Do you know what is the longest-running sitcom in the history of American television? The Simpsons, created by Matt Groenig in 1987 for Fox initially as “short” animated by one minute, transmitted during the interval of the Tracey Ullman Show.
From 1989 Fox promoted the regular series in the prime time, coming this year to the thirtieth season. TV Guide put the Simpsons at the eighth place among the 50 best TV shows of all time, at the second among the shows still on the air, behind 60 Minutes.
Simpsons, how many dead characters do you remember?
The list of dead or “retired” characters during these 32 years is long and constantly increasing, how many can you remember? Little help: in all those “canonical” so far are 14.
After the death in the ninth “short” of Hubert Simpsons, older brother of Grandpa Simpsons, the first to die in the regular series was, in the second season, Beatrice Simpsons. Grandpa falls in love with her and would like to marry her but on the way back from a trip with Homer and family discovers that Bea is dead. Grandpa Simpsons will see her again as a ghost.
In the sixth season passes Lisa’s favorite musician, Bleeding Gums Murphy, in the seventh a former comrade of Grandfather Simpsons, Oxford Haas. The following year Shary Bobbins, nanny clone of Mary Poppins and former girlfriend of William MacDougal aka Willie, ended up sucked in by an airplane engine. A robot version of Shary is seen in London in the twenty-first season.
In the same season Frank Grimes, Homer’s colleague at the Springfield nuclear power plant, prefers to commit suicide when he realizes that Homer himself, despite his obvious incompetence, has managed to get what he will never have. Mrs Gumble, mother of Berney Gumble, dies in the ninth season.
Maude Flanders, the most famous death
The death of Maude Flanders, caused by Homer, is perhaps the most famous of the series and takes place in the eleventh season, but the ghost of Maude returns several times over the years, in the thirteenth, seventeenth, twentieth and twenty-fifth season. Maude also appeared in the form of a demon in the special episode Treehouse of Horror of the twenty-second season.
Mona Simpson, mother of Homer, appears only in the seventh and nineteenth seasons, but this return is fatal. In the twenty-second season the Springfield mala boss, Tony Ciccione, dies of cardiac arrest caused by Homer. His place will be taken by his cousin Tony Fitness that in a short time will be transformed becoming indistinguishable from the original.
In the following seasons both the wife of Viktor, Ukrainian mafia, enemy of the secret agent Wayne Slater, and Alice Glick, neighbor of the Simpsons, dye. During the inaugural episode of the twenty-sixth season dies the rabbi Krustofsky, father of Krusty il Clown. And in that same season also dies Albert, in charge of a group of obese proud of being it.
In the 28th season, Dr Nussbaum, psychiatrist who has had among his patients Mr. Burns and the same Simpsons, finally pass away. And probably the list won’t stop here.
The “non-canonical” dead
The many dead characters of Treehouse of Horror but remained alive in the regular series are not counted among the official dead. Passed away also the father of Marge, Patty and Selma Boivier, Clarence “Clancy” Bouvier: he died of lung cancer before Maggie was born.
Although they were not dead they were “retired” (because their American dubbers died) Troy McClure, the announcer of Behind the Laughter, and Bar‘s teacher, Edna Caprapall.
Through flash back we discover the death of Waylon Smithers Senior (father of Waylon Smithers Junior, the assistant of Mr Burns), of a child actor killed by the young Moe Szyslak and of many minor characters. Among these also Sheldom Skinner, father of Seymour, Arnie Gumble, father of Barnie and Igtgy Wiggum, father of Clancy.
Finally, they died among the animals in the series: four Snowball (Lisa’s kitten), three Mr Teeny (the chimpanzee wingman of Krusty the Clown) and Nibbles (Lisa’s class hamster).
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