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Cartoons: Bart Simpson
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History of Bart Simpson
History of Bart Simpson:
I think most people will agree that Bart Simpson IS "The Simpsons", and
when they started downplaying his importance to the show is when the
show started to suck. "The Simpsons" really hasn't been good
since about 1995, and the fact that it's still been on all these years
is a kick in the pants to what the show used to be.
I've never understood how the primary character of
the series switched from Bart Simpson to Homer Simpson. There
really wasn't a public demand for more Homer episodes, he was just kind
of pushed on us. And for some reason "The Simpsons" show became
the "Homer Simpson and celebrity cartoon guest" show. But the old
"Simpsons" episodes still hold up after all these years and are worth
seeking out on DVD.
In 1986, the character of Bart Simpson was created
by cartoonist Matt Groening in the lobby of James L. Brooks'
office. Groening was called in to pitch an idea of animated
shorts based on "Life in Hell", a self-published comic book series
Groening started in 1977. Instead, he created a whole new set of
characters. While most of the Simpsons' first names were taken
from members of Groening's own family, Bart was simply an anagram of
the word "brat", which suited him best of anything.
Animated segments of the Simpsons appeared on "The
Tracey Ullman Show", beginning on the airdate of April 19, 1987.
After a few years, "The Simpsons" received their own series on the FOX
network, first airing on December 17, 1989. The Simpsons were
drawn very crude at the beginning of their run on "Tracey
Ullman". Over time, the animation became a bit more polished, but
even the first season of "The Simpsons" was drawn pretty crude in
comparison to the second and later seasons.
Bart was the eldest child of Marge and Homer at ten
years of age, and their only son. He was easily the breakout
character of the series in its early years, because he was the greatest
source of comedy. Bart Simpson did what we always wanted to say
and do, but couldn't due to certain "rules". There is a definite
disrespect for authority; not because it IS authority, but that this
authority stops him from doing what he really wants to do.
Generally, Bart Simpson is just a mischievous character, but not in an
intentionally negative manner. He just likes having fun and its
often at the expense of others.
During the first two seasons (1989-1991), Bart
Simpson was quite popular and inspired an entire line of
merchandise. T-shirts of Bart Simpson were his top-selling items,
with sales of a million shirts per day at their peak. They
featured his various slogans/catchphrases and sometimes his superhero
Bartman persona. The song "Do the Bartman", actually performed by
"The Simpsons" cast, became a huge, number one hit in 1991 in the U.S.
and abroad. During the height of this Bartmania, there was
actually serious debate by parent groups and educators as to whether
Bart Simpson was or was not a bad role model for children, which was an
entirely stupid thing to even think about. One T-shirt in
particular, with his catchphrase, "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell
are you?" was actually banned in public schools across the country.
I think as more of a survival move than anything
else, the creative folks behind "The Simpsons" started concentrating
more on the family as a whole than specifically on Bart. This
started happening around the third season. A few years after
that, the series became sort of trash, concentrating far more on Homer
Simpson and his interactions with cartoony versions of actual
celebrities. That's pretty much where it stands today.
Nancy Cartwright, the voice genius behind Bart
Simpson, has won several awards for her portrayal of the immortal
troublemaker. She built her career almost entirely on the steam
of Bart Simpson, although she has done many other things before and
after signing on as Bart.
- Bart's full name is Bartholomew JoJo Simpson.
- Bart and the Simpsons family made their debut as an animated
segment on TVs "The Tracey Ullman Show". The short was titled,
'Good Night' and aired on April 19, 1987.
- During Season 1 of "The Simpsons", the FOX network would not
allow Nancy Cartwright to give interviews because they didn't want the
voice of Bart Simpson associated with a woman.
- Bart Simpson merchandise made $2 billion in revenue during
the first 14 months of sales!
- Nancy Cartwright, along with Bart, also voices other child
characters on "The Simpsons", including: Kearney, Maggie Simpson,
Nelson Muntz, Ralph
Wiggum, and Todd Flanders.
- Nancy Cartwright originally wanted to audition for the part
of Lisa Simpson, while Yeardley Smith tried out for Bart. Smith's
voice was a bit too high for a boy, so she was given the role of
Lisa. Cartwright, on the other hand, discovered that Bart was a
far more interesting character and decided to audition for him.
As it turned out, Cartwright became Bart Simpson, while Smith became
- The Bart Simpson balloon made its debut at the Macy's
Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1990, and has been at every one of these
events since (as of 2009).
- Michael Jackson wrote the extremely popular song, "Do the
Bartman" in 1990, but did not take any credit.
- Michael Jackson was a huge fan of "The Simpsons", especially
Bart. However, in later episodes, Michael Jackson is slammed in
the show, even by Bart.
- Michael Jackson did voicework in the Season 3 episode "Stark
Raving Dad", under the false name of John Jay Smith. In that
episode, Bart Simpson was Michael Jackson's greatest fan.
- "Entertainment Weekly" magazine named Bart Simpson
"Entertainer of the Year" in 1990.
- In 1992, Nancy Cartwright won a Primetime Emmy Award for
voicing Bart Simpson.
- In 1995, Nancy Cartwright won an Annie Award for voicing Bart
- In 2000, Bart and all the Simpsons were awarded a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- In 2003, Bart Simpson was voted #2 on the Comedy Central
network's TV special "Mouthing Off: 51 Greatest Smartasses".
- "Bart's" salary 1987-1998= $30,000 per episode.
- "Bart's" salary 1998-2004= $125,000 per episode.
- "Bart's" salary 2004-2008= $250,000 per episode.
- "Bart's" salary 2008-?= $400,000 per episode.
"The Tracey Ullman Show" (1987-1989) [27 segments]
"The Simpsons" (1989-20??)
"The Simpsons Movie" (2007)
Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson (1987-20??)