The Simpsons and its myriad of episodes have been going strong since the early 90s, and it remains the longest-running syndicated prime-time cartoon on television. 600 of the currently 603 episodes are planned to be aired beginning on Thanksgiving Day, so you probably want to get your DVR ready for days of binge-watching if you don’t already own it all on DVD or Blu-Ray.
Back when it first aired, it wasn’t originally a featured series. It was an animated add-on to The Tracy Ullman Show, until creator Matt Groening (pronounced “gray-ning”) decided to refine the art style and turn it into its own show. The show met with a lot of controversy from conservatives for its irreverent humor and the “Dennis the Menace” antics of animated star Bart Simpson (voiced by Nancy Cartwright). The popular image of Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta) choking Bart didn’t help, being labeled as “enabling child abuse.”
A fun fact here is that Dan actually changed the way he voiced Homer Simpson over the first few episodes, and his signature “D’oh!” was actually a shortened version of the classic trope already used in comedy series of the past.
13 days. 600 episodes. WOO HOO! The Simpsons 600 Marathon begins Thanksgiving on FXX. pic.twitter.com/cecmTyUvQi
— Every.Simpsons.Ever (@EverySimpsons) November 17, 2016
The Simpsons had also faced stiff competition from The Cosby Show at the time, as conservative viewers often preferred the “cleaner” humor offered by one of America’s best comedians. Little did we know that Cosby would eventually be labeled a serial rapist as former co-workers came out and accused him of drugging and having his way with them.
Now Matt Groening’s brainchild is considered one of the cleanest cartoons on TV, thanks to the edgier humor of Family Guy and South Park. Many even claim that Family Guy is just ripping off The Simpsons, even though there remains far more blood and bullying in the former.
The Thanksgiving Simpsons marathon isn’t the first time FXX aired a marathon, as back in 2014, they did the same thing with only 522 episodes, according to Polygon.
What was considered a spin-off series at the time, Futurama was created in the same art style, but took a more science fiction spoof approach. It lasted for 10 seasons, one of which was a series of feature film-length episodes divided into four individual episodes for TV, which had an ambitious concept playing like a series of actual movies. There was a distinct timeline between them, which is something not done very often in cartoons. When the series continued in season six, it went back to the half-hour episode format with what felt like a soft reboot.
Unlike The Simpsons, Futurama was finally canceled after season 10. The show-runners are allegedly toying with the concept of making this season of The Simpsons their last, even though viewership is still healthy.
— Every.Simpsons.Ever (@EverySimpsons) November 18, 2016
The marathon will be hosted by Keegan-Michael Key and Tajari P. Henson of Key and Peele and Empire, respectively. If you want an often hilarious and sometimes emotional trip down memory lane, this could be the backdrop for your family get-together. You might believe it’s only fitting that you binge on the longest-running prime-time cartoons on TV while you binge on turkey, cranberry sauce, and other Holiday dinner fixings.
If you can’t catch the FXX marathon, FXNow is hosting every season except the current one, much like Netflix, so you can binge on your own time and appreciate each episode, says Entertainment Weekly.
Season 28 is set to launch on September 28, with comedienne and noted feminist Amy Schumer voicing the role of Mr. Burns’ mother. It’s unknown if it will be as raunchy and sex-based as her usual comedy routines.
Will you be catching the Simpsons marathon of 600 episodes starting Thanksgiving Day?
[Featured Image by Fox Studios]