"The Simpsons' " Influence On The Media

1877 words - 8 pages

The animated sitcom "The Simpsons" has captivated American families nationwide of all races, ages, and ethnicity. It is the longest running comedy-animated series that has attracted a huge following within the last seventeen years. The audience can't simply get enough of the "yellow people" in the town of Springfield, which strangely represents an exaggerated form of our society. "The Simpsons" has influenced the evolution of animated situational comedy of the 90's allowing shows like "Family Guy", "Futurama", "King of the Hill", "Beavis and Butt-Head" and "South Park" to air on television. The animated series has crossed lines by parodying while also influencing a wide range of subj ...view middle of the document...

John Alberti, the author of "Leaving Springfield" states, "The success of The Simpsons has proved enormously influential in shaping television programming" (10). The Simpsons also sparked the rise of many animated sitcoms on network television, "the raft of prime-time animation has appeared on cable television since then: Beavis and Butt-head, Daria, Ren and Stimpy, and more recently, South Park and Celebrity Deathmatch. Indeed, with The Simpsons, Futurama (also created by Groening), King of the Hill, [Family Guy, and American Dad] prime-time animation has become a staple of fox programming strategy" (Alberti 10). The reason explanation for The Simpsons' success according to Robert Pinksky is that "The Simpsons teases its form, and cavorts inventively within that form . . . It achieves excellence by playing with the nature and history of television" (58). By using this particular approach, The Simpsons clearly has made an immense impact on prime-time television programming throughout the 90's.Simpsons inspired names and catch phrasesA great number of catch phrases that have originated from The Simpsons influenced other mediums to use these expressions. The simpsons is known for inventing new words, phrases, and abbreviations which also has popularized existing words and phrases by using some current words and phrases in new ways. The famous saying of Homer Simpson's "D'oh!" which is frequently said in many episodes, is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, but without the apostrophe. "D'oh" is the correct spelling and is it definitely the most common saying. Groundskeeper Willie's portrayal of the French people as "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" was used by a conservative National Review correspondent Jonah Goldberg who is a fan of the show, following France's opposition to the anticipated invasion of Iraq which quickly spread to other journalists. The expression "excellent" prolonged as a menacing and breathy "eeeexcelllent..." in the manner of Montgomery Burns has also become popular to use, just like Homer's victorious "Woohoo!" and Nelson Muntz's sarcastic "HA-HA!". "Woohoo" later became the catch phrase of Melissa Joan Hart's character Sabrina in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch". The character Waylon Smithers since the debut of the show, the term "Smithers" has become a regular expression for spineless assistant. The show's creators take pride in having passed on schoolyard rhymes to the upcoming new generation of children who may not have heard these expressions. The Simpsons inspired a string of rock bands along with several companies to name their products after Simpsons related references. There couple of examples of the Simpsons inspired name such as the punk/emo-rock band Fall Out Boy was named after a character Fallout Boy from the episode titled "Radioactive Man". Evergreen Terrance was taken from the street that the Simpson's reside in Springfield. The Simpsons maybe just an animated sitcom to some individuals, but the audie...


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