The Simpsons" will hit its 500th episode mark when the animated show airs this Sunday. The sitcom about a hilariously maddening family of a bright, yellow hue has already hit plenty of milestones unknown to many a TV show. Here, a few facts about “The Simpsons.”D’oh! "
It’s a record holder
Now in its 23rd season, the animated series is the most-watched show on television, with an average weekly global viewership of more than 150 million viewers, and 8 million regular viewers who tune in to the weekly timeslot on Fox. It’s also the longest-running animated sitcom, surpassing "The Flintstones" by over a decade, and holds the record for most guest stars featured in a series, including Drew Barrymore, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, and Michael Jackson.
It has serious fans
The love of the 'toon inspired two fans to make the record books with their loyalty to the show: Jeremiah Franco and Carin Shreve set a new Guiness World Record for longest continuous television viewing by watching 86 hours and 37 minutes of the Fox sitcom, which translates to three and a half days.
The story behind Homer's trademark phrase
The cartoon dad Homer’s catchphrase is defined as “expressing frustration at the realization that things have turned out badly or not as planned, or that one has just said or done something foolish,” and was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2001. Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer, recounted to The Hollywood Reporter how he got the idea for the term, which is written only as “annoyed grunt” in the scripts. The actor said he latched on to the “Laurel and Hardy” films’ foil, Jimmy Finlayson, who would always say "Dooooh!" He added, “Matt said we only had a minute, so we shortened it to make it faster.”
The cartoon got its start on another show
In 1987, the animated cartoon produced by Matt Groening aired in 30-second segments for "The Tracey Ullman Show" on Fox. Marge, Homer, Lisa, Maggie, and Bart are all there, but have a rougher look. But the "Simpsons" humor is unmistakable.
Bart is really a woman
Well, not exactly, but his character is voiced by one: Nancy Cartwright gives life to the underachieving, foul-mouthed, skateboarding slacker. Fun fact: Cartwright is also the voice of Nelson the bully. Ha, ha!
It’s a lot of work
It may come as no big surprise that animating a weekly cartoon has a longer lead time than using live actors, but six months? A single episode takes half a year and 480 animators.