List of Inquiries And Substantive Answers

Section I - General Topics Basic History

Newsgrouped during the third week of March 1990,, a Usenet newsgroup, is a free forum for discussing various aspects of the television series The Simpsons.

A separate mailing list also exists for discussing the show, simpsons- [email protected]. To subscribe, send mail to .

The Simpsons Basic History

The Simpsons is an animated television series produced by Gracie Films for Twentieth Century Fox and the Fox Network. It began as a series of interstitals (also called bumpers or shorts) for The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987, and premiered as a series on December 17, 1989 in the 8PM time slot. Regular broadcasts began on Sundays beginning January 14, 1990. Seasons Two, Three, Four, and Five were broadcast by Fox on Thursday nights in the 8PM slot, before returning to Sunday nights beginning with Season Six. For a brief while, Classic Simpsons was running, beginning at 7 pm to lead the failed block of comedy Fox scheduled for Winter of 1995.

Seasons One, Two, and Three were animated by Klasky-Csupo (pronounced "CLASS-key CHOOP-oh"), who also worked on The Tracey Ullman Show bumpers. Subsequent seasons have been animated by Film Roman, with in-between work being done for both animation houses by Akom Production Company, Anivision, and Rough Draft Studios in Korea.

The Simpson family was created in ~15 minutes while Matt Groening waited in the foyer to James L. Brooks' office, a long-standing legend confirmed in the Oprah Winfrey Interview by Groening himself.

Production on The Simpsons as a series began in April 1989.

"The Tracey Ullman Show" Simpsons History

It was under the suggestion of Pauly Platt, a "Life in Hell" (see Sec 2.2) fan in the "Tracey Ullman Show" offices, that brought Simpsons creator Matt Groening to work on Ullman.

According to Producer/Director David Silverman, production on the Ullman Simpsons shorts lasted approximately four weeks. Currently, production takes approximately six months for an episode of The Simpsons.

The four animators of the totallity of the Ullman shorts (David, Wesley Archer, Bill Kopp, Tim Berglund) got together working on the 1986 movie One Crazy Summer and its brief animated segments, before getting the opportunity to animate the Ullman shorts with the then-relatively new animation company Klasky-Csupo.

The Simpson Family

Homer J. (``Jay'') Simpson (Dan Castellaneta)
Marjorie Bouvier Simpson (Julie Kavner)
Bartholomew Jo-Jo Simpson (Nancy Cartwright)
Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith)
Maggie Simpson (Liz Taylor)

 -> A complete Cast List is available. (See Sec 3.3)

Series Timeline

Year Event
1955 Homer born (05/10/1955)
1956 Marge born (Within 1 year of Homer.)
1974-1975 Homer & Marge graduate High School
1980 Homer & Marge wed; Homer gets job at SNPP; Bart is born
1983 The Simpsons move into Evergreen Terrace; Lisa is born
1989 Maggie is born; Homer & Marge's 10th Anniversary; Snowball II becomes family cat after death of Snowball I; Santa's Little Helper becomes family dog

According to the 1993 "Simpsons Fun Calendar," Maggie was actually born on 19th August 1985, and Bart was born on 17th December 1979. These calendars are MG's productions, and thus can not follow the continual updating the writers impose upon the series. However, from MG's view, these dates are approximately correct, considering the first airings of The Tracey Ullman Show bumpers and the fact that MG has plainly stated the characters do not age.

This is however, a little inconsistent with the UFA, another MG production which unfortunately is inconsistent with the series. In this, it is said that Bart was born on the April 1st, 1980. However, this production appears to have been written before Season Three season was completed, and thus has great inconsistencies with Season Three episodes like "I Married Marge". And according to the Olympic events scheduled on her birthday in "Lisa's First Word", Lisa was born on August 2, 1984. However, Homer also held up a newspaper on her birthday which puts the date closer to March.

More trickiness: Bart says he is two years and thirty eight days older than Lisa in "My Sister, My Sitter," which would make Bart's birthday June 25th, 1982.

At this time, it appears that the production staff has chosen to ignore certain established continuity references beginning with Season Five, and as such the LISA has chosen to reciprocate and ignore subsequent continuity where it interferes with previously established events.

Did You Know...

The habitual criminal Snake is regularly referred to as "Jailbird" in Simpsons scripts.

Relevant Associated Newsgroups, Fanclubs, and FTP/WWW Sites

Newsgroups:                    - For general discussion of The Simpsons                 - For German-speaking fans of The Simpsons               - For fans of The Simpsons in the U.K.           - For fans of Itchy & Scratchy     - For discussing "The Itchy & Scratchy Show"     - For images related to The Simpsons
alt.binaries.sounds.cartoons       - For sounds related to the Simpsons            - For the "drooling fanboy" types                - For discussing "King of the Hill"                   - For discussing "South Park"

FTP and WWW: -
Known as "The Simpsons Archive", it is the current archive site with a large collection of documents and texts. For specifics on digimark, send Email to .

The Simpsons Geek Code
The Simpsons Geek Code file is a guide maintained by David Kendall which instructs its reader on how to arrange a code for their favorite character, episode, least favorite character, etc... regarding the The Simpsons, to be incorporated into a .plan or .sig file.

 -> The following World Wide Web sites represent only a sampling of the dozens of Simpsons-related pages in existence. These sites are included on the basis of relative quality, uniqueness, and contribution to the field.

Pages dedicated to the show in general:

Pages dedicated to specific characters:

Commercial pages: (Harry Shearer's site for his Santa Monica based Public Radio program, "Le Show")
The Ultimate TV List

Two servers suggested as starting points for Archie users are and


The Lisa Simpson Fan Club (LSFC) is devoted to the girl who is arguably the smartest character on television today. For more information or to join the mailing list, visit the LSFC homepage at You can also join the list by sending email to with the phrase subscribe lsfc in the body.

The Homer J. Simpson Fan Club is dedicated to worshipping the one and only Homer the Great. Send Email to for more information.

Frequently Used Acronyms

 Acronym             Translation

  a.t.s        -  The Usenet newsgroup
  MG           -  Matt Groening
  OFF          -  Our Favorite Family  (The Simpsons, of course)
  SLH          -  Santa's Little Helper  (the Simpsons' family dog)
  DYN          -  Did You Notice, Didja Notice
  LIH          -  "Life in Hell"  (MG's comic strip)
  I&S          -  Itchy and Scratchy
  FFF, FF      -  Freeze-Frame Fun
  SNPP         -  Springfield Nuclear Power Plant
  IMHO, IMO    -  In My (Humble) Opinion
  BTW          -  By The Way
  WRT          -  With Regard(s) To, With Respect To
  ROFL         -  Rolling On the Floor Laughing
  IYKWIM       -  If You Know What I Mean
  AFAIK        -  As Far As I Know
  WTF          -  What The [Heck]
  IIRC         -  If I Recall Correctly, If I Remember Correctly
  OTOH         -  On the Other Hand
Other Terms:

Production Code  -  The four character episode number given to each episode
P-Code           -  Production Code, ie: 7G08, 7F24, 2F05.  (See Sec 2.1)
Couch Gag        -  Part of the title sequence when the family runs into the
                    house and something unusual happens.
Ref              -  Reference, where an event or scene in the show parodies
                    another show, movie, or event.
Blackboard Quote -  What Bart writes on the chalkboard at the beginning of the
                    title sequence
Cutoff           -  The last thing Bart writes on the chalkboard as he is
                    dismissed from school in the title sequence.
Episode Capsule  -  A compilation file for each episode.  (See Sec 3.1)

Topics That Tend To Go Nowhere

As with most newsgroups, certain threads have been beaten to death. These issues generally revolve around topics that are based on individual interpretations of the evidence presented. As such, there are no set answers, and a large percentage of the readers have either already made up their minds on the subject, or have been bombarded with the topic before.

In the fall of 1997 (and then again in the summer of 1998), held a monthlong poll on which got a pretty respectable response that would determine what is considered the best episode of The Simpsons, and what is considered the worst. As of the 1998 poll, "Lisa's Wedding" was voted best episode, and "All Singing, All Dancing" was voted worst. The results of this poll will hopefully be helpful in putting an end to this tired debate. Ben Collins is also responsible for a series of polls which provide conclusive collective opinions on some of the Topics that Tend to Go Nowhere which plague See the results of his polls at

The following is a list of topics which competantly meet the requirements for being a "topic that tends to go no where." As such, it's probably a good idea to try and avoid them.

Be respectful of other people's opinions. If there are people posting negative/positive reviews for episodes of later/earlier years, let it be. Some of the above listed topics tend to generate strong emotional feelings from some people, and if you wish to discuss them, it's best to take it to private e-mail or not to discuss it at all if you don't wish to discuss it rationally and courteously. (See Sec 2.1, Sec 3.3)

In addition, it is wise to avoid fanning the flames of posters who are intentionally starting inflammatory threads simply to elicit an angry response by not responding to them. These are called trolls, and even isn't immune to them.

Also, it is asked that binary files (GIFs, JPEGs, WAVs, MPEGs, etc.) be directed to the appropriate alt.binaries.* newsgroup rather than posting them to a.t.s directly.

-> On to Section II
== Return to the Table of Contents

[PROTECT SPEECH] Copyright © 1999 Artist Bros. Enterprises - (See Sec 4.3)