Hi folks and welcome to another Simpsons Sunday. This week’s post is all about the first two seasons of The Simpsons. Obviously, the show was in its infancy and characters were being created, to go alongside all the characters who appeared in the Tracey Ullman Shorts. There were also changes to some of the Simpson family, during this period of the show’s history: in that Bart became more rounded and was not just this bratty 10-year-old. He showed that he does care for his Dad, when he finds out that he only has $13 to spend on Christmas gifts for the family from his earnings as a mall Santa. He gently encourages Homer that they should go home, before they are persuaded to go to the dog track and they get their dog, as we know. Lisa shows her true intelligence and her true feelings on the world, before becoming a vegetarian or converting to another religion.
Obviously, Homer’s voice still had the Walter Matthau sound to it and even Grandpa sounded a bit different too, compared to later seasons. Even characters like: Mr. Burns, Barney and Milhouse sounded a bit different during those years, from 1989 to 1991. Season 1 also saw the introduction to characters like: Nelson Muntz, Apu, Otto Man and Moe, whom Bart would make prank calls to throughout the series.
In Season 2, other characters began to be introduced like: Jeffrey Albertson (aka comic book Guy) and his voice actually got better as the series progressed. At first he spoke with a lisp but the main trade of his, which was his sarcasm was always evident. Even Wralph Wiggum was a bit different in that he wasn’t blurting out his random lines like “my cats breath smells like cat food” yet. He actually sounded more Normal then and wasn’t given a family to live with yet.
Also in Season 2, Homer began to work with a voice which was similar to the one we know today. This is because Dan Castellaneta found the Walter Matthau sound limiting and couldn’t hold the voice through the long recording sessions. He wanted something with more power and the change was complete in Season 3 and the rest is history.
Okay, let’s not forget Krusty The Clown and Sideshow Bob, because they are equally important to the early seasons too. Krusty was already a character when the Tracey Ullman Shorts aired but Sideshow Bob wasn’t yet, at least in a speaking roll. In Season 1, we first heard Kelsey Grammer voice Bob in the episode Krusty Gets Busted and it also established his hatred for Bart, for foiling his plan to completely take over Krusty’s show, while he was in jail. As the series progresses Sideshow Bob became more rounded too, with his own family and by Season 19, all the main components of his family were established, with mostly fellow actors from Frasier voicing family members. If you want to know more, there are many places on the internet where you can trace the evolution of his family, including the Simpsons fan sites.
As for Krusty, we find that he has to ware a pacemaker because of an on air heart attack which we saw during Krusty Gets Busted. We also discover that he is also illiterate. Later on, Krusty’s Father is introduced during Season 3 and he fakes his own death in Season 7.
As for my favourite episodes from those first two seasons, I have some that I will watch again and again such as: Bart The General, Moaning Lisa, Krusty Gets Busted, Bart Gets An F, Lisa’s Substitute, Oh Brother Where Are Thou, Principal Charming, Bart Gets Hit By A Car, among others. So, the first two seasons are a bit ordinary in that the plots and characters are much more conventional and not as silly and surreal as Seasons 3 to 8. However, they are just as important in the timeline of the show, as any other season since then and should never be overlooked.
This Tuesday, it will be 29 years since the Simpson family were first introduced on the Tracey Ullman Show, as shorts. I have mentioned them in previous posts and will probably have something for next year, when it will be the 30th anniversary.
On the birthday front, former Simpsons writer Conan O’Brien turns another year older tomorrow. Of course, he wrote two of the best episodes from Seasons 4 and 5: Marge vs. The Monorail and Homer Goes To College. He even guest starred in the Season 5 episode Bart Gets Famous as himself on his then new late night TV show.
Well that’s about it for this weeks post. Check out Chris Ladesma’s blog. He is the Music Editor for The Simpsons and has been since day 1.
Also, check out Yeardley Smith’s blog at http://gobbingoff.tumblr.com
Don’t forget about Marchez Vous, which is her women’s shoe designer company, which she started earlier in the decade. You can check out their website at
Additionally, for more news on The Simpsons, you can go to http://news.simpsonswiki.com/
You can also comment here or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply as soon as I can to all messages I receive. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook you can comment directly to me that way too.
You can follow Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean on Twitter and his Twitter handle is @AlJean.
He has ran the show since Season 13 and has ran it during Seasons 3 and 4.
Anyway, that is it for this weeks post. Talk to you again next Sunday