To celebrate two decades of The Simpsons, the longest-running scripted series on American television, surpassing the 20-season record held by the western Gunsmoke, which ended in 1975, the Fox Television Network has rolled-out a series of events and collaborated on various tributes, from a Playboy cover to US postage stamps.
The show based on America's most famous funny cartoon family began airing in December 1989 as a parody of the "typical" American family with timely, satirical stories about Homer, his wife Marge, and their children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, and a cast of other goofy characters, as well as cameos voiced by real people but depicted in animated form.
On January 10, the landmark 450th episode, called "Once Upon a Time in Springfield," will air, featuring guest star Anne Hathaway who plays Krusty the clown's television show sidekick, Princess Penelope.
Following the show, a special one-hour documentary, The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special - In 3-D! On Ice!, directed by Morgan Spurlock ( Super Size Me), will highlight the series and its 20 year history. It will not be on ice, nor presented in 3-D but it will conclude the year-long "Best. 20 Years. Ever" tribute to The Simpsons.
The Simpsons: The Complete Twentieth Season will be available on DVD on January 12, including bonus features from the documentary.
The iconic series, created by Matt Groening, shows no sign of aging, which is one advantage animated characters have on screen.
In addition, to celebrate The Simpsons' 20th anniversary during the week of January 3, Fox Television will turn all its graphic elements yellow to match the iconic characters' skin, including on-air graphics, websites, social network pages, and the clothes of on-air personalities.