It's the 20th Anniversary of "The Simpsons" this year! Fox reminded us of this tonight with a 1 1/2 hour "Simpsons" spectacular, including an hour-long documentary by Morgan Spurlock. Here are celebrities talking about their favorite characters.
Conan O'Brien on Mr. Burns:
Conan was a writer and producer on "The Simpsons" from 1991 to 1993. He wrote that episode about Springfield getting the monorail, which is one of the best episodes ever. In An Uncensored, Unauthorized History of the Simpsons by John Ortved, O'Brien says of the "Simpsons" writing room:
There were different bits that I would do, and the writers would call for them. There was one where I would go to the refrigerator and I'd get a Coke and I'd fill my mouth with Coke and then I'd start twitching, wildly of course, and vibrating my head and the Coke would foam up and come out of my mouth and it looked like I was having this horrible fit. And I don't know why—it doesn't sound funny—but people really enjoyed it.
GLAAD on Mr. Smithers:
So GLAAD they went there! Is the "Is Smithers gay" meme still a meme? It's obvious, right?
Jerry Springer and Gavin Newsom on Mayor Quimby:
This is funny because Jerry Springer and Gavin Newsom are two of the most Quimby-ish figures in all of mayoral history—a fact all involved in this documentary must have been keenly aware of. Springer, during his unsuccessful 1982 campaign for Ohio governor improbably turned the fact that he slept with a hooker into a campaign ad; and Newsom slept with his campaign manager's wife. You could totally see Quimby doing these things.
Brian Williams and Dan Rather on Kent Brockman:
OK, these guys are just kind of boring—and so is Kent Brockman.
So, besides the fact that Mr. Burns is objectively the best "Simpsons" character, Fox's "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special' was a perfectly adequate way to mark 20 years of the longest-running sitcom in history. Morgan Spurlock did his best bemused schlub act as he went around the world and checked out all the freaks who are obsessed with the show, writers talked about the series' evolution, and we got to see all the actors behind "The Simpsons" voices.
And for all the Internet people who would talk about how "The Simpsons" used to be good, one current "Simpsons" writer had this to say:
I think the Internet message boards used to be a lot funnier 10 years ago... And I've sort of stopped reading their new posts.
We salute you, "The Simpsons", even though you used to be a lot funnier 10 years ago.