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What you need to know for 08/22/2017

‘D’oh!’ ‘Simpsons’ marathon to air 25 seasons over 12 days

‘D’oh!’ ‘Simpsons’ marathon to air 25 seasons over 12 days

Better stock up on doughnuts — Homer Simpson moves into living rooms today.
‘D’oh!’ ‘Simpsons’ marathon to air 25 seasons over 12 days
Homer Simpson

Better stock up on doughnuts — Homer Simpson moves into living rooms today.

The animated, exasperated patriarch of “The Simpsons,” the Fox network’s banana-colored first family, will stay through Labor Day. So will Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Mr. Burns and Krusty the Clown.

And Milhouse, Moe, Apu, Itchy, Scratchy and Santa’s Little Helper.

Plus Ned Flanders, Smithers, Chief Wiggum and Sideshow Bob.

And dozens more. The gang all will be working overtime on cable network FXX, which begins its “Every. Simpsons. Ever” marathon at 10 a.m. All 25 seasons of the 30-minute comedy — 552 episodes — will be shown in chronological order and include 2007’s “The Simpsons Movie” and the Halloween-themed “Treehouse of Horror” specials.

“Excellent!” as scheming Mr. Burns might say.

“Okely Dokely!” as sugary-sweet Flanders might sing.

“Aieeeeeeee!” as tormented cat Scratchy might scream.

FXX announced the 12-day cartoon festival in April. While TV marathons are relatively rare — fans can generally tune in half-day “Twilight Zone” or “Outer Limits” marathons during the fall — the FXX plan is the ultimate in binge viewing.

People can tune in “The Last Temptation of Krust” at 10 a.m. Monday; “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday; “We’re on the Road to D’ohwhere” at 1 a.m. next Friday; and marathon finale “The Yellow Badge of Cowardge” at 11:30 p.m. on Labor Day.

The full schedule is available at

The characters, who parody American culture, society, television and humanity in general, were first seen in April 1987 on “The Tracey Ullman Show.” The sketches later were developed for prime time, and “The Simpsons” premiered on Dec. 17, 1989. It became one of the Fox television network’s early hits.

Earlier this year, the show wrapped up its 25th season. “The Simpsons” has become the longest-running American sitcom and the longest-running American animated program. In 2009, it passed “Gunsmoke” as the longest-running American scripted series in prime time. So Bart Simpson has outgunned Sheriff Matt Dillon, who kept law and order in Dodge City from 1955 until 1975.

The episode titles have often spoofed pop culture, offering fractured takes on popular songs, movies and sayings. Some examples: “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?” “New Kid on the Block,” “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds,” “Take My Wife, Sleaze,” “I Am Furious (Yellow),” “The Seven Beer Snitch” and “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song.”

Time capsule

The show has always had its followers.

“ ‘The Simpsons’ is a time capsule of our collective U.S. current events as seen through the prism of parody,” said Dave Dorman, an Eisner and Inkpot award-winning comic book artist and an avid “Simpsons” fan.

“A great example of this is the third season episode ‘Radio Bart,’ parodying Jessica McClure falling in the well. Like the equally brilliant ‘South Park,’ ‘The Simpsons’ will remain relevant as long as they want to keep creating, because their timely social commentary keeps everyone watching weekly.”

Family facts

There are other odd facts about the family Simpson.

-- Actors, singers and athletes who have voiced animated renditions of themselves on “The Simpsons” include Tony Bennett, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Paul McCartney, Paul Newman, Mick Jagger and LeBron James.

-- Show creator Matt Groening called the Simpsons’ hometown “Springfield” because there are dozens of U.S. cities with the name — he wanted to keep fans guessing on the state.

-- Groening told the BBC that Springfield’s residents are all yellow for quick identification. “An animator came up with the Simpsons’ yellow and as soon as she showed it to me I said: ‘This is the answer!’ because when you’re flicking through channels with your remote control, and a flash of yellow goes by, you’ll know you’re watching ‘The Simpsons.’ ”

-- Bart Simpson appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1998.

-- The opening family couch gathering sequence is actually a writer’s gag — to add or subtract time from the show.

-- Homer’s frustration phrase “D’oh!” translates to “Ouch!” for the Spanish-language version of the show.

-- Former U.S. President George W. Bush once blamed Simpson characters for society’s problems, and believed American families should be less like “The Simpsons” and more like “The Waltons,” the simple mountain family from the 1970s-80s TV series.

-- The two green space alien characters, Kang and Kodos — generally seen during the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes, are named after characters from “Star Trek.”

-- Bart buddy Milhouse Van Houten has a historic middle name — “Mussolini.”

-- All Simpson characters have four fingers on each hand except one — God has five fingers.

Homer and friends — and enemies — begin their 26th season on Sunday, Oct. 6. Show executives have hinted at a character death. And cartoon photos — depicting an ailing Homer wearing an oxygen mask — have surfaced on the Internet.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at

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