Welcome to Day 2 of our celebration of “The Simpsons,” Matt Groening’s famous family. Our party in turn celebrates the FXX channel’s marathon broadcast (going on now!) of all 552 episodes of the animated comedy. Any “Simpsons” newbies out there? You may think Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie just sprung up, all shiny and TV-ready, in 1989. Not quite.
Those of you of a certain age (ahem, we’re not telling what age that is) will remember the seeds of “Simpsons” discontent scattered in Groening’s “Life in Hell” comics. (C’mon, you had a “Work is Hell” panel tacked in your cube at some point in the ’90s.) The panels’ off-kilter bunnies, the fezzed Akbar and Jeff and the black humor caught the eye of the producer of “The Tracey Ullman Show,” who asked Groening to make a series of 1-minute animated shorts to use before commercial breaks. The shorts ran for three seasons — kind of a gestation — and the Simpson family phenomenon was born on Dec. 17, 1989, as a independent series. Now, go forth and be knowledgeable.