Before launching The Simpsons as a sitcom, creator Matt Groening pitched the idea of an animated short series featuring a dysfunctional family to the producer James L. Brooks. Groening modeled the characters after members of his own family, using Bart to represent himself, and earned a spot on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Because the show’s producers chose to use Groening’s rough sketches instead of a finished product, the characters were somewhat crudely drawn during this time only loosely resembled their current forms. After three seasons as a sketch on The Tracey Ullman Show, Fox approached Groening to develop a half-hour, prime-time show based on the characters in the sketch. The Simpsons enjoyed a large measure of success during the first season in 1989-1990, capturing a spot in the Top 30 ratings for the first time in Fox’s history.
Today, The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, animated program, and American prime-time entertainment series. Since the show’s creation more than two decades ago, the series has earned 27 Primetime Emmy Awards, 27 Annie Awards, a Peabody Award, and status as Time magazine’s best television series of the 20th century. The Simpsons has also profoundly influenced culture over the years, including the admission of Homer’s famous cry of “D’oh!” into the English lexicon. Similarly, the ambivalent term “Meh” and the word “Cromulent” have earned spots in the Collins English Dictionary and Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary, respectively.
American Royal Arts possesses a number of limited edition cels from the hit show, including images of Bart and Lisa quarreling, and an interpretation of a music album featuring characters from the Simpsons. To learn more about memorabilia from The Simpsons and other collectible items available at American Royal Arts, visit the website at AmericanRoyalArts.com.