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THE SIMPSONS: "SIMPSONS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE"
December 23, 2018  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment

Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

 
Tonight on The Simpsons, Fox is repeating the show’s first full-length episode, a Christmas special that first expanded Matt Groening’s vision of the Simpsons as a mostly feuding family seen in interstitial breaks during Fox’s The Tracey Ullman Show. “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” was the name of that initial episode, which was televised on Dec. 17, 1989. The animation will look a lot rougher around the edges than it does today, but the wit is just as fresh, and the voices just as delightful. One personal note: I reviewed this episode for The New York Post way back then, and gave one of the few rave reviews (The Tracey Ullman Show received another) I was able to write regarding a show on the then-new Fox network, which, like the Post, was owned by Rupert Murdoch. Another personal note: The show opens with Bart Simpson sabotaging a music-class choir rehearsal by changing the lyrics to a Christmas carol to “Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin lays an egg.” That so delighted by son, Mark, who was then 5 years old, that when our family went to Braddock’s Tavern in New Jersey for a holiday dinner, at one of those places where it’s a colonial atmosphere and women go from table to table singing madrigals and carols, I tipped them substantially to do the Bart Simpson version of “Jingle Bells.” I’m going to ask my kids if they still remember that. I sure do. Oh, and Matt Groening once was one of the regular readers of TVWW. If you still are, Matt, congratulations on a great, amazingly long run -- and it's not over yet!
 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Mike
I nearly did a spit take the first time I heard Bart Simpson sing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells..." because we sang that as kids. That's when Batman was in its first run on TV. Who knows were we picked it up. I would never have imagined it was a "thing" that existed beyond our little world and would one day turn up on TV.
Dec 23, 2018   |  Reply
 
 
 
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