Before The Simpsons had their own show, they were a regular feature on The Tracy Ullman Show, beginning in 1987. Before that show would go to commercial breaks, they would show a vignette or short cartoon of The Simpsons in a series of related storylines. The animation and character designs were much more crude at that time and the voices were a little different but it is fun to look back on how it all got started 20 years ago. I never watched the Tracy Ullman Show myself but I tried to time it right so that when I knew there was a commercial break, I would change over to that channel to catch the Simpsons' shenanigans.
The Tracy Ullman Show only lasted about 3 seasons and when it ended, Matt Groening got a half hour spinoff show all to himself that would come to be known as The Simpsons and the rest, as it is said, is history. Twenty years later, it is still airing original episodes and a feature length movie is set to be released in a few months. It would have to be considered the most successful TV series spinoff in history.
So without further ado, let us take a look at what audiences saw on the night of April 19, 1987, when five yellow-skinned, simian-like characters appeared and spoke for the first time. Here are The Simpsons in their TV debut, titled, Goodnight.
The Simpsons (first TV appearance)