The Principal and the Pauper

"The Principal and the Pauper" is the second episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 28, 1997.[2] In the episode, Seymour Skinner begins to celebrate his twentieth anniversary as principal of Springfield Elementary School, when a man arrives claiming that Skinner has assumed his identity. Principal Skinner admits that his real name is Armin Tamzarian, and that he had thought the true Seymour Skinner, a friend from the Army, had died in the Vietnam War. Armin leaves Springfield, but is later persuaded to return as principal.

"The Principal and the Pauper" was written by Ken Keeler and directed by Steven Dean Moore. It guest-starred Martin Sheen as the real Seymour Skinner. Although it aired during the show's ninth season, it was a holdover from season eight.[3] The episode is one of the most controversial episodes of The Simpsons. Many fans and critics reacted extremely negatively to the revelation that Principal Skinner, a recurring character since the first season who had undergone a lot of character development, was an impostor. Many fans do not even consider it to be canon. The episode has been criticized by series creator Matt Groening, and by Harry Shearer, who provides the voice of Principal Skinner. Despite this, Ken Keeler considers the episode the best work he has ever done for television.

"The Principal and the Pauper"
The Simpsons episode
PrincipalSkinnerImposter
Principal Skinner declares himself as an impostor. The episode garnered controversy from fans and critics, with many citing it as the point where the series jumped the shark.
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 2
Directed bySteven Dean Moore
Written byKen Keeler
Production code4F23
Original air dateSeptember 28, 1997
Guest appearance(s)

Martin Sheen as the real Seymour Skinner[1]

Episode features
Couch gagThe Simpsons are dressed as astronauts and sit on the couch just as it blasts off into space.
CommentaryBill Oakley
Josh Weinstein
Ken Keeler
Steven Dean Moore

Plot

On the eve of his twentieth anniversary as school principal, Seymour Skinner is lured by his mother to Springfield Elementary School for a surprise party. The celebration goes well until a strange man arrives, claiming to be the real Seymour Skinner. Principal Skinner admits that he is an impostor, and that his real name is Armin Tamzarian. Armin then tells the story of the events that led him to steal Seymour Skinner's identity.

Armin was once a troubled young man from Capital City who enlisted in the Army in order to avoid a jail sentence for petty crimes. There, he met and befriended the real Sergeant Seymour Skinner, who became his mentor and helped him find meaning in his troubled life. Seymour told Armin that his dream was to become an elementary school principal after the war. Later, Seymour was declared missing and presumed dead. Armin took the news of the apparent death to Seymour's mother, Agnes. Upon meeting him, however, Agnes mistook him for her son, and Armin could not bear to deliver the message. He instead allowed Agnes to call him Seymour, and took over Seymour's life. Meanwhile, the real Seymour Skinner spent five years in a POW camp, then worked in a Chinese sweatshop for two decades until it was shut down by the United Nations.

After these revelations, the people of Springfield begin to distrust Armin. Armin decides that there is no longer any place for him in Springfield. The real Skinner is then offered the chance to realize his dream and take over as school principal. He takes the job, but the real Skinner finds himself isolated by the townspeople, who realize they prefer Armin to him. Armin, however, has already left Springfield and gone to Capital City to resume his old persona as a no-good street thug.

Marge heads to Capital City with Edna Krabappel, Agnes and the rest of the Simpson family. After Agnes orders Armin to return home, Homer persuades Mayor Quimby and all the other citizens to allow Armin to resume his assumed identity as Principal Skinner. The real Skinner is unhappy about this and refuses to give up his job and his dignity just because the people of Springfield prefer Armin to him. In response, the townspeople banish the real Skinner from town by tying him to a chair on a flatcar of a freight train (literally running him out of town on a rail). Judge Snyder declares that Armin will again be referred to as Seymour Skinner, that he will return to his job as school principal, and that no one shall ever again refer to Skinner or the fallout from his visit, under penalty of torture.

Production

Martinsheennavy
Martin Sheen provided the voice for the real Seymour Skinner.

"The Principal and the Pauper" was the last episode of The Simpsons written by Ken Keeler, who also pitched the original idea for the episode. Many fans believe the episode is based on the story of Martin Guerre or the 1993 film Sommersby.[4][5] According to animation director Steve Moore, one of the working titles for the episode was "Skinnersby".[6] However, Keeler has said he was inspired by the Tichborne Case of nineteenth-century England.[4] The episode's official title is a reference to the book The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain.[3]

Producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein were excited about the episode because Principal Skinner was one of their favorite characters. The pair had already written the season five episode "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song", which was an in-depth study of the character. Oakley said he and Weinstein "spent a month immersed in the mind of Seymour Skinner" to prepare that episode, and from that point forward, took every opportunity to "tinker with [Skinner's] personality and his backstory and his homelife".[7]

Describing the real Seymour Skinner, Keeler remarked, "It would have been easy to make him a really horrible, nasty, dislikeable guy, but we didn't do that. We made him just not quite right, not quite Skinner, and a little bit off."[8] Bill Oakley said the idea behind the character was that he "just lacked pizzazz".[9] The producers selected Martin Sheen to voice the character because they admired his performance in Apocalypse Now and felt his voice would be appropriate for a Vietnam veteran.[10]

Keeler borrowed the name Armin Tamzarian from a claims adjuster who had assisted him after a car accident when he moved to Los Angeles. However, the real Tamzarian (now a California Superior Court Judge[11]) was unaware his name was being used until after the episode aired. Keeler said he later received a "curtly phrased" letter from Tamzarian, who wanted to know why his name appeared in the episode. Keeler feared he would face legal troubles, but afterwards, Tamzarian explained that he was simply curious and did not intend to scare anyone.[12]

Reception

"The Principal and the Pauper" finished 41st in the United States in the ratings for the week of September 22–28, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 9.2.[13] The episode was the second highest rated show on the Fox network that week, following King of the Hill.[14] The Fox network's ratings average for the week was 6.4.[13]

The revelation that Principal Skinner was an impostor and the self-referential deus ex machina ending were negatively received by many fans and critics, with many seeing this episode responsible for jumping the shark.[15][16] Skinner had been a recurring character since the first season and, after years of development, his backstory had suddenly been changed. Bill Oakley considers "The Principal and the Pauper" the most controversial episode from his tenure as executive producer.[17]

In his 2004 book Planet Simpson, Chris Turner describes "The Principal and the Pauper" as the "broadcast that marked [the] abrupt plunge" from The Simpsons' "Golden Age", which he says began in the middle of the show's third season. He calls the episode "[one of] the weakest episodes in Simpsons history", and adds, "A blatant, continuity-scrambling plot twist of this sort might've been forgivable if the result had been as funny or sharply satirical as the classics of the Golden Age, but alas it's emphatically not." Turner notes that the episode "still sports a couple of virtuoso gags", but says that such moments are limited.[16]

In July 2007, in an article in The Guardian, Ian Jones argues that the "show became stupid" in 1997, pointing to "The Principal and the Pauper" as the bellwether. "Come again? A major character in a long-running series gets unmasked as a fraud? It was cheap, idle storytelling", he remarks.[18]

In a February 2006 article in The Star-Ledger, Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz cite the episode when asserting that the quality of The Simpsons "gets much spottier" in season nine.[19] Alan Sepinwall observes in another Star-Ledger article, "[The episode] was so implausible that even the characters were disavowing it by the end of the episode."[20] Jon Hein, who coined the term "jumping the shark" to refer to negative changes in television series, writes in Jump the Shark: TV Edition, "We finally spotted a fin at the start of the ninth season when Principal Skinner's true identity was revealed as Armin Tamzarian."[21] James Greene of Nerve.com put the episode fifth on his list "Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped the Shark", calling it a "nonsensical meta-comedy" and arguing that it "seemed to betray the reality of the show itself".[22]

Other figures associated with The Simpsons have publicly criticized the episode. In an April 2001 interview, Harry Shearer, the voice of Principal Skinner, recalled that after reading the script, he told the writers, "That's so wrong. You're taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we've done before with other characters. It's so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it's disrespectful to the audience."[23]

In a December 2006 interview, Shearer added, "Now, [the writers] refuse to talk about it. They realize it was a horrible mistake. They never mention it. It's like they're punishing [the audience] for paying attention."[24] In the introduction to the ninth season DVD boxset, series creator Matt Groening describes "The Principal and the Pauper" as "one of [his] least favorite episodes".[25] He also called the episode "a mistake" in an interview with Rolling Stone.[26]

In contrast, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, the authors of I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, praised the episode, calling it "one of the series' all-time best episodes, mainly because it shows us a human side, not just of Principal Skinner, but of his hectorish [sic] Mom as well." They add that "Martin Sheen steals the show [...] in a brief but important slice of Simpsons history."[3] Total Film's Nathan Ditum named Martin Sheen's performance in the episode the 20th best guest appearance on The Simpsons.[27]

Ken Keeler, Bill Oakley, and Josh Weinstein all defend the episode in its DVD commentary. Keeler asserts, "I am very, very proud of the job I did on this episode. This is the best episode of television I feel I ever wrote."[29] He describes the episode as a commentary on "people who like things just the way they are", and remarks, "It never seems to have occurred to anyone that this episode is about the people who hate it." However, Keeler says that some of the dialogue was changed from his original draft, making this point less obvious.[30] Oakley and Weinstein explain that they wanted to push the boundaries of the series while working as show-runners, and advise viewers to treat "The Principal and the Pauper" as an "experiment". They surmise that the negative reception was partly due to the fact that it was not immediately apparent to viewers that this was such an episode (as opposed to, for example, "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase").[31] They also describe the ending of the episode as an attempt to reset the continuity and allow fans to consider the episode as non-canonical, divorced from the larger series.[32]

Later episodes of The Simpsons contain references to "The Principal and the Pauper". A clip from the episode was used in season eleven's "Behind the Laughter" as an example of the show's increasingly "gimmicky and nonsensical plots".[33] In the season fifteen episode "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot", Lisa addresses Principal Skinner as "Principal Tamzarian" when Skinner chides her for naming her new cat Snowball II, after a cat that had died earlier in the episode.[34]

References

  1. ^ Gimple, Scott M. (1999-12-01). The Simpsons Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Continued. HarperCollins. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-06-098763-3.
  2. ^ "The Principal and the Pauper". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  3. ^ a b c Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "The Principal and the Pauper". BBC. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  4. ^ a b Keeler, Ken. (2006). Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, 4:25–5:00.
  5. ^ Millman, Joyce (September 25, 1997). "Blue Glow: Salon's TV Picks". Salon. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help) Retrieved on July 29, 2008.
  6. ^ Moore, Steven Dean. (2006). Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, 5:18–5:31.
  7. ^ Oakley, Bill. (2006). Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, 15:33–15:50.
  8. ^ Keeler, 14:20–14:34.
  9. ^ Oakley, 14:38–14:41.
  10. ^ Weinstein, Josh. (2006). Commentary for "The Principal and the Pauper", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, 13:29–13:54.
  11. ^ "Governor Jerry Brown Taps Armenian Bar Member Armen Tamzarian As Judge Of The California Superior Court". hetq.am. December 7, 2013. Retrieved on October 30, 2015.
  12. ^ Keeler, 18:21–20:12.
  13. ^ a b Bauder, David (October 3, 1997). "Live `ER, Seinfeld' put NBC on top; `Jenny' just dies". St. Petersburg Times. p. D–2. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help) Retrieved on April 20, 2008.
  14. ^ "How they rate". The Florida Times-Union. October 3, 1997. p. 14. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help) Retrieved on April 20, 2008.
  15. ^ Sloane, Robert (2004). "Who Wants Candy? Disenchantment in The Simpsons". In John Alberti (ed.). Leaving Springfield: The Simpsons and the Possibility of Oppositional Culture. Wayne State University Press. p. 165. ISBN 0-8143-2849-0.
  16. ^ a b Turner 2004, pp. 41-42.
  17. ^ Oakley, 2:40–2:54.
  18. ^ Jones, Ian (July 12, 2007). "Rise and fall of a comic genius". The Guardian. Retrieved on August 17, 2008.
  19. ^ Sepinwall, Alan; Matt Zoller Seitz (2006-02-14). "Eight is enough". The Star-Ledger. p. 31.
  20. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (February 16, 2003). "Mmmm ... 300 episodes; Homer's odyssey continues as 'The Simpsons', America's favorite animated family, reaches a comic milestone". The Star-Ledger. p. 1.
  21. ^ Hein, Jon (2003). Jump the Shark: TV Edition. Plume. p. 88. ISBN 0-452-28410-4.
  22. ^ James Greene Jr. (2010-05-06). "Ten Times The Simpsons Jumped the Shark". Nerve.com. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  23. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (2001-04-27). "Shearer Delight". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2008-04-29. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  24. ^ Goldstein, Meredith (2006-12-07). "Tapping into the many roles of Harry Shearer". The Boston Globe. p. 8E.
  25. ^ Groening, Matt. (2006). "A Riff From Matt Groening", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox, 0:36–0:40.
  26. ^ Eliscu, Jenny (2002-11-28). "Homer and Me". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 2, 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  27. ^ Ditum, Nathan (March 29, 2009). "The 20 Best Simpsons Movie-Star Guest Spots". Total Film. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
  28. ^ Keeler, 5:46–6:15.
  29. ^ Keeler, 3:54–4:02.
  30. ^ Keeler, 5:46–6:25.
  31. ^ Oakley and Weinstein, 14:47–5:25.
  32. ^ Oakley and Weinstein.
  33. ^ McCann, Jesse L.; Matt Groening (2002). The Simpsons Beyond Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favourite Family ...Still Continued. HarperCollins. p. 54. ISBN 0-06-050592-3.
  34. ^ "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot". Greaney, Dan; Grazier, Allen; MacMullan, Lauren. The Simpsons. Fox. January 11, 2008. No. 09, season 15.
Bibliography

External links

1997 in animation

Events in 1997 in animation.

Behind the Laughter

"Behind the Laughter" is the twenty-second and final episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 21, 2000. In the episode, which is a parody of the VH1 series Behind the Music, the Simpson family are portrayed as actors on a sitcom, and their dramatic inner turmoil and struggles are detailed. Told in a narrative format, the episode tells a fictional story of how The Simpsons began.

The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by Tim Long, George Meyer, Mike Scully and Matt Selman. The plot idea for the episode was pitched by Long, and the writers wrote the episode quickly without a draft. VH1 and the producers of Behind the Music allowed the crew to use the show's visual graphics package, and Jim Forbes, narrator for the show, also came in to record narrations for the episode. In addition, country musician Willie Nelson guest stars as himself.

The episode received critical acclaim, with many reviewers noting it as a highlight of the season and the series itself. The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) in 2000, beating the Family Guy episode "Road to Rhode Island". In addition, composer Alf Clausen won an Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Television Production".

In May 2004, the BBC chose it as the last episode to be aired, having lost the broadcasting rights in February 2002, to Channel 4, who later aired the series in November 2004.

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.

Harry Shearer

Harry Julius Shearer (born December 23, 1943) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, musician, radio host, director and producer. Born in Los Angeles, California, Shearer began his career as a child actor. From 1969 to 1976, Shearer was a member of The Credibility Gap, a radio comedy group. Following the breakup of the group, Shearer co-wrote the film Real Life (1979) with Albert Brooks and worked as a writer on Martin Mull's television series Fernwood 2 Night.Shearer was a cast member on Saturday Night Live between 1979 and 1980, and 1984 and 1985. Shearer co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the film This Is Spinal Tap (1984), a satirical rockumentary, which became a hit. In 1989, he joined the cast of the animated sitcom The Simpsons; he provides voices for characters including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert and more. Shearer has appeared in films including The Truman Show (1998) and A Mighty Wind (2003), and has directed two, Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002) and The Big Uneasy (2010). Since 1983, Shearer has been the host of the public radio comedy/music program Le Show, incorporating satire, music, and sketch comedy. He has written three books.

Shearer has won a Primetime Emmy Award, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the radio category, and has received several other Emmy and Grammy Award nominations. He has been married to singer-songwriter Judith Owen since 1993. He is currently "artist in residence" at Loyola University, New Orleans.

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.

Ken Keeler

Kenneth Keeler (born 1961) is an American television producer and writer. He has written for numerous television series, most notably The Simpsons and Futurama. According to an interview with David X. Cohen, he proved a theorem which appears in the Futurama episode "The Prisoner of Benda".

Lisa's Sax

"Lisa's Sax" is the third episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 19, 1997, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. In the series' sixth flashback episode, it is explained how Lisa got her saxophone. The episode was executive produced by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and was the first episode Jean wrote by himself as all of his previous writing credits had been shared with Reiss. It was directed by Dominic Polcino and guest starred Fyvush Finkel, who appeared as himself portraying Krusty in a film.

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.

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.

Martin Guerre

Martin Guerre, a French peasant of the 16th century, was at the center of a famous case of imposture. Several years after Martin Guerre had left his wife, child, and village, a man claiming to be him reappeared. He lived with Guerre's wife and son for three years.

The false Martin Guerre was eventually suspected of the impersonation. He was tried, discovered to be a man named Arnaud du Tilh, and executed. The real Martin Guerre had returned during the trial. The case continues to be studied and dramatized to this day.

Martin Sheen

Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez (born August 3, 1940), known professionally as Martin Sheen, is an American actor who first became known for his roles in the films The Subject Was Roses (1968) and Badlands (1973), and later achieved wide recognition for his leading role in Apocalypse Now (1979) and as President Josiah Bartlet in the television series The West Wing (1999–2006).

In film, Sheen has won the Best Actor award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival for his performance as Kit Carruthers in Badlands. Sheen's portrayal of Capt. Willard in Apocalypse Now earned a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

Sheen has worked with a wide variety of film directors, including Richard Attenborough, Francis Ford Coppola, Terrence Malick, David Cronenberg, Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Oliver Stone. Sheen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989. In television, Sheen has won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for playing the role of President Josiah Bartlet in The West Wing, and an Emmy for guest starring in the sitcom Murphy Brown. In 2012, he portrayed Uncle Ben in The Amazing Spider-Man directed by Marc Webb.

Born and raised in the United States by immigrant parents, he adopted the stage name Martin Sheen to help him gain acting parts. He is the father of four children, all of whom are actors.

Sheen has directed one film, Cadence (1990), in which he appears alongside his sons Charlie and Ramón. He has narrated, produced, and directed documentary television, earning two Daytime Emmy awards in the 1980s, and has been active in liberal politics.

Principal Skinner

Principal W. Seymour Skinner (born non-canonically as Armin Tamzarian) is a recurring fictional character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the principal of Springfield Elementary School, which he struggles to control, and is constantly engaged in a battle against its inadequate resources, apathetic and bitter teachers, and often rowdy and unenthusiastic students, Bart Simpson being a standout example.

A strict disciplinarian, Skinner has an uptight, militaristic attitude that stems from his years in the United States Army as a Green Beret, which included service in the Vietnam War, where he was captured and held as a prisoner of war. He is quick to take orders from his superiors; chiefly his mother, Agnes, and Superintendent Chalmers.

Sommersby

Sommersby is a 1993 American romantic period drama film directed by Jon Amiel from a screenplay written by Nicholas Meyer and Sarah Kernochan, adapted from the historical account of the 16th century French peasant Martin Guerre. The film stars Richard Gere and Jodie Foster in the leading roles. Bill Pullman, James Earl Jones, Clarice Taylor, Frankie Faison, and R. Lee Ermey are featured in supporting roles. Set in the Reconstruction era following the American Civil War, in the film; a farmer returns home from the war, but his wife begins to suspect that the man is an impostor.

Sommersby was released in the United States on February 5, 1993 by Warner Bros. The film received generally positive reviews from critics who praised the performances and chemistry of its lead actors as well as the musical score and was a box office success grossing over $150 million, worldwide on a budget of $30 million.

Steven Dean Moore

Steven Dean Moore is an American animation director. His credits include 65 episodes of the television series The Simpsons, as well as several episodes of the series Rugrats. Moore was also one of four sequence directors on The Simpsons Movie. He was nominated for an Emmy award in 2002.

The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson

"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" is the first episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on September 21, 1997, as the 179th episode of the series. The episode features the Simpson family traveling to Manhattan to recover the family car, which was taken by Barney Gumble and abandoned outside the World Trade Center, where it has been repeatedly posted with parking tickets, and disabled with a parking boot.

Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham was interested in making an episode where the Simpson family travels to New York to retrieve their misplaced car. Executive producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein suggested that the car be found in Austin J. Tobin Plaza at the World Trade Center, as they wanted a location that would be widely known. Great lengths were taken to make a detailed replica of the borough of Manhattan. The episode received generally positive reviews, and has since been on accolade lists of The Simpsons episodes. The "You're Checkin' In" musical sequence won two awards. Because of the World Trade Center's main role, the episode was taken off syndication in many areas following the September 11 attacks, but had come back into syndication by 2006.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–90).

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 662 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series both in terms of seasons and number of episodes. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. Then on October 30, 2007, a video game was released. Currently, The Simpsons finished airing its thirtieth season, which

began airing September 30, 2018. The Simpsons was renewed for a thirty-first and thirty-second season on February 6, 2019, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode. The Simpsons is a joint production by Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television.The Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are generally considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. However, it has also been criticized for a perceived decline in quality over the years.

The Simpsons will return to Animation Domination on September 29, 2019.

The Simpsons (season 9)

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.Season nine won three Emmy Awards: "Trash of the Titans" for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1998, Hank Azaria won "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" award. Clausen was also nominated for "Outstanding Music Direction" and "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Season nine was also nominated for a "Best Network Television Series" award by the Saturn Awards and "Best Sound Editing" for a Golden Reel Award.The Simpsons 9th Season DVD was released on December 19, 2006 in Region 1, January 29, 2007 in Region 2 and March 21, 2007 in Region 4. The DVD was released in two different forms: a Lisa-shaped head, to match the Maggie, Homer and Marge shaped heads from the three previous DVD sets, and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the previous DVD sets, both versions are available for sale separately.

Season 9
Themed episodes
See also
Characters
Films
Animated
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