Birth and Success of an 'Alternative' Cartoon "The Simpsons" is one of North America's most popular television shows, ranking as the number one television program for viewers under eighteen years of age. However, the ideals that "The Simpsons" portrays are not always beneficial and sometimes not even in good taste. Thus, it seems inevitable that "The Simpsons" affects children.
Matt Groening, the creator, took up drawing in 1977 to escape from his troubles. At the time, Groening was working for the L.A. Reader, a free weekly newspaper. He began working on Life in Hell, a humorous comic strip consisting of people with rabbit ears. The L.A. Reader picked up a copy of his comic strip and liked what they saw. Life in Hell gradually became a common cartoon in many free weeklies and college newspapers all over the country; it developed a cult status.
Life in Hell drew the attention of James L.
Brooks, producer of works such as "Taxi", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", and "Terms of Endearment". Brooks originally wanted Groening to make an animated pilot of Life in Hell, but Groening chose not to do this because he was afraid of loosing royalties from those papers that printed the strip. Therefore, Groening presented Brooks with an overweight, bald father; a mother with a blue unique haircut; and three annoying, spiky-haired children. Groening intended for them to represent the typical American family "who love each other and drive each other crazy". Groening named the characters after his own family. His parents were named Homer and Margaret and he had two younger sisters named Lisa and Maggie. Bart, instead, was an anagram for "brat". Groening chose the last name "Simpson" to sound like the typical American family name.
Brooks decided to put the 30 or 60 second animations on...