You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Simpsons’ Marathon: 6 Things to Notice While Watching FXX’s 12-Day Run

Five hundred and twenty-two episodes of “The Simpsons” shown over 278 continuous hours? Don’t have a cow, man!

When 21st Century Fox’s general-entertainment outlet FXX unspools every “Simpsons” half-hour ever made (plus the 2007 movie) starting at 10 a.m. Thursday, it would seem to offer an overwhelming task: How can a viewer immerse himself or herself in such a torrent of content and yet pause to note some of the nuances in the stream?

Your answer is here. While bingeing on Bart, Lisa and Maggie in such amounts could make the average couch potato feel as if they’ve been drizzled in butter, cheese and bacon, the simple fact is the series has its Easter eggs and special moments that everyone should at least try to note. Below, a small sampling:

Odd Musical Notes: Sure, Coldplay (Season 21, Episode 11) and U2 (Season 9, Episode 22) have made cameos on the series, but so too have some obscure and surprising players. Keep a lookout for NRBQ (Season 11, Episode 8); Bachman Turner Overdrive (Season 11, Episode 13); Sonic Youth (Season 7, Episode 24); Spinal Tap (Season 3, Episode 22); Robert Goulet (Season 5, Episode 10); and Phish (Season 13, Episode 16).

A Strange Alias: Who is John Jay Smith? Due to contractual obligations at the time, the show could not tell viewers of the first episode of the series’ third season (“Stark Raving Dad”) that Michael Jackson supplied his own voice to a character who believed he was, in fact, the singer. The solution was to identify the musician as John Jay Smith – a ploy that hardly convinced anyone that Jackson wasn’t really at work behind the scenes.

Boy, That Voice Sounds Familiar: Actor Phil Hartman, best known for his years on “Saturday Night Live,” provided the voices of various characters in more than 50 episodes of the series. Whenever shady lawyer Lionel Hutz or ubiquitous B-movie actor Troy McClure appear on screen, it’s Hartman who brings them to life.

O’Brien Abounds: Late-night host Conan O’Brien wrote for “The Simpsons” for a while, and he also appeared in the show. You can spot the lanky red-headed comic in Season 5’s “Bart Gets Famous.” But you can also enjoy his wit during the classic fourth-season episode “Marge Vs. the Monorail,” which he wrote.

How Old Is Mr. Burns – Really?: The question about “The Simpsons'” perpetual crank often emerges, particularly because the character himself has acknowledged being born in the 1800s and information surfaces in the series that his mother had an affair with President Taft. Viewers can get a glimpse of his storied history by looking for a framed pictures of ol’ Monty and Elvis Presley in the fourth-season episode “Marge Gets a Job.”

‘The Simpsons’ and Social Media: When Homer, Marge and family first arrived on TV in 1987 (during vignettes on Fox’s “The Tracey Ullman Show”) the World Wide Web was barely in swing,  let alone social media and streaming video. But FXX will try to use this cartoon clan to spark social-media buzz by having “Simpsons” executive producer and showrunner Al Jean tweet along with other series writers throughout the marathon (but not continuously). Look for their words and remarks at Twitter handle @everysimpsons and official hashtag #EverySimpsonsEver.



More TV

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

  • Eliza Clark

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Hires Eliza Clark as New Showrunner

    The FX series based on “Y: The Last Man” has found its new showrunner. Eliza Clark has been named showrunner, writer, and executive producer on the upcoming series — which is titled simply “Y” — based on the graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. She takes over from original showrunners Michael Green [...]

  • “En la Frontera” (“The Frontier”)

    Chilean Crime Drama ‘The Frontier’ to Explore Centuries-Old Social Conflict

    Following up hit Chilean Netflix series “Bala Loca,” David Miranda Hardy, head of content development at Santiago-based Filmo Estudios, is developing a new crime thriller set against the backdrop of the ongoing dispute between the Mapuche indigenous people and the Chilean state. “En la Frontera” (“The Frontier”) – one of the 10 finalist projects taking [...]


    Lemming’s Fleur Winters Talks about New Horror Series Project ‘Greed’

    Lemming Film, one of the Netherlands’ leading international co-production outlets, has brought its newest project, “Greed,” to Conecta Fiction’s Pitch Copro Series. Spearheaded by up-and-coming director Eché Janga and leading screenwriter Oscar van Woensel, the six-episode horror-drama will follow a tight-knit group of Rotterdam restaurant workers who are offered all the money they could ever [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content