Tuesday, February 21, 2012

'Simpsons' Writers Apologize For 500th Episode

For more than a quarter of a century 'The Simpsons' animated sit-com has brought tears of laughter to the eyes of millions. Their 2007 feature film, long promised, was not quite as exciting as some may have hoped it would be, but it was funny as well.

So why did writers of the 500th episode feel the need to apologize for their latest episode? Probably to get a last second chuckle from their audience.

Let's face it, when it comes to seriously funny, consistently funny stuff, the folks who write 'The Simpsons' stand head and shoulders above the rest. How else to explain their continued high ratings and the endearing love of millions of fans. People have grown up watching 'The Simpsons' and generations of kids of made famous lines such as "Ah-ha!" "Eat My Shorts" and "Don't Have a Cow, Man."

Not to mention the nearly ubiquitous "D-oh!"

What makes 'The Simpsons' so consistently funny has much to do with the revolving team of writers who supply the words uttered by the voices we have all come to love. Although it was created by Matt Groening, he now has little to do with what you see on Sunday nights (if you watch the show.) In fact, no fewer than 16 writers work on each episode of 'The Simpsons', crafting jokes and making certain everything sticks within the loosely defined 'Simpsons Universe' created by the writers who have come before them.

Among the writers who have worked on 'The Simpsons' you'll find names like Conan O'Brien, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, George Meyer, Jeff Martin, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky, just to name a handful.

To say these folks represent the finest team of writers ever assembled, or at least participated in some of the finest writing writing teams ever assembled, is an understatement.

Is 'The Simpsons' laugh-out-loud funny every episode? Not really. But is it darn close, week after week? It sure is.

While the cast who does the voices gets most of the credit, and FOX gets most of the money, it's the writers who manage to make 'The Simpsons' a success, week after week after week....

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