America's First Family: The Simpsons

Considering today’s date, when I first heard about this story it seemed like it may just be an elaborate April Fool’s joke. That idea was shot down when I spoke with Steve Melnick at FOX Studios who said, “The story as we understand it is accurate…it’s not an April Fool’s Gag.” FOX is declining any official comment as of now though other than to say it’s legit. D’oh!

The actors who provide the voices for the cartoon characters on the long-running TV show ‘The Simpsons’ have stopped work in a bid to force a settlement of lengthy contract renewal talks, Daily Variety reported in its April 1, 2004 edition. The Hollywood trade paper said the six actors have not shown up for two script readings in the past few weeks, holding up production on the hit satire’s upcoming 16th season. (FOX/Reuters)

The Simpsons are everything that is great about this country. The Simpsons are America’s “everyman”. For the past 16 years people have been able to identify someone that may be worth talking to at a party by whether or not they were a Simpsons fan. I know that I have immediately decided not to give someone the time of day if they told me they didn’t like the Simpsons, and I have heard many other similar tales.

In this era of cable news networks, big business politics, heightened terror alerts, misleading information, environmental decay and the common man getting more of the shaft, we NEED the Simpsons, maybe now more than ever. I mean for Christ’s sake, Homer works at a nuclear plant and he never has to worry about an al-Qaida attack.

Bart’s mischief, Lisa’s inquisitiveness, Marge’s love for her family and Maggie just being Maggie. We need that. The Simpsons make us laugh about our problems. They make us forget about our problems and they make us remember what’s good about our family and friends. If you don’t believe that the Simpsons do all of that, then you’re missing out.

The Simpsons aren’t just a cartoon, they’re an escape. Even on supposedly “regular” sitcoms about “regular” families, you can bet that the house they have and the cars they drive are better than anything your “regular” family is going to be driving or living in anytime soon. It’s like it’s some kind of sin to show poor people on TV anymore.

The Simpsons are the last remnants of the working class family, and now more than ever, we need that.