Congratulations to Matt Groening, Al Jean, and co. on achieving this meaningless milestone.
Now, please, for the love of God, do the merciful thing and end it. It’s too late to bow out with dignity. You will never surpass Sazae-san. There are no more plaudits left to achieve. You ran out of ideas over a decade ago. The next episode is about the Simpsons meeting the aliens. You are just throwing stuff at the wall now.
The Hollywood Reporter did a big cover story about The Simpsons in honor its meaningless milestone of having churned out a certain number of product. Former showrunner Mike Scully used the occasion to share his death wish with the nation:
“I think the show will outlive all of us,” says former producer Mike Scully. “Nothing would make me happier than some episode in the future to end with a title card that reads, ‘In memory of Mike Scully.'”
Yup, Mike Scully wants to die. Nothing would make him happier. There is no other way to interpret that quote. After years of death threats from Simpsons nerds, it seems Scully has decided to embrace the icy hand of death.
The rest of the article is mostly just a rehash of the same stories they’ve been telling for years in interviews and audio commentaries (did you know Michael Jackson didn’t do his own singing???), but nonetheless there’s a few interesting tidbits I haven’t heard elsewhere, if you use a charitable interpretation of “interesting.”
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p>Fox is always looking for new ways to encourage people to kill themselves. With their plans for an all-Simpsons channel having failed to materialize, it looked like their attempts to integrate The Simpsons into their master plan were dead on arrival.
Luckily, the Guinness Book of World Records stepped up to the plate and came up with a brilliant scheme that protects Fox from any liability: locking a bunch of people in a room and forcing them to watch all 500 episodes of The Simpsons, including the 300 or so that comprise The Bad Seasons. Whoever is still alive at the end of this charade will obtain 10,500 US dollars in hush money.
Here is the press release:
In celebration of THE Simpsons’ historic 500th episode milestone, FOX invites fans of the iconic animated series to participate in THE Simpsons Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. Beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 8, fans will come together to watch up to 500 continuous episodes of THE Simpsons in an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record of 86 hours, 6 minutes and 41 seconds for the longest continuous television viewing. The contest winner will take home a $10,500 prize and an array of THE Simpsonsmerchandise, including products exclusively designed to commemorate the 500th episode.
Remember when world records used to involve actually building or doing something, instead of just sitting in front of a TV? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, this sounds like the perfect way to kill yourself if you’re feeling depressed the week before Valentine’s Day – no muss, no fuss, a bunch of handy witnesses nearby. Fair warning: the last thing you see might be Grampa marrying Aunt Selma.
Twenty-two years ago today, America got its first taste of The Simpsons stretched out to 22 minutes with the premiere of the show’s Christmas special, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.”
I was going to post some reviews from the time, but the only one I could find (that wasn’t behind a paywall) was this one from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
A mighty Simpsons Day to you all.
To the surprise of no one, Simpsons showrunner Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly he’d like to see the show continue past the 25 seasons guaranteed by Friday’s re-negotiation deal:
“I honestly think that 30 is a goal to shoot for. I want to put The Simpsons at 30 seasons before the end of the decade,” he quips, nodding to John F. Kennedy’s moon speech. “Forty sounds insane, but 25 sounded insane 20 years ago. Having seen how far it’s gone, it’s not for me to cap it… And Gunsmoke did 635 episodes [a record for a prime-time series], so that’s something to shoot for, too.”
Even though he’s supposedly quipping, keep in mind he can recite how many episodes Gunsmoke did off-hand. Please, nobody tell him about the animes.
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