I didn\'t do it






I DIDN\'T DO IT
How The Simpsons Affects Kids

The Simpsons is one of Americas most popular television shows. It ranks as the
number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the
ideals that The Simpsons conveys are not always wholesome, sometimes not even in
good taste. It is inevitable that The Simpsons is affecting children.
Matt Groening took up drawing to escape from his troubles in 1977. At the
time, Groening was working for the L.A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began
working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears.
The L.A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw. Life in
Hell gradually became a common comic strip in many free weeklies and college
newspapers across the country. It even developed a cult status. (Varhola, 1)
Life in Hell drew the attention of James L. Brooks, producer of works such as
Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Terms of Endearment. Brooks originally
wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell. Groening chose not to do
so in fear of loosing royalties from papers that printed the strip. Groening presented
Brooks with an overweight, balding father, a mother with a blue beehive hairdo, and
three obnoxious spiky haired children. Groening intended for them to represent the
typical American family "who love each other and drive each other crazy". Groening
named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and
Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart was an anagram
for "brat". Groening chose the last name "Simpson" to sound like the typical American
family name. (Varhola, 2)
Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on between skits on The
Tracy Ullman Show on the unsuccessful Fox network. Cast members Dan Castellaneta
and Julie Kavner did the voices of Homer and Marge. Yeardley Smith (later to star in
Herman\'s Head) did the voice of Lisa. Nancy Cartwright did the voice of Bart.
Cartwright previously supplied the voices for many cartoons, including Galaxy High,
Fantastic Max, Richie Rich, Snorks, Pound Puppies, My Little Pony, and Glo-Friends.
Tracy Ullman later added Cartwright to her cast. (Dale and Trich, 11)
Brooks, Groening, and Sam Simon, Tracy Ullman\'s producer, wanted to turn the
Simpson family into their own show. The Fox network was looking for material to
appeal to younger viewers. The only show they had that drew a young audience was
Married With Children. To Fox\'s pleasure, The Simpsons saved the network from near
failure. (Varhola, 3)
On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons got their break. The Christmas special,
"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" aired. (Dale and Trich, 19)
In the episode, Bart got a tattoo, much to Marge\'s dislike. She quickly spent all
of the family\'s Christmas money to remove Bart\'s tattoo with a laser. At the same time,
Homer, still on his morning coffee break at 4:00 in the afternoon, learns that he will not
receive a Christmas bonus. When he learns that Marge is relying on the money for
Christmas, he decides that he will do the Christmas shopping for the year. He quickly
buys Marge panty hose, Bart paper, Lisa crayons, and Maggie a dog toy. When he
realizes that he is not doing very well, he gets a second job as a mall Santa for the extra
money. On the way home from work, he steals a Christmas tree. The next day at the
mall, Bart sits on his Dad\'s lap and pulls down his beard. Homer responds by choking
Bart and making him help make Christmas better. On Christmas Eve, Homer receives
his check, $13.70 for over 40 hours work. Homer takes Bart to the dog track as a final
chance for Christmas money. They discovered a gem in the third race, Santa\'s Little
Helper. How could this dog loose on Christmas Eve? The odds were 99 to 1, they were
going to be rich. Homer put all of his money on Santa\'s Little Helper, and to his horror,
he never even finished. As Homer and Bart were scouring the parking lot for winning
tickets into the night, they saw the track manager throw out a dog. It was not just any
dog, it was Santa\'s Little Helper. When Bart and Homer came home to their worried
family, they had a good Christmas after all. Now they had a dog. (Pond)
"Simpsons Roasting on an Open