The Simpsons is easily one of the most long-standing and popular television shows of the past three decades. Since its initial launch in 1989, the animated TV show has reeled in a massive amount of awards, critical acclaim, and popularity among the masses (and for good reason, too).
The series has made its name by satirizing everything from pop culture trends to politics. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most successful TV shows in the history of the platform. In fact, you probably didn’t know this, but The Simpsons holds the record of being the longest-running TV show in the entire history of television (among scripted shows, that is).
Wondering what else you don’t know about the smash-hit animated series? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Below are eight of the most interesting (and little-known) facts about The Simpsons.
1. The TV Show That Predicts the Future
The Simpsons routinely predicts the future. The show hasn’t just made some vague predictions that have partly come true. No, The Simpsons have routinely (and accurately) predicted so many future events, that there are entire blogs devoted to its predictions. Some notable examples include Trump’s election, the discovery/confirmation of the Higgs boson particle/equation, and Lady Gaga’s 2017 Super Bowl performance (down to the exact performance style).
2. The Writing is Advanced
Although the show has a bad reputation among certain circles as being “low brow,” the writing on the show is actually the exact opposite (i.e. it’s highly intelligent). The writers on The Simpsons hail from some of the finest universities in the world. For example, one of the show’s long standing producers comes from Harvard (where he enrolled at the humble age of 16).
3. The Simpsons vs. The Bush Family
The Bush family (you know the one) is essentially American royalty. Nearly all members of the family have been, or are, involved in politics at some level, with two achieving the rank of leader of the free world. We bet you didn’t know that one of the Bush family’s biggest rivals was the Simpson family though, right?
The feud has its origins when the show got its start (in the 1990s, when Bush was president). Both the president and his wife made numerous public remarks (which were negative) about the show, and the show jabbed back at them (through its characters). Rumor has it that the feud lasts to this day.
4. Maggie is Voiced by Someone You Wouldn’t Expect
Maggie, the baby character, is famous for not having any speaking lines (except for one word, uttered in the show’s fourth season). Do you know who did the voice work for that one word? Elizabeth Taylor. Yes, the classic Hollywood actress, businesswoman, and activist is the only person to ever be the voice for the Maggie character.
5. Homer Doesn’t Make a Lot of Money
This one might be a little obvious to some viewers/fans of the show, but Homer isn’t exactly rich. In one of the show’s episodes, his weekly paycheck is shown (and confirms what we already suspected). Homer only takes home around $400 per week, which averages out to around $25,000 per year (without adjustment for inflation).
6. The Show Has Produced Some Great Comedians (and Writers)
Did you know that Conan O’brien got his start writing on The Simpsons? Neither did we (until we were doing research for this article). Besides Conan, there has been a host of other successful comedians and writers who got their start on the show.
One of the show’s most high-profile (yet virtually unknown) writers is the ever-mysterious John Swartwelder. Many of the show’s writers and producers name Swartzwelder as the show’s best writer (in the history of the entire show). He’s notoriously low-profile though, opting to stay in the shadows. Nobody really knows anything about him (which only adds to his legend and mystique).
7. There Was Almost a Movie (20 Years Before the Actual Movie Came Out)
Most fans will be surprised to learn that The Simpsons movie almost happened during the first few seasons of the show. One of the episodes from the show’s fourth season, in which Bart and the other kids go to “Kamp Krusty” for the summer, was being floated around as a movie idea.
While the writers were thinking about making this episode into a feature-length film, they had a hard enough time making it into a normal-sized episode (according to the commentary on the DVD). So, in the end the movie didn’t happen (but it almost did).
8. The Characters Only Have Eight Digits
This is considered more of an animation tradition than anything (since it’s common for animated characters to have abnormal body parts). The characters in The Simpsons are no different, with all of them having only eight fingers/toes.
However, there is one exception to this (and his name happens to be God). In one of the show’s episodes, Homer ends up meeting God (who has five fingers on his hands as opposed to the four of other characters in the show).