV . When the RTL / ProSieben Switzerland window started on ProSieben's Swiss cable frequencies in August 1999 , it was no longer possible to watch Simpsons in the evening program. There was strong criticism from fans that the series could no longer be received. SF2 decided to put The Simpsons on the evening program that same month. ProSieben postponed the broadcast date one month later so as not to collide with the RTL / ProSieben window.
In the USA, the 31st season will be broadcast in 2019/20, so over 650 episodes of the Simpsons have been shown so far. The program premiered on December 17, 1989 on FOX ; in Germany, it premiered on September 13, 1991 on ZDF . With the start of the fourth season in April 1994, ProSieben took over the broadcasting of the Simpsons in Germany and has continued it ever since.
However, from the 29th season there were exceptions. Six episodes of this season had their first broadcast in German-speaking countries on the Austrian broadcaster ORF eins . With the release of Disney + in German-speaking countries on March 24, 2020, the first 30 seasons of the Simpsons were available there, but at that time not all episodes of the 30th season had been broadcast on ProSieben, making five episodes of this season their first broadcast on Disney + had. It was similar with the 31st season . The full season was released on Disney + on November 27, 2020, when not all episodes had yet been broadcast on ProSieben. Thus, six episodes were also premiered on Disney +.
It is typical for The Simpsons that the majority of the cast in the individual episodes is made up of a broad, but manageable spectrum of Springfield residents. However, the main plot of each episode is always carried by the members of the Simpson family, mainly Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa Simpson. Maggie Simpson mostly only takes part passively in the main plot.
Homer J. Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is the head of the Simpsons family, husband of Marge and father of Bart, Lisa and Maggie. His age varies between 36 and 42 years, depending on the episode. He works at the Springfield nuclear power plant as a safety inspector in Sector 7G , although he has almost no professional qualifications . In the first few episodes he had no special position. Its boss is Charles Montgomery Burns .
Homer is a lazy couch potato , infantile and addicted to pleasure, has a low attention span, a low level of reflection and is also prone to drastic emotional outbursts. He has an eating disorder and after work he often gets drunk in Moe's tavern with his favorite drink, duff beer. Homer is the exaggeration of the classic antihero who, despite conspicuous character deficiencies, is definitely a popular figure. He has no bad intentions and is shown in most episodes as a partially disinterested, but still sincere family man. In the older seasons, Homer cared more about his family. Homer always got angry outbursts when Lisa and Bart called him "Homer" instead of "Daddy".
Matt Groening, the inventor of the Simpsons, named Homer after his father.
Marjorie "Marge" Simpson, née Bouvier, the 34-year-old wife of Homer and mother of Bart, Lisa and Maggie, is the good soul in the Simpson house. She lives in self-sacrificing care for her family and runs the household. She rarely breaks out of this role; she often suppresses her feelings; however, when they break out, things get serious. Unlike Homer, she is culturally interested. She is also an excellent painter who studied art in her youth. She advocates strong moral principles (even if she does not necessarily have the gift to justify them rationally), which she also tries to pass on to children in their upbringing. Very rarely does she become addicted to gambling , but this never lasts long. Her greatest trademark is her blue piled hair. The figure is based on Margaret "Marge" Groening, Matt Groening's mother.
Bartholomew "Bart" Jo-Jo Simpson, aka "El Barto" , aka "Bartman" , is the ten-year-old son of Homer and Marge and two years and 38 days older than Lisa. He is in fourth grade at Springfield Elementary School, run by Principal Seymour Skinner. His class teacher is Miss Edna Krabappel. Bart is the typical class clown, exceptionally cheeky and precocious. Its known weaknesses are its poor ability to concentrate and its allergy to shrimp . His best friend is Milhouse van Houten . Bart loves to skateboard and has his alias all over town; in some episodes this graffiti can be seen on or in buildings in Springfield.
Bart is an anagram for brat, which means a naughty, misbehaving child in English. Bart was also the first of the Simpsons characters, as Matt Groening originally wanted to tell a story about a naughty and naughty boy. Similar to Matt Groening's first name, the name Bart is also of biblical origin: Matthew (Matthew) and Bartholemew (Bartholomew) .
Lisa Marie Simpson, eight years old, is the second of the Simpson children and is highly gifted with an IQ of 159 on the Cattell scale (corresponds to an IQ of 139 on the Wechsler scale) . She is in second grade at Springfield Elementary School under the direction of Miss Hoover. There she is one of the model students of the school and is therefore often teased as a nerd by her classmates. She also has no real friends, which is why she is often very sad and desperate. Then she tries desperately to put herself on the level of the other, which she never succeeds for long. She plays the baritone saxophone , is a vegetarian , Buddhist and environmental activist. Lisa feels misunderstood by the world and especially by her family. Homer has a special relationship with Lisa; he is extremely proud of his little daughter, which manifests itself in the fact that he is even ready to break into a museum with her. If Lisa wants something from him, the counter-question is always: "Yes, what is it, honey?" . Otherwise Homer tries to help Lisa wherever he can.
Lisa was also the name of Matt Groening's sister.
Margaret “Maggie” Simpson is the youngest member of the family at one year. With a few exceptions, she wears a blue sleeping bag romper , which is responsible for the fact that she often falls on her stomach with a thud when trying to walk, and almost always sucks on her pacifier . Maggie has exceptional abilities for her age. This is expressed, among other things, in the fact that she understands minimal, unconscious hand signals from Lisa or can play parts of the Nutcracker Suite on a pentatonic metallophone . However, she rarely receives any attention within the family, and in most of the episodes she does not get beyond the role of a supporting role. In the episode In The Beginning Was The Word , she speaks her first word: "Daddy" . Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor lent her voice to little Maggie for this. When she said that, however, she was alone in the room. Thus, in the episode Once Upon a Time in Homerika , the other family members think Maggie is speaking for the first time when she says the word “yes” several times in a row with a Norwegian accent . In the end credits of the movie , Maggie speaks her first word again, which in the German version is “Continuation?”. In a few episodes, at least one of the characters had the opportunity to look into the future. In these, Maggie is able to speak, but is always interrupted. Maggie's name also comes from Matt Groening's family - one of his sisters is also called Margaret, but is called Maggie.
Cast / dubbing
Original English version
The English language version has six main speakers who are on duty from the start: Dan Castellaneta , Julie Kavner , Nancy Cartwright , Yeardley Smith , Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer . These speak the main characters and various supporting roles. Several supporting roles are or were spoken by Pamela Hayden , Tress MacNeille , Marcia Wallace , Maggie Roswell and Russi Taylor . Castellaneta and Kavner were already part of the cast of the Tracey Ullman Show .
At the beginning of the series, the series' main speakers received $ 30,000 per episode and the fee was increased several times. Increasing fee demands from the speakers were met, as Matt Groening always refused to exchange speakers. Dan Castellaneta and Julie Kavner took third and fourth place among the highest-paid TV series stars in 2010. In 2011 there was a dispute between FOX and the voice actors for the Simpsons, as the station wanted to cut their fee by 45%. In this context, a possible discontinuation of the series was reported. Shortly thereafter, a compromise was reached that secured the production of more seasons.
A special feature is that many characters whose speakers have died are removed from the series. After the murder of the voice actor Phil Hartmann in 1998, his roles in the actor Troy McClure and the lawyer for the Simpsons Lionel Hutz disappeared from the series, as did the role of the teacher Edna Krabappel after the death of Marcia Wallace in 2013.
With more than 600 guest appearances, the series holds the world record for most guest stars in a TV series. In numerous episodes, prominent musicians, actors, television presenters and athletes appeared as guests. Their drawn alter egos were mostly dubbed by the real celebrities in the original English version . For the guest appearances of (former) US presidents , voice imitators had to be found in place of the originals . Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair , on the other hand, was ready to dub his cartoon character himself. Even the physicist Stephen Hawking insisted on lending his character his own voice, more precisely that of his voice computer. In addition, celebrities now and then synchronize characters that have nothing to do with them. The appearance of the writer Thomas Pynchon , who made a guest appearance after 40 years of abstinence from the media and was heard again for the first time, was seen as the ennobling of the series by high culture . Whistleblower Julian Assange appeared in the 500th episode with the title Fern der Heimat .
In June 2020, the production company announced that colored characters would no longer be spoken of by whites. The line-up begins with the upcoming 32nd season. In September 2020 it was announced that the role of Carl Carlson of Alex Desert is adopted.
German language version
The first three seasons (with the exception of the episode The Missing Half Brother ) and the episode Stage Free for Marge were dubbed for ZDF by the Munich company Elan-Film under the direction of Siegfried Rabe . The series was then taken over by ProSieben , who commissioned the group's own dubbing studio BetaTechnik and deployed Ivar Combrinck as dialogue book author, dubbing director and dubbing actor . In the first four to five seasons, the exchange of some voice actors can be seen, but since then there has been a large degree of stability in this regard. Since Combrinck's death in September 2006, Matthias von Stegmann has been responsible for the German version and lends his voice to various characters. Before that, Stegmann worked as a voice actor for the series. So he spoke the character of the Asian Akira in the second and third season. Meanwhile he speaks the character again.
In contrast to the original version, the off-speaker was introduced from season four, as signs and words with English texts appear in many episodes; in the German version these are read out in German by Butz Combrinck and Ivar Combrinck. Since the eighteenth season there has been no voiceover in the series, because you want to concentrate more on the original.
When the voice actors Elisabeth Volkmann and Ivar Combrinck died within a few weeks in the summer / autumn of 2006, the German voices of Marge Simpson and a few supporting characters such as Patty and Selma , Reverend Lovejoy and Tingeltangel-Bob changed . At this point, the dubbing work for the 17th season was just in full swing; until further notice, the management was transferred to Matthias von Stegmann . Anke Engelke took on the role of Marge, although Angelika Bender had already recorded some episodes as Marge. Since then, Bender has only spoken to Patty and Selma.
After Homer Simpsons spokesman Norbert Gastell died on November 26, 2015 , Christoph Jablonka took over the role from season 27 . Gastell was supposed to synchronize the role of Rector Seymour Skinner and the cabaret artist Hans Jürgen Diedrich that of Homer, but Diedrich gave up the role immediately after a day.
Reinhard Brock died at the end of 2013 and Michael Rüth retired at the beginning of 2014 . Grampa Simpson, Mr. Burns, Barney Gumble and Hans Maulwurf thus got new German voices. The voice actor for Ned Flanders, Ulrich Frank , retired in 2016. Claus-Peter Damitz took over the role . In September 2016, the voice actor Donald Arthur died . Kent Brockman lent his voice. The role was taken on by William Cohn.
A frequent criticism of the German language version is the quality of the translations. The errors often consist on the one hand of a literally correct translation, which is, however, nonsensical in the context, or on the other hand, terms are translated that would only have retained their meaning in the context of American pop culture in English or translated accordingly. The episode pair “Who shot Mr. Burns?” Is even taken ad absurdum by a wrong translation , since the dialogue that Mister Burns has with his murderer is carried out in the first part in the formal “you” form , although Mister Burns is with him speaks to a child.
In the case of guest appearances by celebrities, in the case of actors, attempts are made to engage their corresponding German voice. With singers such as B. Michael Jackson or Barry White , who have both speaking and vocal parts, the songs were not dubbed if possible, with the speaking passages an attempt is made to find a suitable dubbing voice.
List of voice actors
|figure||Original speaker||Voice actor||Period of German voice|
|Homer J. Simpson||Dan Castellaneta||
|S01 – S26
S27 – Today as well as new scenes in 3x07 and 22x02
|Marge Simpson||Julie Kavner||
|S01 – S17x11
S17x12 – Today
some scenes in S17x04 & S17x07
new scenes on DVD in S02x08
|Bart Simpson||Nancy Cartwright||Sandra Schwittau||Continuous|
|Lisa Simpson||Yeardley Smith||
|S01 – Today
a scene in S07x25
|Maggie Simpson||Nancy Cartwright||Sabine Bohlmann||Continuous|
|Abraham "Grampa" Simpson||Dan Castellaneta||
|S01 – S08
S10 – S15
S16 – S24
S25 – Today
|Mona Simpson †||
Maggie Roswell (S01-S06)
Glenn Close (S07-S31)
Tress MacNeille (S10x06)
|Jacqueline Bouvier||Julie Kavner||Elisabeth Volkmann
S05 & S06
Middle S17 – Today
S02 – Middle S17
Middle S17 – Today
S02 – Middle S17
Middle S17 – Today
|Ned Flanders||Harry Shearer||
S02 – S26
S27 – Today
|Maude Flanders †||
Maggie Roswell (S01 – S11x03, S14 – Today)
Marcia Mitzman Gaven (S11x04 – S11x14)
|S01 – S02
S03 – S11 & later
|Todd Flanders||Nancy Cartwright||
|S02 – S03
S16 – S28
S29 – Today
|Rod Flanders||Pamela Hayden||Michèle Tichawsky
|S02 – S03
S16 – Today
|Springfield Nuclear Power Plant|
Christopher Collins (S01)
Harry Shearer (S02-Today)
|S01 – S24
S25 – Today and a scene in 3x07
|Waylon Smithers||Harry Shearer||
|S01 – S02
S03 – Today
S02 – S04
S05 – Today
Hank Azaria (S01 – S31)
Alex Désert (S32-Today)
|S01 – S03
S05 – Today
|Springfield Elementary School|
|Principal Seymour Skinner||Harry Shearer||
|S01 – S13
S14 – S31
S32 – Today
|High School Councilor Gary Chalmers||Hank Azaria||
Berno von Cramm
Fritz von Hardenberg
S06 – S08 & S18 – Today
S09 – S15
S16 – S17
|Caretaker Willie||Dan Castellaneta||
|S02 & S04 – S07
S08 – S09
S10 – Today
|Edna Krabappel †||Marcia Wallace||Gudrun Vaupel
|Elizabeth Hoover||Maggie Roswell (S02 – S10x15, S15 – Today)
Marcia Mitzman Gaven (S12x18 & S13x20)
|Springfield Elementary School students|
|Milhouse van Houten||Pamela Hayden||Michaela Amler||Continuous|
Russi Taylor (S01 – S31x04)
Gray DeLisle (S31x06 – Today)
S02 – S03
S04 – Today
|Ralph Wiggum||Nancy Cartwright||Alana Horrigan
Mid S04 – Today
|Uter Zörker||Russi Taylor||
|S05 & S07
S06 & S09 – S10
S16 – Today
|Nelson Muntz||Nancy Cartwright||
|S01 – S03
S04x04 – S05x01
S05x08 – S06x10
S06x14 – Today
|Movie and TV|
Herschel Krustofski /
"Krusty, the clown"
|Dan Castellaneta||Hans-Rainer Müller||Continuous|
|Kent Brockman||Harry Shearer||Werner Abrolat (among others)
S02 – S27x11
S27x12 – Today
Pedro Chespirito /
"Bee Man "
|S01 – mid S17
mid S17 – today
Melvin van Horn /
|S02 – S03, S05, S07, S09
S04, S10 – S17x09
S17x15 – Today
|Rainier Wolfcastle||Harry Shearer||
S03 – S16
S17 – Today
Dan Castellaneta (S02x16 & S03x03)
|S02x13 – S03x15
S03x23 – S05x07
S05x21, S07x24, S08 & S10
|Dr. Marvin Monroe||Harry Shearer||
|S01 – S05, S15x10 & S26x04
|Dr. Julius Hibbert||Klaus Guth
Berno from Cramm
Fritz von Hardenberg
|S02 – S04
S05 – S08, S17 – S17x10 & S25 – Today
S09 – S15
S16 & S17x11 – S24
|Dr. Nick Riviera||Hank Azaria||Michael Habeck
Tonio from the Meden
S05 – S13
S14 – Middle S17
Middle S17 – Today
|Moe Szyslak||Hank Azaria||Bernd Simon
|S01 – S28
S29 – Today
|Barney Gumble||Dan Castellaneta||
|S01 – S14
S15 – S24
S25 – Today
|Chief Wiggum||Hank Azaria||Gernot Duda
S02 – S03
S04 – Today
|Apu Nahasapeemapetilon||Peter Musäus
S02 – S29x01
|Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon||Jan Hooks (S09 – S14)
Tress MacNeille (S15-Today)
|Comic book seller||Hank Azaria||
|S02 – S07
S05x01, S07x12, S07x15 & S08 – S10
S11 – S13 & S15 – S28
S29 – Today
|Mayor Joseph Quimby||Dan Castellaneta||
|S01 – S03
S04 – S05x01
S05 – S17
S18 – Today
Robert Terwilliger /
|Kelsey Grammer||Randolf Kronberg
|S01 & S03
S05 – S17x08
S19 – Today
|Anthony "Fat Tony" D'Amico||Joe Mantegna||Manfred Erdmann
|S03x04, S06x15, S11x11 & S13x05
S07 & S14 – Today
S10 & S12
|Prof. Jonathan Frink||Hank Azaria||Tobias Lelle
S06 – S07 & S10 – Middle S17
S08 – S09
Middle S17 – Today
|Kirk van Houten||
Fritz von Hardenberg
|S03 – S07
S08 – S09 (often)
S10 – S15
S16 – S24
S25 – Today
|Lionel Hutz||Phil Hartman||
Berno from Cramm
|S02 – S04
S05 – Beginning of S07
Beginning of S07 – S09
|Gil Gunderson||Dan Castellaneta||Ivar Combrinck
|S09 – S16
S17 – Today
|Reverend Timothy Lovejoy||Harry Shearer||Ulrich Bernsdorff
Walter von Hauff
End of S02 – Beginning of S04
End of S08 – S11
S04 – S07 & S12 – Middle S17
Middle S17 – Today
|Helen Lovejoy||Maggie Roswell (S01 – S10x14, S15 – Today)
Marcia Mitzman Gaven (S12x12 – S14x04)
S03 – S17
S18 – Today
|Otto Mann||Harry Shearer||
|S01 – S04
S05 – Today
|Cletus Spuckler||Hank Azaria||Ulrich Frank
S09 – Today
|Brandine Spuckler||Tress MacNeille||
Eva Maria Lahl
|S08 – S09
S14 – Today
|Chester "Snake" Turley||Hank Azaria||Crock Krumbiegel
S06 – Today
S13 – S15
S15 – Today
Ulf J. Söhmisch
S05 – S14
S15 – Today
|Kodos||Dan Castellaneta||Gernot Duda
S06 – S14
S15 – Middle S17
Middle S17 – Today
|Bleeding gums Murphy †||Ron Taylor||Fred Klaus
|S01 – S03
|Hans Mole||Dan Castellaneta||Gernot Duda
S02e14 & S05e05
|Jasper Beardley||Harry Shearer||Werner Abrolat
S05e20, S08, S10
|Agnes Skinner||Tress MacNeille||Margit Weinert
S14 & S15
S = relay
? = unknown
The Simpsons in Austrian Bavarian
On December 23, 2020, the episode Christmas in Florida (30x10) was shown for the first time with an alternative dubbed version on ORF Eins . In it, the characters are spoken by prominent Austrian personalities in Austrian Bavarian :
- Homer Simpson: Robert Palfrader
- Marge Simspon: Chris Lohner
- Bart Simpson: Paul Pizzera
- Lisa Simpson: Yasmin Hafedh
The supporting roles include Robert Reinagl (including Frosty), Hilde Dalik (Jeanie), Andi Knoll (including Reverend Lovejoy), Angelika Niedetzky (Brandine), Eric Papilaya (Chief Wiggum), Gregor Seberg (Moe), Alexander Absenger (among others Lenny), Bernd Birkhahn (Grampa) and Herbert Haider (including Milhouse). The dialogue book is by Gregor Barcal-Korrak and was recorded at MG Sound Studios in Vienna .
The Austrian dubbed version of the Simpsons shows some differences in addressing different people. When Marge Simspon is recognized and approached on the street by the hapless businessman Gil Gunderson, he addresses Marge as Mrs. Simpson and not as Mrs. Simpson. In another scene when Marge is in the living room with a cat sitting on her lap, which she apparently takes to be Snowball's own house cat, Lisa addresses her mother as mom and tells her that this is not the cat of the Simpsons acts. When Homer tells his son Bart that they can finally celebrate Christmas, he calls him Bartl and not Bart.
Trademark of the series
Style of humor
On the one hand, the series makes use of typical elements of childish humor - there are elements from absurd comedy to slapstick ; the humor is based on the constant breaking of expectations. In addition, the humor of the series binds the viewer through a series of recurring running gags (Bart: “Ay caramba!”, Homer: “No!” (“D'oh!”), Marge growls, Maggie falls down or sucks on hers Pacifier, Barney burps, Burns says, “Excellent!”, Nelson says, “Haha!”, Homer chokes Bart, etc.).
On the other hand, the joke of the series also appeals to the “more mature” humor by repeatedly criticizing (US-American) society or, for example, alluding to comparatively old films. It is therefore neither a clear series for children nor a series exclusively for adults.
Development of the characters
The subtle humor and the characteristics of the individual characters developed only gradually. In the course of time, the characters went through a change both in terms of appearance and content. This applies to at least the first season, in which the figures were still noticeably roughly drawn, for example with smaller eyes and more angular outlines. Most noticeable are Bart's friend Milhouse van Houten, Clancy Wiggum, the Springfield Police Chief, and bartender Moe, all three of whom initially had black hair. Even some of the small supporting roles had a different look than what we are used to by now.
The episodes from about the tenth season onwards are criticized by early fans of the series because they are more silly and poorly characterized in their eyes and the allusions have lost their subtlety. Above all, the turning away from realism , the enforcement of the rampant slapstick jokes in contrast to the light-footed, intelligent comedy of the old seasons and Homer's change of character to the so-called "Jerkass Homer" (complete idiot Homer) are criticized . Already in the seventh season (episode 10: The 138th episode, a special screening ), this is dealt with self-deprecatingly within the series. On the other hand, younger fans often find that the new seasons are more in keeping with today's times and are more snappy and satirical in terms of humor .
As is usual for American cartoon series, the characters do not get older over time and at the end of an episode (at the latest at the beginning of the next) there is always a return to the status quo ante , which is also typical for series of the 1980s (e.g. B. Magnum ). However, the individual people then remember events from past episodes and develop further. Especially in connection with Krusty , who never remembers that Bart and Lisa have helped him before, and the storeroom in the Simpsons' house, which fills up with props from previous episodes in the course of the series, this quirk of other series is even repeated satirized . With a few exceptions, however, the basic conditions never change. A selection of the most important exceptions:
- Several characters die throughout the story, including Bleeding gums Murphy (6th season), Maude Flanders (11th season), Mona Simpson (19th season), Edna Krabappel (25th season) and Rabbi Hyman Krustofski (26th season).
- The Simpsons take in the dog Knecht Ruprecht after they find him at the dog racing track in Springfield.
- Homer gets a better job at the nuclear power plant.
- Lisa becomes a Buddhist and a vegetarian .
- Ned Flanders quits his original office job and opens his own shop. His wife Maude dies, he lives as a single widower for several seasons, and later he marries Edna Krabappel. After she dies too, he is single again.
- Edna Krabappel has a relationship with Seymour Skinner for several seasons, then they split up and she has changing partners until she marries Ned Flanders in season 23 and dies in season 25.
- Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz as well as the psychologist Dr. Marvin Monroe disappear from the series; Monroe appears again briefly in season 15 due to a metagag.
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon marries and has eightlings with his wife Manjula.
- The van Houtens get divorced and get back together years later.
- Barney becomes an anti-alcoholic and is no longer drunk, but can only be found sober and well-groomed with a coffee mug instead of a beer mug in Moe's tavern. He later relapses.
- Patty, after originally also into men, comes out as a lesbian.
- Selma's last name keeps getting longer as she keeps the last names of her ex-husbands. She adopts a Chinese baby, Ling, who can also be seen in later episodes.
The Treehouse of Horror episodes adhere to no rules at all when it comes to continuity. They usually begin and end with completely different dramaturgical relationships (for example with the death of several characters).
Sequence and continuity
Most episodes begin with a shorter story, the end of which forms the basis for the main plot and which, apart from the connecting element, often have little to do with each other. Furthermore, in some episodes the primary storyline is supplemented by a mostly autonomous subplot. Sometimes the fact of such a subplot is targeted by portraying it in different ways as being quite unnecessary in contrast to the main plot. Except for the double episodes Who Shot Mr. Burns? and The Great Phatsby , all the Simpsons episodes are a completed story. Every episode begins with the same starting situation, with which it - with a few exceptions - ends again. Some events and their aftermath persist over the episode in which they happened, while others have no lasting impact, such as the fact that some buildings and streets in Springfield constantly change their position and arrangement to do justice to the episode in question, or that Hans Mole often finds himself in fatal situations, but can still be seen alive again and again.
The opening sequence with which the Simpsons episodes begin is made up of both fixed scenes and scenes that differ from episode to episode. The length of the sequence also varies by omitting individual scenes and by couch gags of different lengths ; this is intended to compensate for the different lengths of the individual episodes, so that each episode is roughly the same length of around 21 minutes in total. The Treehouse of Horror episodes, which have special openings, are an exception .
The opening sequence - in its long form - begins with a camera zoom into the Simpsons lettering with a blue sky and cumulus clouds . Then the camera approaches the Springfield elementary school and shows Bart through an open window as he writes a sentence several times in chalk on the blackboard as a punishment (the so-called blackboard gag ). When the school bell rings, Bart leaves school on a skateboard, then Homer can be seen finishing his shift in the nuclear power plant. The next scene shows Marge and Maggie shopping in the supermarket, with Maggie being scanned by the seller and packed into the bag. Then Lisa - still playing the saxophone - leaves the music class early because she did not stick to the given notes (Lisa's saxophone solo) . After that, the family members can be seen on their way home, while there is a quick view of the street showing some of the Springfield residents. Then the Simpsons arrive almost simultaneously in front of the garage of their house. Homer flees into the house from Marge approaching his horn, where the family ultimately sits down together on the couch in front of the television (the so-called couch gag ).
In the first season the opening sequence was a little different, in the first episode it did not appear at all. The biggest difference to the new opening sequences was made by two scenes: Bart is skateboarding and stealing the sign from a bus stop so that the bus can drive past it. Then you see Lisa riding her bike home.
The Simpsons have been produced and broadcast in HDTV since the 10th episode of the 20th season . This also resulted in a change in the opening sequence, which is now not only in HD format, but has also been redesigned. During the fade-in of the Simpsons lettering, a bird flies through the picture, in some episodes it is also replaced by other flying figures or objects. Before the camera approaches the elementary school, you can see Jimbo and Kearney sawing off the head of a statue in front of the town hall and it falls on Ralph Wiggum. Several other characters have also been added to the opening sequence that weren't in the old sequence. In addition, Homer can no longer run away from Marge's car and is pushed through the garage door. Furthermore, the television was replaced by a new flat screen version, which can not be seen in all new episodes. This is the second major change to the sequence; the first took place in the second season.
The scenes differ from episode to episode:
- Bart's blackboard gag: each time Bart writes a different sentence on the blackboard in capital letters , his dubbing voice delivers the German translation - off -screen. The sentence often begins with the words "I must [...] not ..." or "... is not ..." and suggests that Bart has already committed the wrongdoing described and now has to write this sentence on the board x times as a punishment. With some of these gags, however, the German version loses the joke, not least due to English-language puns that are difficult to translate.
- Lisa's saxophone solo: Lisa plays a solo on her saxophone when she leaves music class, of which there are a total of around 20 variations .
- Couch Gag: The main theme of this gag is that the members of the Simpsons family sit on the couch in front of the television. This is varied in the most varied of ways, and the gags are of different lengths and sometimes neither adhere to the continuity of the series nor to physical laws. For example, the Simpsons are crushed by a giant Monty Python foot, another time they find themselves in a surreal M. C. Escher world, and another time the couch turns into a monster and swallows the family members. An example of a longer gag is how Homer goes through the whole of world history on his way home. Exactly during the couch gag, the episode title is briefly faded in, making it difficult for the viewer to concentrate on both.
With the introduction of the HD intro in the 20th season, some changeable gags were added:
- Flight gag: While the Simpsons lettering is faded in, a person, an object or an animal flies through the picture.
- Advertising gimmick: There is an advertising board in front of the school that has a different label in each episode, but which can only be seen for a very short time.
- Lisa's instrument solo: Lisa plays a solo on an instrument when she leaves music class, as before. However, it is not always a saxophone, but sometimes a violin, a trumpet or a tuba.
In 2006, the British television station Sky One produced a real version of the opening sequence to advertise the 17th season of the Simpsons, which was currently running. The video spread rapidly outside of the UK as well, particularly on the internet through video sites such as YouTube .
In 2010, with the British street artist Banksy, an external artist was supposedly allowed to design the opening credits and in particular the couch gag of the Simpsons for the first time. Here is exaggerated, as is so typical for Banksy, the dark side of the production of the series and their merchandise.
A different opening sequence was used in some episodes: in Kill Gil: Vol. 1 & 2 (Season 18, Episode 9) it is winter in Springfield and not summer as usual. The characters wear winter clothes, Bart goes snowboarding instead of skateboarding and going to school, the power plant and apartment are decorated for Christmas. The opening credits of the episode The Incredible Journey in a Crazy Private Plane alludes to the Simpsons movie . Since the film, in which Springfield was partially destroyed, was shown in US cinemas before the beginning of this season, you can see the devastated city and its reconstruction in said opening sequence. The usual sequence of events was retained, but characters from the film also appear in it (President Schwarzenegger, the Inuit shaman, Spider-Pig). As a result of Nedtropolis , a completely changed opening credits were broadcast, in which the residents of Springfield sing the song Tik Tok by Kesha and dance to it throughout the opening credits.
Yellow skin and four fingers
All Simpsons characters have four fingers on each hand. The only person with five fingers on each hand is God, who sometimes appears on the series. Hands with four fingers appear in many cartoons and animated shows because they are easier and faster to draw.
The Simpsons and most of the residents of Springfield also have a (more or less) yellow skin color (the Simpsons themselves have the RGB color value 255/217/15 or the web color # FFD90F). The yellow skin color is only used for white characters. All non-white characters are shown in different shades of brown. On the one hand, it is said that the Simpsons are yellow because Groening only had the color yellow in stock at the time of design and still started drawing with it. In the US show Inside the Actors Studio , Yeardley Smith (English dubbing voice of Lisa ) stated that Groening wanted to confuse TV viewers by choosing yellow and make them believe that their TV's color settings were incorrect. Indeed, this was a common occurrence with the NTSC system used in the United States. However, there are sources that show that the colorist Gyorgyi Peluce decided to color the figures yellow.
The figures are aware of their yellow skin color. So Bart says when Lisa catches him taking a bath that a boy also values well-groomed, yellow skin. It should also be noted that figures drawn by Matt Groening always have an overbite. In one episode, Homer imagines what his children would look like if he and Marge were related: "They'll be horror creatures with pink skin, no overbite and with five fingers on each hand!" - whereupon Bart actually for a brief moment, Lisa and Maggie look like "normal people".
Matt Groening chose the name Springfield for the city the series is set in because it was one of the most common city names in the United States in 1989. There are currently one or more cities with this name in 35 states. Springfield is supposed to reflect the typical average of a small American town, which is why the series does not mention in which state the Springfield of the series is located. Running gags also include contradicting hints of where exactly the Simpsons live.
In 2012, Groening said in an interview with Smithsonian Magazine that the city of Springfield , Oregon, was the model for the Simpsons' fictional residence, but then stressed that he did not say that it was actually in Oregon in the series.
“No!” Is Homer Simpson's trademark exclamation when a mishap or something negative happens to him. In the English original this exclamation is D'oh. This word doesn't really make any sense and there are many legends about its origin. What is certain is that the scripts of the series only ever contain Annoyed Grunt (angry grunt). Homer's spokesman Dan Castellaneta then improvised the D'oh . Sources point to James Finlayson , a regular supporting actor in the films of comedian duo Laurel and Hardy (Dick and Doof) . In the Laurel and Hardy movie, hands up - or not , Finlayson says, "dooh!" After a small bell falls on his head, which Laurel uses too hard. Laurel and Hardy expert Leonard Maltin claims in a DVD commentary that Dan Castellaneta was referring to the exact scene when he wrote the D'oh! introduced. Castellaneta herself confirmed this assumption in the American program “Breakfast” on November 8, 2007. Finlayson used the “dooh!” As his trademark in numerous other films.
The word has now entered American usage and is understandable for most non-Simpsons fans as well. D'oh has been included in the major English language dictionaries (New) Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), Merriam Webster’s (2001) and Oxford English Dictionary (2001). The definition in Merriam-Webster is: used to express sudden recognition of a foolish blunder or an ironic turn of events , in German it is used to express sudden recognition of stupid mistakes or ironic turns of events .
In the German dubbing, the D'oh became a short, sharp No! . The D'oh from the original version can still be heard in the opening credits when Homer evades Lisa's bike in front of the garage.
Fictional productions within the series
The happy little elves
The Happy Little Elves is a children's television show about a group of elves . The show is designed for smaller children, but Lisa also shows enthusiasm for it. She has a picture of Bubbles , one of the main characters, in her room, as well as various merchandise products. Bubbles' best friend is Moldy .
The television show only appeared regularly in early Simpsons episodes (especially season 1 ), but images and characters of Bubbles and other elves can be found throughout the series.
The Itchy and Scratchy Show
The Splatter animated series The Itchy-and-Scratchy Show acts as a "series in the series" and is among other things. very much seen by Bart and Lisa. A mouse named Itchy and the cat Scratchy live in rivalries and fight each other. The itchy-and-scratchy show is loved by the children in the Simpsons world precisely because of its extreme brutality and in this way caricatures television that glorifies violence as well as the youth. Last but not least, this series enables the Simpsons writers to self-ironically poke fun at the cartoon industry. This regularly brutal television show is based on the theme of the animated series Herman and Katnip and Tom and Jerry . The cartoon cat Felix the Cat can also serve as a model for the cat Scratchy .
The Itchy and Scratchy-Land , a theme park, is a satire on the intact, non-violent world of Walt Disney -Imperiums.
The programs most frequently watched by the Simpsons are My two Cents , Smartline and Eye on Springfield (in German: formerly One Eye on Springfield , now Focal Point Springfield or Blickpunkt Springfield ).
In addition to Itchy & Scratchy , the comic Radioactive Man is also very popular with the youth of the Simpsons world . During an atomic bomb test, the reporter Claude Kane III was radioactively contaminated and thus received supernatural powers (e.g. greatly increased powers and the ability to fly). Since a piece of the bomb cover had bored into the top of his skull, he can only go out into the street wearing a hat to avoid being recognized. His sidekick Fallout Boy (real name: Rod Runtledge), on the other hand, had an accident with a truck carrying an X-ray machine . This was damaged and emitted X-rays , which also gave Rod Runtledge superpowers. With their powers, the two fight against numerous criminals (like The Crab ), who were also inspired by film villains. The comic figure Fallout Boy ( fallout = radioactive fallout ) gave its name to the American rock band Fall Out Boy .
The two heroes are a parody of the superhero comics of the 1930s to 1960s ( Golden Age and Silver Age ). The stories of Radioactive Man are often printed in the Simpsons magazines as their own actions and with their own cover sheet, which is reminiscent of those old comics ("Issue 23, July 1964"), but also very high, up to four-digit issue numbers in "younger" Issues should make it clear that the series, like the real series Detective Comics and Action Comics , has been running for a long time. Like Superman , Batman , Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and other heroes in their early editions, Radioactive Man also fights America’s enemies, preferably hippies or communists in his case . Radioactive Man primarily parodies Superman (initials CK as in Clark Kent , fortress of half-life as an allusion to the fortress of loneliness , the relationship with reporter Gloria Grand as an allusion to Lois Lane , etc.), Fallout Boy, on the other hand, is reminiscent of Robin from Batman -Comics .
Allusions to the superheroes can also be found in the television series, especially in the episode Film Star Against Will ( OT : Radioactive Man ), in which a Radioactive Man film is to be made in Springfield. The episode not only contains allusions to the Batman series of the 1960s (e.g. in the form of superimposed onomatopoeia like Knuff ! , Bang ! , Zack! Etc.), but also targets the entire Hollywood film industry .
The standard beer brand of the series is Duff (from English "worthless, stupid, incompetent"). As an advertising icon, there is the Duffman in the series . Numerous merchandising items related to the cartoon series depict Duff beer cans. However, Matt Groening always rejected real Duff beer as a merchandising product with reference to the protection of minors.
In 1995 the South Australian Brewing Co. produced a beer under the name Duff. In 1996 the brewery was defeated in court by the Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation and Matt Groening Productions Inc. and had to cease production. In 2001, the New Zealand brewery named after its owner, Duffs Brewery, had to rename itself under pressure from 20th Century Fox. Australian duff cans are very popular among collectors. In the USA there is an alcohol-free energy drink under the (officially licensed) Duff label.
In Germany, an unlicensed Duff beer has been brewed in a contract brewing process by the Eschweger monastery brewery since 2007 and distributed throughout Europe by the company Duff Beer UG . The Duff Beer UG was also the rights to Duff Beer enter. Fox tried to stop the distribution, but failed. The verdict states: “The opponent had made it credible by submitting extensive documents that this series had meanwhile also achieved a high level of awareness in Germany. With the submitted documents, however, she could not even come close to proving that the term Duff BEER had achieved a level of awareness of at least 60 percent among the domestic public. "
Since there is real Duff beer in Europe, the publishing house Media Incognito - publisher of the Simpson comic series in Lithuania , where alcohol advertising is banned in the media - was fined 10,000 litas (2900 euros) in April 2011. The publisher then stopped the series to look for a solution. The original publisher Bongo Comics does not allow any changes to the content of the comics.
Treehouse of Horror
Under the English title Treehouse of Horror , the Halloween special episodes of the series have been produced and broadcast every year since the second season . The name is reminiscent of the first Halloween episode Horror frei Haus ( Treehouse of Horror ), which consists of three horror stories told in Bart's tree house. Since then, all special episodes have had this title in the original version. In the German translation, each of these episodes has its own title.
The episodes often satirize famous works such as Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven or Stephen King's The Shining . The stories shown in the episodes have no influence on the continuity of the series, so that in the Halloween episodes, for example, the authors can let characters die who are still living in the regular episodes. The aliens Kang and Kodos have appeared in every Treehouse of Horror so far .
Origin of the names
The names of many minor characters are allusions to real people:
- Jacqueline Bouvier (Marges mother) - Bouvier was the maiden name of John F. Kennedy's wife Jacqueline .
- Chief Wiggum Clancey (police chief) - The birth name of Matt Groening's mother was Margaret Wiggum.
- Seymour Skinner ( Rector of Elementary School) - Named by series writer Jon Vitti after the psychologist and most prominent exponent of behaviorism in the United States, BF Skinner .
- Miss Hoover (Lisa's class teacher) - an elementary school teacher from Groening
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (supermarket manager) - Apu's way into life , one of Groening's favorite films and a corruption of the name of a former classmate of series author Mike Reiss with the name Pahasa Neemapetilon.
- Maude, Rod and Todd Flanders (pious neighbors) - all rhyme with God (dt. God )
- Kang and Kodos (Aliens in the horror episodes) - A Klingon (Kang) or a dictator (Kodos) from Starship Enterprise
- Barney Gumble (Homer's drinking buddy) - Barney Rubble (Eng. Barney Rubble ) from the Feuerstein family
- Troy McClure ( Second Rate Actor) - B-movie actors Troy Donahue and Doug McClure
- Dr. Nick Riviera (bad doctor, called Dr. Nick) - Elvis Presley's personal physician, George C. Nichopoulos, called Dr. Nick
- Milhouse Mussolini van Houten (Bart's best friend and neighbor child ) - after Richard Milhous Nixon and Leslie Van Houten , a member of the “Manson” family , after Benito Mussolini the Italian dictator; Milhouse's grandmother (Nana Sofia) is Italian who has an illegitimate child (Uncle Bastardo) from an American soldier
- C. (Charles) Montgomery Burns (owner of the nuclear power plant ) - "Lake, Montgomery burns" (German: "Look, Montgomery burns"): allusion to the Ku Klux Klan who set fire to churches and houses of black citizens ( Montgomery , Capital of Alabama , where the American civil rights movement began with the Rosa Parks incident ). Matt Groening also met the comic artist Charles Burns in college and worked with him on the school newspaper there. His full name Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns includes the maiden name of Adolf Hitler's father and the family name of the Angevin royal family of the Plantagenet , which were one of the causes of the Hundred Years War .
- Artie Ziff (millionaire and prom companion of Marge) - Art Garfunkel ( Simon & Garfunkel ), also optical similarity
Also, some names refer to street names in Matt Groening's hometown of Portland , including Flanders , Kearny , Jasper , Quimby, and Lovejoy (Asa Lovejoy was the founder of Portland).
Relationship with the broadcaster FOX
The station FOX , which produces and broadcasts The Simpsons in the USA , tolerates that the makers regularly incorporate derogatory or ironic remarks towards the station in the episodes. Allusions to the station can be found in many other episodes.
For example, the Simpsons go to an Internet café where Homer buys shares over the Internet in a company that turns out to be the parent company ( News Corporation ) of FOX. Frightened, Homer pounds on the keyboard and screams in fear: “Cancel, cancel!” In an episode set in the future, America’s major television stations have merged under ABC to become “CNNBCBS”. FOX has become a porn channel. FOX's pro-republican stance is also being joked. As subsequently old girlfriend Marge pulls up a "2004 BUSH CHENEY" inscribed truck from Fox news, Channel 6 reporter Kent Brockman interrupts his announcement and We Are The Champions by Queen sounds. The owner of FOX, Rupert Murdoch , was not spared either. In the Super Bowl episode, the series makers let him describe himself as a "billionaire despot".
In October 2003, Matt Groening's statement (in an interview with NPR radio station ) that FOX subsidiary Fox News Channel had threatened to bring a lawsuit in Congress over the episode Krusty, which first aired in the US on March 9, 2003, attracted particular attention . There is a scene in this episode where the Simpsons watch the Fox News Channel on television. While the moderator comments on news, messages in the live ticker run through the image. In addition to these headlines, there was the fact that the background image that was shown was very similar to that of the real FOX news channel.
The famous theme song for the series was inspired by Danny Elfman composed. What is exceptional here is the exclusive use of the Lydian scale with a deep seventh (in jazz because of the latter, colloquially called Lydian b7 ), the modal characteristic interval of which is the raised fourth level. Already the first two notes (The Simp-) jump directly from the root note to the raised IVth level and thus form a tritone (the devil in music ), which is resolved with the third note (-sons) to the 5th level.
The Lydian scale is also frequently used in the music for the film , composed by Hans Zimmer , and the music for The Simpsons - The Game by Christopher Lennertz, and the theme melody is frequently used.
The production, adaptations for special episodes and the rest of the series music were composed by Richard Gibbs in 1989–1990 , after which Alf Clausen took over until 2017 . At the beginning of season 29 , Alf Clausen was replaced by Bleeding Fingers Music , a collaboration between Hans Zimmer , Russell Emanuel , Steve Kofsky and Extreme Music , which has taken on these tasks ever since. In addition, the music is complemented by well-known musicians and composers, most of whom also appear in the respective episode.
|The Simpsons - The Movie||December 3, 2007||approx. 84 min||16: 9||German English||From age 6|
|The complete first season||September 27, 2001||13 episodes||approx. 286 min||4: 3 full frame||German English||From 12 years|
|The complete 2nd season||June 6, 2002||22 episodes||approx. 506 min|
|The complete 3rd season||October 18, 2003||24 episodes||approx. 552 min|
|The complete 4th season||October 7, 2004||22 episodes||approx. 506 min|
|The complete 5th season||May 19, 2005|
|The complete 6th season||November 3, 2005||25 episodes||approx. 575 min|
|The complete 7th season||May 4, 2006||approx. 625 min|
|The complete 8th season||October 2, 2006||approx. 575 min|
|The complete 9th season||March 5, 2007||approx. 528 min|
|The complete 10th season||October 1, 2007||23 episodes||approx. 506 min|
|The complete 11th season||October 24, 2008||22 episodes||approx. 484 min||German English French|
|The complete 12th season||October 1, 2009||21 episodes||approx. 420 min|
|The complete 13th season||October 29, 2010||22 episodes|
|The complete 14th season||November 25, 2011|
|The entire 15th season||December 14, 2012|
|The complete 16th season||2nd December 2013||21 episodes|
|The complete 17th season||December 12, 2014||22 episodes||approx. 484 min|
|The complete 18th season||December 21, 2017||approx. 525 min|
|The complete 19th season||5th December 2019||20 episodes||approx. 420 min|
|The entire 20th season||17th September 2010||21 episodes||approx. 436 min||4: 3 and 16: 9 full frame|
Further DVD releases of the series seasons were initially no longer planned by Fox after season 17, because in the future they would only be distributed via services such as video-on-demand . However, three years later, at the end of December 2017, the 18th season was released on DVD, and in 2019 the 19th season.
The Simpsons is fully available for purchase in Prime Video , but it is not included in Amazon Prime. Plus, the first 30 seasons are included in Disney + . In addition, various seasons can be purchased on portals such as YouTube , Google Play , etc.
Arabic version - Al Shamshoon
In 2005 the series was also sold to the Arab world under the name "Al Shamshoon" , but there were some adjustments compared to the original. So is Homer Omar , Bart Badr and Springfield becomes Rabeea (the Arabic word for spring, English Spring). Following the rules of the Koran , scenes with duff beer or pork are cut out for the Arabic version and the consequences are changed accordingly. “Moe's tavern” doesn't even exist in the Arabic version. With these changes, however, the series loses a lot of its bite, according to statements by Arab fans.
A first "season" of 52 adapted episodes was prepared for the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC). The start took place in October 2005 at the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan , because during this time a lot of television is watched. However, the series was not a ratings success, so only 34 of the 52 episodes were broadcast.
The Bongo Comics Group, founded by Matt Groening, Bill Morrison, Cindy and Steve Vance, has been publishing the Simpsons Comics and minor series since 1993 , which are translated by Panini Verlag (formerly: Dino Verlag ) and distributed in German-speaking countries.
Since the start of the series, 22 video games for different systems have been released.
|The Simpsons (1991)|
|Bart vs. the Space Mutants (1991)|
|Escape from Camp Deadly (1991)|
|Bart vs. the Juggernauts (1992)|
|Bartman Meets Radioactive Man (1992)|
|Krusty's Fun House (1992)|
|Bart vs. the World (1993)|
|Bart's Nightmare (1993)|
|Virtual Beard (1994)|
|Miniature Golf Madness (1994)|
|Bart and the Beanstalk (1994)|
|Virtual Springfield (1997)|
|Simpsons Bowling (2000)|
|The Simpsons (2001)|
|Treehouse of Horror (2001)|
|Simpsons Wrestling (2001)|
|Simpsons Skateboarding (2002)|
|Simpsons Road Rage (2003)|
|The Simpsons Hit & Run (2003)|
|The Simpsons: The Game (2007)|
|The Simpsons Itchy and Scratchy Land (2008)|
|The Simpsons Meltdown (2009)|
|The Simpsons Arcade (2009)|
|The Simpsons Springfield (2012)|
Trading card game
In 2001 the Simpsons - Trading Card Game (STCG) was released by Dino Verlag . The inventors were Sebastian Jakob and Michael Palm. Initially there was a starter set (with the Bart & Lisa decks) and three character decks (Homer, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders) . As in any trading card game, you could buy boosters to improve your deck. At that time there were already plans for the Krusty deck, which appeared in May 2002. The Halloween deck followed in October 2002, with the characters Kang and Kodos. In June 2004, what was probably the last expansion, Extreme Sports , came out. This only consisted of boosters. Until December 2004 there was a league apparatus, which came to a complete standstill. So far there have been three German championships.
In 2004, Wizards of the Coast also released a trading card game on the theme of The Simpsons . In contrast to the STCG, the target group tends to include younger players.
In the summer of 2005, Bongo Comics and Panini launched Simpsons trading cards. They were first distributed with the Simpsons comics.
There are two different licensed models of pinball machines on the theme of The Simpsons - one is The Simpsons by Data East, published in 1990, and the other is The Simpsons Pinball Party , published by Stern in 2003 .
Since February 2012, Electronic Arts has provided the smartphone and touchpad application The Simpsons: Tapped Out (German: The Simpsons: Springfield ) as an application. Initially, the app was only available for devices with the Apple iOS operating system , but since January 2013 it has also been available for Android . Both drawings and dialogues from the game come from the writers of the series.
The content of the game is designed very simply, but is based on familiar actions from the series. By carelessness, Homer Simpson initially causes a meltdown that destroys the entire city. The player's task is to rebuild the city according to the story of a given storyline . Figures, buildings or decorations can be unlocked with the play money earned during the game, but in some cases also with the in-game currency donuts , which in turn can be purchased for real money. Only streets, sidewalks and rivers are free. So far, almost 210 characters from the Simpsons episodes have been unlocked; many also receive costumes with their own storylines. Each character has their own tasks, which are modeled on the series. By completing these tasks, you can earn play money on the one hand, and experience points (XP) on the other, which in turn help you level up. Both can also be acquired by erecting buildings, and you also receive 25 XP daily for each city you visit.
By July 2015, 54 levels and around 30 themed and time-limited updates had appeared at irregular intervals. The latter include, on the one hand, real events such as Christmas or American Independence Day , but on the other hand also internal events such as Treehouse of Horror or Clash of Clones (alluding to the strategy game Clash of Clans ).
The themed updates will provide characters, buildings and decorations for a limited period of time, which can be purchased for in-game currency. In addition, by visiting friends' cities, you can receive a “theme-oriented currency” available for a limited period of time (previously including snake eggs, hearts or gift cards) and in this way activate special prices. From the end of 2013 there were also joint projects in which all active players worldwide had to collect a certain number of this special currency in order to keep characters or buildings free. It was later established that an event was divided into phases with different activities, currencies and prices.
At the beginning of the 1990s, a total of 15 radio play cassettes appeared in Germany on the Karussell label . Each cassette contained two episodes of the animated series as a radio play version, cut from the original soundtrack and provided with a speaker. The episodes extended to season 1 and season 2.
The series has seen declining ratings in the United States. The record rate was achieved by the first episode of the second season, Der Musterschüler, with 33.6 million viewers. This episode became the highest rated and most watched show in the history of Fox. For the 29th season they were still with an average of 4 million viewers, the negative record is held by the 17th episode of the 27th season A Cage Full of Smithers with 2.3 million viewers.
In Germany, too, the quotas of the first broadcasts on Pro Sieben were recently below the station average.
The series was rated positively to excellent by many journalists, scientists and television producers and is also successful with the audience. She has won several television awards (→ awards ), but there was also some controversy about the Simpsons.
Reception in the United States
The first ten seasons of the series received the best reviews, the younger seasons more recently average. The Simpsons were praised for several aspects that, taken together, make up the quality of the program: The Simpsons' profound critical commentary on social, political and societal phenomena was widely recognized. Criticism of environmental degradation, the education system, the media, religious double standards or patriarchal family relationships are among the recurring socially critical topics of the program. It is typical that the broadcast is not moralizing, but subversive : messages are conveyed through exaggerated, satirical exaggeration of certain behaviors, for example the careless handling of radioactive material by the nuclear power plant employees. Up until then, the characters are very human and multi-dimensional, unusual for a cartoon, so that their own behavior can be reflected upon by identifying with them. Social criticism can also be formulated in a more subtle way, as in the opening sequence where Maggie is accidentally swiped over the barcode reader and the price appears at $ 847.63; the amount statistically believed to cost to raise a baby in the United States for one month. These various levels of subtlety in humor make it worthwhile for the viewer to pay close attention and allow the series to appeal to different audiences. The program is also praised for its diverse pop culture references, a quality that can also be described as intertextuality . Other positively rated elements are the “memory” of the series, referring back to events from past episodes. The series is also repeatedly self-referential , for example when Homer says that cartoons have no deeper meaning. The series is considered innovative as it mixes different genres , such as drama, mystery, action, love story and musicals . In terms of its basic structure, it can be understood as a sitcom , which, however, skilfully abolishes the usual distribution of roles, such as that prevailing in the Bill Cosby Show , with which it initially competed on American television.
Since the series reproduces an entire social microcosm, it has also been suggested to use it as a teaching tool in sociology or political theory . Also philosophical and psychological issues are reflected based on the Simpsons and explained. Due to the often very subtle use of scientific jokes, Nature Magazine interviewed Executive Producer Al Jean in 2007.
The series was criticized in the USA in particular from the conservative side for the family model it represented. Unlike in other family series, where the problems are ultimately solved by wise parental advice (for example Father Knows Best ), the family is not a good role model. The character of Bart Simpson was criticized by teachers because of his attitude " underachiever and proud of it" (for example: " underperforming and proud of it"). The Republican politician Joseph R. Pitts made the character of Homer Simpson partly responsible for the decline of the American father role. US President George Bush warned in 1992 that the American nation should be "more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons ". The nuclear power industry criticized the series for the representation of the nuclear power plants. It was also criticized that the family drives a car without seatbelts. However, this has since been changed.
Accusations of racism have been raised against the series since 2007, in particular the portrayal of the Indian Apu, especially his distinctive accent ( spoken by a white man ), is perceived as stereotypical . The Indian comedian Hari Kondabolu addressed this in 2017 in his documentary The Problem with Apu .
Reception in the German-speaking area
The journalist Tim Schleider wrote in 1993 about the series: “The series is a sometimes vicious, highly cynical reckoning with the ' American way of life ' and the ideals of the ' American Dream '. Many episodes are full of allusions and riddled with swipes at everyday American culture. And Groening targets them all - fitness gurus, religious zealots, gun freaks, consumer freaks, TV junkies, fast food victims, progress believers , philistines , radical feminists and the like. Only partially recommendable for children, a must for America fans! "
Censorship and bans
In Germany, some episodes were broadcast until 2001, including the Treehouse of Horror episodes with censored content or only at night for reasons of youth protection. These episodes are now also running unedited the night before.
The Russian lawyer Igor Smykov sued the Russian broadcaster Ren TV for broadcasting the Simpsons on the grounds that the series was morally corrupting his children and has sought compensation in vain. The nationalist - populist Russian party LDPR has tried in vain to have the Ministry of Culture banned the broadcast. In 2008 there was another failed attempt to ban various series from the channel 2x2 , including the Simpsons.
In the episode At the beginning was the screeching caterpillar , which was shown by the Swiss TV station SRF Zwei in the evening program, a simulated break-in and murder could be seen in the course of the plot. Homer Simpson was sentenced to death as an alleged perpetrator. The preparations for the execution on the electric chair , by placing the electrodes on Homer's head, were made in front of his children. A viewer had then verbally requested the station to stop the program or to postpone it to a later date. Only after consulting an ombudsman did the station give in. The program has since been broadcast with a warning for minors.
Since the devil orders God to make him a coffee in the Halloween episode Spider-Killer-Avatar-Man , this sparked outrage in Turkey . The Turkish broadcaster CNBC-e had to pay a fine of 23,000 euros because of the episode due to blasphemy .
In 2004 the producers of the Simpsons announced a movie. The date was initially given as summer 2008 and confirmed by 20th Century Fox on June 6, 2005. At the end of March 2006, however, 20th Century Fox surprised Simpsons fans when a 25-second teaser was shown before the movie Ice Age 2 - Now is thawing , in which The Simpsons Movie was announced for July 27, 2007. In the meantime, a total of four trailers had been added. On March 19, 2007, a longer preview ran during a Simpsons marathon on ProSieben . The release date of the film in Germany was July 26, 2007, two days before the preview was in Zurich.
In 2014, the American historian Ben Schmidt created software with which the text of all Simpsons episodes (if accessible) can be searched for the occurrence of individual words. According to Schmidt, such statistics depict the linguistic and intellectual changes in society.
Predicting future events
In "Simpsons" episodes there were repeated events that later became a reality.
In the episode Bart's look into the future (OT: Bart to the Future ), which was first broadcast in 2000 and plays in 2030, is Lisa Simpson President of the United States . Her first act is to reduce the budget deficit that President Trump left her. In fact, in November 2016, multibillionaire and entrepreneur Donald Trump was elected 45th President of the United States . During his tenure (2017-2021), the budget deficit increased, as it has for all US presidents since 1929.
On March 30, 2014, the episode Homer, the Pipe (OT: You Don't Have to Live Like a Referee ) ran for the first time on US television. In it, the German national soccer team in Brazil wins the tournament with a 2-0 final victory over the hosts . In fact, Germany became world champions on July 13 of that year, but against Argentina ( 1-0 aet ). There was also a duel with Brazil , albeit in the semifinals; Germany won 7-1 .
The real Simpsons house
In 1997, as a joint marketing gag of FOX and Pepsi, the Simpsons' house was recreated in real life and raffled off as part of a raffle in which you had to send in coupons contained in various Pepsi products. The house was modeled as closely as possible to the original from the series, including the wall colors and the furnishings, only the scale was chosen to be smaller, based on the equation of Homer's height with that of an average adult. In the meantime, however, the house has been repainted and no longer functions as a tourist attraction.
The Simpsons Ride is an IMAX simulator ride and was officially opened at Universal Studios Florida on May 15, 2008 and Universal Studios Hollywood on May 19, 2008. In both cases, The Simpsons Ride replaces the more than 15-year-old simulator ride Back To The Future: The Ride , which welcomed visitors with the help of hydraulically moving cars and an IMAX circular cinema. In contrast to the old attraction, the new Simpsons ride shows a modern, computer-generated 3D animation, the carriages of which are a significant improvement thanks to new hydraulic drives. The journey itself takes about six minutes.
While queuing for the attraction, visitors are introduced to a fictional cartoon amusement park called Krustyland, believed to have been built by Krusty the clown. The advantages of the amusement park are ironically presented to the visitors of the attraction, who are themselves in an amusement park, in typical Simpsons fashion. Also shown in the queue is a cameo by Doc Brown from Back to the Future in memory of the replaced attraction.
Before entering the pre-show, Krusty presents the actual ride on monitors as a super rollercoaster called the Thrilltacular . In addition to the visitors, the Simpsons family also wants to come along. In the pre-show, which is shown on monitors before entering the actual ride, Krusty visitors are informed that people with physical complaints and under a minimum height are not allowed to ride. This leaves Grandpa Simpson and little Maggie behind while the rest of the Simpsons family prepares to board. Meanwhile, Tingeltangel-Bob, who escaped from prison, appears. He wants revenge on Krusty and rigged the Thrilltacular ride . After another safety video - this time presented by Itchy and Scratchy - visitors are allowed to get into one of 24 cars with two rows of four seats, after which the Thrilltacular ride begins. The end of the ride is again a self-deprecating allusion to the (un) custom that the exit of all amusement park attractions leads through a shop (Each ride must end in a gift shop) .
The ride shows more than 24 characters from the TV show. In all cases, the characters are synchronized by the original American speakers. In the exit area there is a shop that is modeled on the Kwik-E-Mart. Mainly Simpsons merchandise products are offered here.
For the 20th anniversary of the show, the United States Postal Service designed a series of five 44-cent stamps, each with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie as motifs. About a billion of the postage stamps designed by Matt Groening were printed. It was first released on May 7, 2009. The Simpsons was the first television series still in production to receive this honor. The sale of the stamps was not as successful as forecast: only just under 318 million stamps were sold; the rest had to be destroyed when the stamps became invalid.
Marge Simpson in Playboy
In the November issue of the US playboy published on October 16, 2009, Marge Simpson can be seen in a three-page article in lingerie. It also adorns the cover picture and the two-sided fold-out folder in the middle of the magazine. The magazine's subscribers received an issue with a “normal” model.
The alternative rock band Bloodhound Gang composed a song called Ralph Wiggum , which is part of the 2005 album Hefty Fine . The American metalcore band Evergreen Terrace named themselves after the fictional street where the Simpson family lives. Since 2015 there has been a metal band called Okilly Dokilly from Phoenix , Arizona , whose work relates to the cartoon series and whose band members are all dressed in the clothing style of the character Ned Flanders, the strictly Christian neighbor of the Simpson family (green sweater with shirt underneath, glasses and mustache).
The series The Simpsons received numerous awards. B. honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 14, 2000 .
- 30 × Annie Awards (2 × 1992, 1993, 1994, 2 × 1995, 1996, 4 × 1997, 3 × 1998, 2 × 1999, 2 × 2000, 2001, 2003, 4 × 2004, 2007, 2 × 2008, 2010 , 3 × 2012)
- 28 × Emmy (1990, 1991, 6 × 1992, 1993, 1995, 2 × 1997, 3 × 1998, 2000, 2 × 2001, 2 × 2003, 2004, 2 × 2006 , 2008 , 2009 , 2 × 2010 , 2013 )
- 10 × WGA Award - TV (2004–2010, 2012–2014) + + 1 × Paul Selvin Honorary Award (2005)
- 7 × ASCAP Award (1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2013)
- 7 × TP de Oro (2002-2005, 2008, 2010, 2011)
- 4 × Genesis Award (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996)
- 3 × EMA Award (1991, 1994, 1996)
- 3 × WAC Winner (1997, 2 × 1998)
- 3 × BMI Film & TV Awards (1996, 1998, 2003)
- 3 × British Comedy Award (2000, 2004, 2005)
- 2 × TCA Award (1990, 2002)
- 2 × Kids Choice Award (1991, 2002)
- 1 × Saturn Award (1993)
- 1 × E Pluribus Unum Award (1996)
- 1 × Peabody Award (1997)
- 1 × GLAAD Media Awards (1998)
- 1 × Golden Reel Award (1998)
- 1 × Golden Eagle Award (2000)
- 1 × American Comedy Award (2001)
- 1 × International Monitor Award (1995)
- 1 × Blimp Award (2002)
- 1 × National Music Award (2002)
- Matt Groening, Ray Richmond, Antonia Coffman: The Simpsons - The Ultimate Series Guide 2001, ISBN 3-89748-323-8 .
- Matt Groening, Scott M. Gimple: The Simpsons Forever! - The ultimate series guide ... goes on. riva, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-89748-517-6 .
- Matt Groening: The World of the Simpsons: The Ultimate Episode Guide. Seasons 1 to 20 2014, ISBN 978-3-86883-261-7 .
- Daniel Kehlmann : Voltaire and Starbucks The writer Daniel Kehlmann on the television series “The Simpsons”, which he considers to be the most intelligent and vital works of art of our time. In: Der Spiegel 23/2006, pp. 144ff.
- Cornelia Gliem: The Simpsons as Art. How a television show becomes literature. Table sayings as a type of text. Norderstedt 2010, ISBN 978-3-8423-1246-3
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- Matthew A. Henry: The Simpsons, Satire, and American Culture. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke 2012, ISBN 978-1-137-02779-5
- Paul Halpern: School is for failures. What we can learn from the Simpsons about physics, biology, robots and life . 2008, ISBN 978-3-499-62385-1
- William Irwin, Mark T. Conard, and Aeon J. Skoble (Eds.): The Simpsons and Philosophy . Tropen-Verlag, Berlin 2007 (translated from the English by Nikolaus de Palézieux), ISBN 978-3-932170-97-3
- Christian Klager (Ed.): Philosophizing with the Simpsons. Didactic considerations and teaching suggestions. Monsenstein and Vannerdat, Münster 2009, ISBN 978-3-86582-860-6
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- Patrick Steinwidder: Beyond innocence, this side of politics. “The Simpsons” as a (critical) media learning world. Media studies article in Medien-Impulse, ed. from the Austrian Ministry for Education and Art, No. 56/2006, p. 61ff.
The Simpsons Library of Wisdom
(all Matt Groening)
- The Homer Book, 2005, ISBN 3-8332-1315-9
- The Bart Book, 2005, ISBN 3-8332-1314-0
- The Lisa Book, 2007, ISBN 978-3-86607-387-6
- The Krusty Book, 2007, ISBN 978-3-86607-386-9
- The Ralph Wiggum Book, 2008, ISBN 978-3-86607-561-0
- Comic-type book of pop culture, 2008, ISBN 978-3-86607-614-3
- Flander's Book of Faith, 2009, ISBN 978-3-86607-717-1
- The Moe Book, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86607-962-5
- The Marge Book, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86607-961-8
- Chief Wiggum's Book of Debt and Atonement, 2011, ISBN 978-3-86201-165-0
- The Simpsons in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- The Simpsons in the online movie database
- The Simpsons at Fernsehserien.de
- Official website of "The Simpsons" and "The Simpsons Movie" (English)
- Simpsonspedia, the Simpsons Wiki
- The Simpsons on ProSieben
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