$pringfield (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)

"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", also known as "$pringfield", is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 16, 1993. In the episode, Springfield decides to legalize gambling to revitalize its economy. A casino owned by Mr. Burns is created and Homer gets a job as a blackjack dealer. Meanwhile, Marge develops a gambling addiction, Bart starts his own casino, and Burns develops an odd personality in a parody of Howard Hughes.

The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, and directed by Wes Archer. Gerry Cooney and Robert Goulet guest starred as themselves. The episode features cultural references to the films Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Wizard of Oz, Rain Man, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 11.7, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

"$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 10 (91st overall)
Directed byWes Archer[1]
Written byBill Oakley & Josh Weinstein[1]
Production code1F08
Original air dateDecember 16, 1993
Guest appearance(s)

Gerry Cooney as himself
Robert Goulet as himself

Episode features
Chalkboard gag"I will not say 'Springfield' just to get applause".[1]
Couch gagThe family runs to the couch, but when they get there, they break and shatter like glass.
CommentaryMatt Groening
David Mirkin
Bill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Wes Archer

Plot

The economy of Springfield is in decline, so Mayor Quimby listens to suggestions from citizens on how to improve it. Principal Skinner states that legalized gambling has helped rejuvenate run-down economies, and that it can work for Springfield as well. Everybody, including Marge, likes the idea. Mr. Burns and Mayor Quimby work together to build a casino, where Homer gets a job as a blackjack dealer. The casino is designed by Mr. Burns himself, as the proposals he received were not to his liking. While Marge waits for Homer's shift to end at the casino, she finds a quarter on the floor and uses it to play a [slot machine. When she wins, Marge immediately becomes addicted to gambling. Meanwhile, Bart is too young to gamble at Mr. Burns' Casino, so he starts his own casino for his friends to play in his treehouse, and intercepts Robert Goulet to perform there. Mr. Burns also grows even richer, but in the process becomes a Howard Hughes-type hermit, developing a profound fear of microscopic germs, urinating in jars, and wearing tissue boxes instead of shoes.

Due to her addiction, Marge spends her waking moments at the casino and neglects her family. For instance, she forgets to help Lisa make a costume for her geography pageant. Homer bursts into the casino and barges around searching for Marge. The security cameras capture Homer's rampage, and when Mr. Burns sees him he demotes him back to his old job at the power plant. After realizing how much he misses the plant, Mr. Burns decides to return. Homer confronts Marge with her behavior, as she finally realizes that she has a problem.

Lisa does win a special prize in the geography pageant, as Homer's poor costume design gives Lisa the appearance that she did the work all by herself. Ralph receives the same prize, as his costume is simply a note taped to his shirt that reads "Idaho".

Production

Bill Oakley2
Bill Oakley was one of the writers of the episode.

The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, and directed by Wes Archer. The story of the episode originated from a newspaper article that Oakley and Weinstein found about a town in Mississippi that was introducing riverboat gambling.[2] Oakley said another inspiration for it was that there had not been many episodes about Springfield as a whole and how "crummy" the town was, so they filled the whole first act with scenes showing how "crummy" and "dismal" Springfield was.[3] Oakley particularly liked the animation of the lights inside the casino on the slot machines and the lamps in the ceiling. The "way they radiate out" had always amazed him.[3] Archer, who directed the animation of the episode, also thought they turned out well. The lights were especially hard for them to animate back then because the show was animated traditionally on cels, so Archer was pleased with the results.[4] A deleted scene from the episode shows Homer dealing cards to James Bond. The staff liked the scene, so they decided to put it in the clip show episode "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular".[5]

There was a brief period when the episode had a different subplot that revolved around the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood. Groening had been told by a spokesperson that if he put Planet Hollywood in The Simpsons, the creators of the restaurant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Sylvester Stallone, would agree to make guest appearances on the show. The writers of The Simpsons were excited about this so they wrote a new subplot for the episode that featured Planet Hollywood and the three actors. However, for unknown reasons, they were unable to appear in the episode.[6] Instead, Gerry Cooney and Robert Goulet guest starred as themselves. Executive producer David Mirkin enjoyed directing Goulet because he was "such a good sport" and had "a great sense of humor".[5] Oakley thought it was nice that Goulet was willing to make fun of himself in the episode, which at the time was rare for guest stars on The Simpsons.[3] This episode features the first appearances of Gunter and Ernst, the Siegfried and Roy-esque casino magicians who are attacked by their white tiger, Anastasia. Ten years after this episode first aired, Roy Horn was attacked by one of the duo's white tigers. The Simpsons production team dismissed the novelty of the prediction by saying that it was "bound to happen" sooner or later.[5] The Rich Texan also makes his debut appearance in this episode, referred to as "Senator" by Homer.[1]

Cultural references

Howard Hughes
Mr. Burns's paranoid obsession with germs and cleanliness, and his refusal to leave his bedroom once the casino opens, is a parody of American magnate Howard Hughes.

The title is a reference to the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the music of which was composed by Laurie Johnson. Two of his songs, Happy-go-lively and Rue de la park can be heard within the News on Parade segment at the beginning of the episode.[7] Burns' bed looks similar to the one occupied by Keir Dullea's character Dave Bowman in the end of the 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.[8] Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise appear at the casino to reprise their roles from the 1988 film Rain Man.[8] Homer is impressed by the card-counting abilities of a man who resembles Raymond Babbitt, Hoffman's character in the film.[1] Krusty's show at midnight is similar to Bill Cosby's 1971 album For Adults Only, which was recorded at a casino at midnight.[8] Marge reminds Homer that his lifelong dream was to be a contestant on the television show The Gong Show.[8]

Burns's paranoid obsession with germs and cleanliness, and his refusal to leave his bedroom once the casino opens, parodies American magnate Howard Hughes, who had obsessive-compulsive disorder, and was involved in the casino business in his later years. The "Spruce Moose", an absurdly tiny wooden plane Burns makes in the episode, is a parody of Hughes' impractically enormous wooden plane, derisively nicknamed the "Spruce Goose".[8] Homer parodies the scene in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz when the Scarecrow demonstrates his newly acquired intelligence by (incorrectly) reciting the law that governs the lengths of the sides of an isosceles triangle. Unlike in the film, somebody correctly points out that the Pythagorean theorem recited applies only to right triangles, not isosceles triangles.[6]

Reception

In its original American broadcast, "$pringfield" finished 35th in the ratings for the week of December 13 to December 19, 1993, with a Nielsen Rating of 11.7, translating to 11 million households. The episode was the highest-rated show on the Fox network that week.[9]

Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. DVD Movie Guide's Colin Jacobson commented that "this excellent episode includes a surprising number of concurrent plots. Homer also works in the casino and tries to care for the family without Marge. It balances them deftly and provides great laughs along the way."[10] Adam Suraf of Dunkirkma.net named it the third best episode of the season. He also praised the episode's cultural references.[11] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, wrote: "There's a lovely nod to the earlier episodes in which Marge protests the citizenry's hare-brained ideas at council meetings. A series of bizarre moments rather than a story—we're especially fond of Homer's photographic memory and Mr Burns' descent into insanity—but great fun."[8] Patrick Bromley of DVD Verdict gave the episode a grade of A,[12] and Bill Gibron of DVD Talk gave it a score of 4 out of 5.[13] The episode is Sarah Culp of The Quindecim's eleventh-favorite episode of the show,[14] and one of Les Winan of Box Office Prophets's favorite episodes.[15] A scene from the episode where former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets Burns was included in the 2002 documentary film The Trials of Henry Kissinger.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Groening, Matt (1997). Richmond, Ray; Coffman, Antonia (eds.). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family. Created by Matt Groening; edited by Ray Richmond and Antonia Coffman. (1st ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-06-095252-5. LCCN 98141857. OCLC 37796735. OL 433519M..
  2. ^ Weinstein, Josh (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "$pringfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ a b c Oakley, Bill (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "$pringfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ Archer, Wes (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "$pringfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ a b c Mirkin, David (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "$pringfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  6. ^ a b Groening, Matt (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "$pringfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  7. ^ "Stanley and Bart... another Kubrick legend". The Guardian. London. July 16, 1999. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "$pringfield". BBC. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  9. ^ "Nielsen Ratings/December 13–19". Long Beach Press-Telegram. December 22, 1993. p. C6.
  10. ^ Jacobson, Colin (December 21, 2004). "The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season (1993)". DVD Movie Guide. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
  11. ^ Suraf, Adam (December 18, 2004). "The Simpsons: Season 5". Dunkirkma.net. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  12. ^ Bromley, Patrick (February 23, 2005). "The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
  13. ^ Gibron, Bill (December 23, 2004). "The Simpsons – The Complete Fifth Season". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved January 9, 2009.
  14. ^ Culp, Sarah (February 19, 2003). "The Simpsons' Top 25 Episodes". The Quindecim. Archived from the original on February 19, 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
  15. ^ Winan, Les (December 28, 2004). "How to Spend $20". Box Office Prophets. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
  16. ^ MITCHELL, ELVIS (September 26, 2002). "FILM REVIEW; Taking Kissinger to Task, Perhaps Even a Bit More". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2009.

External links

Bill Oakley

William Lloyd Oakley (born February 27, 1966) is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.

Oakley and Weinstein eventually penned a spec script for Seinfeld, after which they wrote "Marge Gets a Job", an episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, the two were hired to write for the show on a permanent basis in 1992. After they wrote episodes such as "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Bart vs. Australia" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", the two were appointed executive producers and showrunners for the seventh and eighth seasons of the show. They attempted to include several emotional episodes focusing on the Simpson family, as well as several high-concept episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Two Bad Neighbors" and "The Principal and the Pauper", winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work.

After they left The Simpsons, Oakley and Weinstein created Mission Hill. The show was plagued by promotional issues and was swiftly canceled. They worked as consulting producers on Futurama, then created The Mullets in 2003. The two wrote several unsuccessful TV pilots, and were due to serve as showrunners on Sit Down, Shut Up in 2009. Oakley left the project over a contract dispute. He has since written for The Cleveland Show and Portlandia, without Weinstein. He also served as co-executive producer and writer on Portlandia, sharing a Writers Guild of America Award with his fellow writers in 2013. In 2018, Oakley reunited with Weinstein as co-executive producer on Disenchantment, Matt Groening's series for Netflix. Oakley is married to fellow writer Rachel Pulido.

Gerry Cooney

Gerald Arthur Cooney (born August 4, 1956) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1990, and challenged twice for world heavyweight titles in 1982 and 1987.

Homer the Vigilante

"Homer the Vigilante" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 6, 1994. In the episode, a crime wave caused by an elusive cat burglar plagues Springfield. Lisa is distraught to find her saxophone has been stolen, and Homer promises to get it back. The police are ineffective, so Homer takes charge of a neighborhood watch. However, under his leadership it becomes more like a vigilante group, and fails to catch the burglar. With the help of Grampa, Homer discovers that the burglar is a charming senior named Molloy. Molloy is arrested, but he outwits the citizens of Springfield and escapes.

The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Jim Reardon. Sam Neill guest starred in the episode as Molloy. "Homer the Vigilante" was selected for release in a 1997 video collection of selected episodes titled: The Simpsons: Crime and Punishment. It features cultural references to films such as It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Dr. Strangelove. Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.2, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

Howard Hughes

Howard Robard Hughes Jr. (December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976) was an American business magnate, investor, record-setting pilot, engineer, film director, and philanthropist, known during his lifetime as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. He first became prominent as a film producer, and then as an influential figure in the aviation industry. Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle – oddities that were caused in part by a worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic pain from a near-fatal plane crash and increasing deafness.

As a film tycoon, Hughes gained fame in Hollywood beginning in the late 1920s, when he produced big-budget and often controversial films such as The Racket (1928), Hell's Angels (1930), and Scarface (1932). Later he controlled the RKO film studio.

Hughes formed the Hughes Aircraft Company in 1932, hiring numerous engineers and designers. He spent the rest of the 1930s and much of the 1940s setting multiple world air speed records and building the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 Hercules (the Spruce Goose). He acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines and later acquired Air West, renaming it Hughes Airwest. Hughes was included in Flying Magazine's list of the 51 Heroes of Aviation, ranked at No. 25. Today, his legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Howard Hughes Corporation.

Josh Weinstein

Josh Weinstein (born May 5, 1966) is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Weinstein and Bill Oakley became best friends and writing partners at St. Albans High School; Weinstein then attended Stanford University and was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Chaparral. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.

Weinstein and Oakley eventually penned a spec script for Seinfeld, after which they wrote "Marge Gets a Job", an episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, the two were hired to write for the show on a permanent basis in 1992. After they wrote episodes such as "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Bart vs. Australia" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", the two were appointed executive producers and showrunners for the seventh and eighth seasons of the show. They attempted to include several emotional episodes focusing on the Simpson family, as well as several high-concept episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Two Bad Neighbors" and "The Principal and the Pauper", winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work.

After they left The Simpsons, Oakley and Weinstein created Mission Hill. The show was plagued by promotional issues and was swiftly canceled, but in subsequent years has gone on to develop a cult following. They worked as consulting producers on Futurama, then created The Mullets in 2003. The two wrote several unsuccessful TV pilots, and were due to serve as showrunners on Sit Down, Shut Up in 2009. Oakley left the project over a contract dispute, but Weinstein remained until it was canceled. He co-produced and wrote for Futurama again during its Comedy Central revival, winning an Emmy in 2011. Since 2013, Weinstein has served as showrunner for the CBBC series Strange Hill High, and in 2015, Danger Mouse. He has also served as a writer for Season Two of Gravity Falls, co-writing nine of the season's episodes. In 2018, Weinstein co-developed the Netflix animated series Disenchantment with creator Matt Groening, of which he and Oakley are currently serving as co-showrunners. Weinstein is married to journalist Lisa Simmons.

List of The Simpsons characters

Along with the Simpson family, The Simpsons includes a large array of characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, and as well as fictional characters. The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokesters or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to creator Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.The main episode characters, the Simpson family, are listed first; all other characters are listed in alphabetical order. Only main, supporting, and recurring characters are listed. For one-time and other recurring characters, see List of recurring The Simpsons characters and List of one-time The Simpsons characters.

List of The Simpsons couch gags

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The opening sequence of The Simpsons features a couch gag: a "twist of events that befalls the Simpson family at the end of every credit sequence as they converge on their living-room couch to watch TV." The couch gag is a running visual joke near the end of the opening sequence.

The couch gag changes from episode to episode and usually features the Simpson family's living room couch. A typical gag features the Simpsons running into the living room, only to find some abnormality with the couch, be it a bizarre and unexpected occupant, an odd placement of the couch, such as on the ceiling, or any number of other situations, such as to make a pop culture reference. Longer couch gags have sometimes been used to fill time in shorter episodes, such as in "Lisa's First Word", "The Front" and "Cape Feare". The show's 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" showcases each couch gag that was used in the series.

List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 662 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 will premiere on September 29, 2019.

== Series overview ==

=== Ratings ===

With its first season, The Simpsons became the Fox network's first series to rank among the top thirty highest rated shows of a television season. Due to this success, Fox decided to switch The Simpsons' timeslot in hopes that it would result in higher ratings for the shows that would air after it. The series moved from 8:00 p.m. on Sunday nights to the same time on Thursdays, where it competed with The Cosby Show, the number one show at the time.Many of the producers were against the move, as The Simpsons had been in the top ten while airing on Sunday, and they felt the move would destroy its ratings. Ratings wise, new episodes of The Cosby Show beat The Simpsons every time during the second season and The Simpsons eventually fell out of the top ten. At the end of the season Cosby averaged as the fifth highest rated show on television, while The Simpsons was thirty-eighth.The show continued in its Thursday timeslot until the sixth season, when, in 1994, it reverted to its original slot on Sunday. It has remained there ever since.

==== Key ====

The ratings for The Simpsons are split into two tables:

Season 1–11 are ranked by households (in millions) watching the series.

Season 12–30 are ranked by total viewers (in millions) watching the series.

==== Notes ====

Until the 1996/97 television season, ratings were calculated over 30 weeks from September to mid April. Episodes that aired after mid April were not part of the overall average and ranking.

Season one had approximately 13.4 million viewing households. Season two dropped 9%, resulting in an average of approximately 12.2 million viewing households.

Season three had an average rating of 13.0 points. For the 1991/92 season, each point represented 921,000 viewing households, resulting in a total average of approximately 12.0 million viewing households.

Season four had approximately 12.1 million viewing households. Season five dropped 13%, resulting in an average of approximately 10.5 million viewing households.

List of The Simpsons guest stars (seasons 1–20)

In addition to the show's regular cast of voice actors, celebrity guest stars have been a staple of The Simpsons, an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company, since its first season. The Simpsons focuses on the eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The family was initially conceived by Groening for a series of animated shorts, which originally aired as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show between 1987 and 1989. The shorts were developed into a half-hour prime time series which began in December 1989. The series' 29th season began in October 2017 and 662 episodes of The Simpsons have aired. A feature film adaptation of the series called The Simpsons Movie, was released in 2007.

Guest voices have come from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, musicians, artists, politicians and scientists. In the show's early years most guest stars voiced original characters, but as the show has continued the number of those appearing as themselves has increased.

The first credited guest star was Marcia Wallace who appeared in "Bart the Genius" in her first stint as Bart's teacher Edna Krabappel. Singer Tony Bennett was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer". Several guest stars have featured as recurring characters on the show, including Phil Hartman, Joe Mantegna and Kelsey Grammer. Hartman made the most appearances, guest starring 52 times. Grammer, Mantegna, Maurice LaMarche and Frank Welker have appeared twenty times or more; Jon Lovitz and Jackie Mason have appeared over ten times, while Albert Brooks, Glenn Close, Michael Dees, Dana Gould, Terry W. Greene, Valerie Harper, Jan Hooks, Jane Kaczmarek, Stacy Keach, Kipp Lennon, J. K. Simmons, Sally Stevens, George Takei and Michael York have made over five appearances.

Two guest stars, Ricky Gervais and Seth Rogen, earned writing credits for the episodes in which they appeared. Grammer, Mason and three-time guest star Anne Hathaway all won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for guest voice roles on the show. The show was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a TV Series" in 2010. As of May 12, 2019, there have been 826 guest stars on the show[A], with this figure rising to 831 if The Simpsons Movie is included.

List of recurring The Simpsons characters

The Simpsons includes a large array of supporting characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, fictional characters within the show, and even animals. The writers originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokes or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and have subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.

Marge Simpson

Marjorie Jacqueline "Marge" Simpson (née Bouvier) is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. She is voiced by Julie Kavner and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Marge was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his mother Margaret Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Marge is the matriarch of the Simpson family. With her husband Homer, she has three children: Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Marge is the moralistic force in her family and often provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family's antics by trying to maintain order in the Simpson household. She is often portrayed as a stereotypical television mother and is often included on lists of top "TV moms". She has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons—including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise.

Marge's distinctive blue beehive hairstyle was inspired by a combination of the Bride's in Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore in the 1960s. Julie Kavner, who was a member of the original cast of The Tracey Ullman Show, was asked to voice Marge so that more voice actors would not be needed. Kavner has won several awards for voicing Marge, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992. She was also nominated for an Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature for her performance in The Simpsons Movie. In 2000, Marge, along with the rest of her family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr. Burns

Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns, usually referred to simply as Mr. Burns, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the evil, devious, greedy and wealthy owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and, by extension, Homer Simpson's boss. He is assisted at almost all times by Waylon Smithers, his loyal and sycophantic aide, adviser, confidant, and secret admirer.

Although originally conceived as a one-dimensional, recurring villain who might occasionally enter the Simpsons' lives and wreak some sort of havoc, Mr. Burns' popularity has led to his repeated inclusion in episodes. He is a stereotype of corporate America in his unquenchable desire to increase his own wealth and power, inability to remember his employees' names (including Homer's, despite frequent interactions – which has become a recurrent joke) and lack of concern for their safety and well-being. Reflecting his advanced age, Mr. Burns is given to expressing dated humor, making references to Jazz Age popular culture, and aspiring to apply obsolete technology to everyday life. Conan O'Brien has called Mr. Burns his favorite character to write for, due to his arbitrarily old age and extreme wealth.

Mr. Burns' trademark expression is the word "Excellent", muttered slowly in a low, sinister voice while steepling his fingertips. He occasionally orders Smithers to "release the hounds", so as to let his vicious guard dogs attack any intruders, enemies or even invited guests. Mr. Burns is Springfield's richest and most powerful citizen (and also the richest person in Springfield's state; his current net worth has been given as $7.3 billion by Forbes, though it fluctuates wildly depending on the episode). He uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for consequences and without interference from the authorities. These qualities led Wizard Magazine to rate him the 45th greatest villain of all time. TV Guide named him #2 in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time. In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked him #8 of their "40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time".

Songs in the Key of Springfield

Songs in the Key of Springfield is a soundtrack/novelty album from The Simpsons compiling many of the musical numbers from the series. The album was released in the United States on March 18, 1997, and in the United Kingdom in June 1997. This was the second album released in association with the Simpsons television series; however, the previous release, The Simpsons Sing the Blues, contained original recordings as opposed to songs featured in episodes of the series.

The album was followed by The Yellow Album, a second album of original songs.

Springfield

Springfield may refer to:

Springfield (toponym), the place name in general

The Last Temptation of Homer

"The Last Temptation of Homer" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 9, 1993. In the episode, a female employee named Mindy is hired at the nuclear power plant. Homer and Mindy find themselves attracted to each other, but even though Homer is very tempted by her, he stays faithful to his wife Marge. Meanwhile, Bart becomes an outcast and makes friends with a group of nerds after he is prescribed glasses, special shoes, and throat spray which changes his voice.

The episode was written by Frank Mula and directed by Carlos Baeza. It did not get the usual amount of laughs at the test screenings, which made the staff worry the show was not as funny as they expected. Michelle Pfeiffer guest starred in the episode as Mindy and received praise for her performance, including a spot on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 16 best guest appearances on The Simpsons. The episode features cultural references to films such as The Wizard of Oz, It's A Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.7, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

The Simpsons (season 5)

The Simpsons' fifth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 30, 1993 and May 19, 1994. The showrunner for the fifth production season was David Mirkin who executive produced 20 episodes. Al Jean and Mike Reiss executive produced the remaining two, which were both hold overs that were produced for the previous season. The season contains some of the series' most acclaimed and popular episodes, including "Cape Feare", "Homer Goes to College" and "Rosebud". It also includes the 100th episode, "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song". The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Program as well as an Environmental Media Award and a Genesis Award. The DVD box set was released in Region 1 on December 21, 2004, Region 2 on March 21, 2005, and Region 4 on March 23, 2005.

Wes Archer

Wesley Meyer Archer (born November 26, 1961) is an American television animation director. He was one of the original three animators (along with David Silverman and Bill Kopp) on The Simpsons, Tracey Ullman shorts, and subsequently directed a number of The Simpsons episodes (many of which had John Swartzwelder as an episode writer) before becoming supervising director at King of the Hill. A few years later he left King of the Hill to direct for Futurama, before eventually returning to King of the Hill. Wes continued to supervise the direction of King of the Hill until the final season. He acted as a consulting director for the last season of King of the Hill, as he joined The Goode Family as supervising director. Archer's college animation film, "Jac Mac and Rad Boy, Go!" has long been a cult classic after receiving repeated airplay on USA Network's Night Flight in the 1980s. He studied at the Film Graphics/Experimental Animation Program at CalArts. He is currently the supervising director on Rick and Morty.

Archer's namesake also appears in an episode of King of the Hill (season 3, "Death and Texas"), in which Peggy is tricked into smuggling cocaine to an inmate on death row. The antagonist of the episode, the inmate, was named Wesley Martin Archer. The name combined both Wes' and his brother and co-worker, Martin Archer.

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