Comic Strip / Comics

Was the Simpsons a Comic Strip?

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom that has been on the air for over 30 years. It is considered as one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but did you know that it actually started out as a comic strip?

Created by Matt Groening, The Simpsons began its life in 1987 as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show. These shorts were only a few minutes long and were meant to be comedic fillers between segments of the variety show.

However, it wasn’t until December 1989 that The Simpsons premiered as its own half-hour series on Fox. By this time, the show had already gained a following due to its unique brand of humor and relatable characters.

Despite being an animated series, The Simpsons was heavily influenced by comic strips. Groening has cited various comic strips as inspiration for the show’s humor and storytelling style, including Peanuts, Little Orphan Annie, and Dennis the Menace.

In fact, some elements from the original comic strip version of The Simpsons still exist in the show today. For example, Bart Simpson’s catchphrase “Ay caramba!” was first used in the comic strip and has since become a staple of his character.

Another notable aspect of The Simpsons’ connection to comics is its use of guest artists for their couch gags. Since season two, each episode’s opening sequence features a different visual gag involving the family sitting on their couch. Over the years, these gags have been created by various artists such as Banksy and John Kricfalusi.

Overall, while The Simpsons may have started out as a series of shorts on a variety show, it quickly became its own entity thanks to its unique brand of humor and influence from comic strips. Even today, with over 30 seasons under its belt, The Simpsons continues to reference and pay homage to comics in various ways.

In conclusion, while not strictly a comic strip, The Simpsons was heavily influenced by the medium and has since become a cultural phenomenon in its own right. Its use of elements from comics such as guest artists and catchphrases has helped to solidify its place in pop culture history.