Golden Age of the Simpsons - You Should Laugh More


Greetings and salutations Hivers. Today I thought we'd do another You Should Laugh More post.

Research has shown that laughter is good for us. It has all kinds of health benefits. Despite most of us knowing this, none of us laugh enough. Yeah, I know, being an adult is tough, and furthermore there is a lot of grim stuff happening in the world. These things may be true, but that just is all the more reason for trying to get a little laughter into our lives.

Today, I have the Simpsons on my mind. Can you believe this show has now been on the air for 35 years? It is a the longest-running American sitcom, longest-running animated series, and longest-running primetime TV show. There have been some 763 episodes. Wow! There have been books, video games, comics, t-shirts, all kinds of other mechanize—even silver coins, like this one, this one and this one.

I remember when the show first aired way back in 1989. I missed the shorts that appeared on the Tracey Ullman Show, but when the first season hit it quickly became the subversive hit for kids; everyone at school was talking about it, so I quickly tuned in myself, and loved it.

The show quickly became an incredible hit with everyone, and it quickly adopted this duel way of writing that appealed to kids, but also had plenty of gags and references for adults. When TV Guide started calling it the best written comedy for kids and adults, you know they had something special. The high point may have been when Conan O'brian became a writer and really added a huge dose of zaniness that took it away from the Father Knows Best format and into what it became.

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. Around the end of season ten, most of the writers who had made the show so good left ship and went over to write on Futurama. As a result, the Simpsons hired new writers who didn't understand the characters, who sometimes bragged that they had never watched the show before, and the quality took a nosedive. I and my friends always placed that right at season 11, specifically at the second episode "Tomacco". The first episode of the season (guest staring a not-yet-exposed-as-a-steroid-user Mark McGwire) was iffy but when that second episode hit it was just terrible, and they kept getting worse. That was the end. The characters no longer acted like the ones we previously knew, the focus changed from the family to Homer and his nonsensical adventures, and worse of all they dropped all the smart jokes and changed it to just pure slapstick—usually involving Homer doing something dumb, having something happen to him that would kill most people, and... well, then repeat, repeat, repeat, until the end of the show.

There was enough pop-culture push to keep the show going, but it was a shadow of the glory of those first few seasons. I've heard from some people that it has finally rounded the bend and has become good again, but I haven't taken the time to track down a way of watching new episodes so I can't speak towards that.

Anyway, I thought today we'd look at some clips from those fantastic first few seasons. Now you know, ten good seasons gives way too much to share in one post, but I'll hit some of my favorites anyway. Hope you enjoy them!

To The BeeMobile!

Let's start with this one. The episode also had a great Scarface nod, but this reference to the old Adam West Batman just killed me when I first watched it. I still refer back to this clip sometimes.


This is from an episode when Bart skips school. Skinner hadn't yet been made into a joke character and was one of the few characters who was played entirely serious, which made this episode all the funnier as they played against his straight man role.

Steamed Hams

Speaking of Skinner, this may be one of his best bits. This is from an episode that was a parody of Pulp Fiction. The entire episode is absolutely one of the best Simpsons episodes of all time. It is composed of several small stories. This one may be the funniest of them all.

Die Bart Die

This was really the first Simpsons episode to just completely abandon the semblance of reality they had before and give us a total parody. They take the movie Cape Fear, which was trending at the time because of the DeNiro remake, and they remade it into a comedy. The results were great!

The Auto-Dialer

Then there was the time Homer got an autodialer.

Home and the Devil

The Treehouse of Horror episodes were always funny, but this one is when it really took off.

Always the one you least suspect

Well, we'll end it on that note. There are so many more I could pick, but we gotta cut it off somewhere.

So, what's your favorite?

Hi there! David LaSpina is an American photographer and translator lost in Japan, trying to capture the beauty of this country one photo at a time and searching for the perfect haiku. He blogs here and at Write him on Twitter or Mastodon.

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I think one of the things I loved the most about the Simpson was the crazy situations they came up with and then in some scary way most all of them ended up coming true. I heard there is a big ruckus with the show right now because they killed Larry off.


I used to love the Simpsons but for some reason (my wife hates them) I stopped watching them around 2005. I have a twenty year backlog to catch up on!


Greetings friend @dbooster, I think your advice that we should laugh more seems excellent, it would be a solution to reduce a little the stress and anxiety, in which we frequently live involved. When I was a child, I liked to watch the Simpsons, but my parents forbade it. After becoming an adult, I managed to watch them with my husband because it is one of his favorite series. But if you don't tell me, I don't realize that there was a before and after of this series. Where do you consider that I deteriorated? I'm glad to hear you have your favorite episodes. Happy and blessed night!