In 1987 a near two-minute clip played as part of a segment on the popular Tracy Ullman Show, this clip was conceived by Matt Groening and called “Good Night”, the airing was during the third episode of the Tracy Ullman show. The shorts are called The Simpsons Shorts and there were 48 made, generally most were around one minute the first however was longer. A marketing study found that 14% of Americans knew of the Simpson family from these little shorts, after the shows debut that figure was at 90%.
The first short “Good Night” was Homer and Marge saying good night to the three children, the three kids all had trouble sleeping though. Bart contemplates the wonders of the mind, Lisa is scared after hearing Marge mention bed bugs and Maggie is traumatised by the lyrics of “Rock-a-bye-baby”, ultimately the three children end up in their parents bed.
Some trivia about this episode; Maggie actually speaks in this short saying “Good Night”, Matt Groening later made the decision to have Maggie not talk in future episodes. The short was also featured in its entirety in “The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular”, it was also included on the Season 1 DVD.
Since this short The Simpsons has gone on to tremendous success being one of the longest running shows of all time, it is the longest running American sitcom and longest running American animated show. The show has broadcast 592 episodes to date and is into its 27th season. The Simpsons is a cult phenomenon and also one of my favourite TV shows particularly when I was younger.