OK, fanboy time. I heart The Simpsons. There, I said it. Ever since they appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show back in 1986, I became instantly enamored with the whole dynamic of the characters (and the fact that I’ve always loved animation didn’t hurt). As the show evolved and The Simpsons spun off into their own series, I followed along and became a rabid fan. Even to this day, while my Sunday night TV viewing doesn’t revolve around the show anymore, I still frequently watch them in syndication. I’ve seen every episode at least once and in most cases, dozens of times, particularly for the earlier ones.
So, as a devotee of the Yellow Crowd, here are the top five things I learned from watching The Simpsons for all these years:
- Everything can be made better with beer or donuts (or both)
Face it; you want to believe this one. Beer is nature’s perfect drink and donuts, while hardly something nature provides, gives sustenance without the complication of vitamins, minerals or anything else good for you. While pretty much any foodstuff makes Homer drool, he has a special something for his suds and cakes - they get him through (or into) the bad times.
- You can be a total screw-up, but if you’re lovable, people will forgive you anything
Homer is an everyman, but has almost every flaw known to man. Just look at the facts: Homer has destroyed lives, businesses, homes, even people with his incompetence-enhanced laziness and yet because he’s such a good-hearted “person” (down deep underneath all that blubber), everyone eventually overlooks those flaws. Life can’t be too bad if you’re a Homer.
- Don’t be stuck in the same old career your whole life - branch out and try new things
Besides his normal full-time job as a safety engineer at a nuclear power plant, Homer has been a recording artist (twice), an astronaut, a volunteer fireman, a team mascot, to name a few of his jobs. Who wouldn’t want to be him? If your current job bores you, try something completely new and unfitting for your background and education. Succeed, fail and grovel for your old job, only to try it all over again another time. Brilliant! Where do I sign up?
- Being a nuclear plant safety engineer means you get to travel ALL the time and still keep your job
I knew there was a perfect job out there and Homer has it! You’d wonder why he keeps trying to find other careers when he has the deal everyone wants. The man can take his family anywhere around the world - Brazil, Israel, France, England - for weeks at a time and never get penalized! How much vacation time does he have? Come on, you all want that.
- All you need to do is produce an animated series about a dysfunctional family and you can get great guests
Amazing the number of big names that have given voice to their animated selves on The Simpsons. To name but a few: Paul & Linda McCartney, famed physicist Stephen Hawking, Sting, Ron Howard, architect Frank Gehry, reclusive author Thomas Pynchon. The list goes on and on. Whatever it is about Springfield’s favorite family that lures in these famous luminaries, the writers have found the formula.