“The Simpsons” Celebrate an Anniversary Today

The Simpsons

Just spoke with the great David Silverman, and he informed me of an impressive milestone: today marks the 24th anniversary of production of The Simpsons. (The series of David’s drawings above are from the early Tracey Ullman Show episodes.) As he tweeted earlier:

24 years ago, we first started drawing The Simpsons on March 23, 1987. Wes Archer, Bill Kopp, and myself. Happy Anniversary!


  • http://rodtejada.wordpress.com Rod Tejada

    24 years in this business is not a small thing. Besides, I grew up with Simpsons and have lots of fond memories with them, so congratulations!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Thanks Dave, that day’ll be remembered always!

  • http://www.spitandspite.com Wha?

    I vow from this day forward to never date a woman older than the Simpsons.

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    . . .and it was about 26 years ago The Ink Tank received a letter from Gracie Films saying that we wouldn’t be going into production on interstitials designed by Matt Groening for the Tracey Ullman Show.

  • http://www.jjsedelmaier.com J.J. Sedelmaier

    Oops – probably 24-25 years ago. . .

  • http://www.segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Congratulations, David. This has been a great journey. Back then I was working next door to you guys at Chris Cassady’s Roto FX of America. Oh, the good old days.

  • dr. truth

    wow! seeing those very early sketches of tracy ullman era
    bart is a trip!

  • http://dangerusscartoons.blogspot.com DANGERUSS

    Impressive! It’s good to see. This show paved the way, even if it was kind of a modern, more dysfunctional Flintstones clone. Nice work!

    • Craig

      “The Flinstones” itself was a “Honeymooners” clone.

  • Tom Minton

    And if “Turbo Teen” had been picked up for a second season, it would have never happened.

    • http://nickmould.blogspot.com Nick

      I remember reading someone’s anecdote about how when they showed David Silverman the intro to “Turbo Teen” he sank with his hands in his face and screamed at them pleading to turn it off.

  • Charlie Judkins

    Bill Kopp later went on to create Eek! the Cat and collaborate with the great Pat Ventura… wonder what he’s up to these days??

    • http://youtube.com/user/Mesterius1 Mesterius

      Don’t know what he’s doing excactly at the moment, but he wrote and directed two rather unmemorable Tom and Jerry DTV movies in 2005.

  • http://www.kustomonsters.com Craig Clark

    I remember when I first brought Gabor to the “Fox” lot when we hired him to do FX animation on “Automan” in 1984. From bedroom studio to later over 500 employees…

    • John

      Then back to bedroom.

  • GW

    Since Tom Minton brought up that tidbit, I’d like to throw in a cynic’s perspective. How many good series that could have come about weren’t because of something else that was renewed for another season?

  • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

    I still remember when I first saw them and was instantly hooked. To this day I love the original style more than the updated smooth look and am trying my damnest to capture that feel in what I’m working on now.

    • http://www.drunkduck.com/anecdote Marbles

      Yeah—-while the earliest Ullman shorts were too rough the point of being ugly, I think the show has gone WAY too far over the years in smoothing everything out and calming the look down. They’ve drifted too far from Matt Groening’s drawing style, and it’s really a waste of those bulgy, bug-eyed, floppy-mouthed character designs. Even as far forward as the third season, they were looser with the expressions and there were occasional flourishes of fluid movement. But it’s gotten so stiff and bland now—especially on display in their recently redone intro (just compare that to the 1991 “Doin’ the Bartman” music video—it’s like night and day).