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When Matt Groening's "The Simpsons" was first syndicated on FOX, it brought about a new wave of television comedy, filled with flatulence jokes, under-achieving wild children, ignorant parents, clueless administration, and the like. It was fresh and new, and was welcomed by the general public, causing The Simpsons to be one of the most successful cartoon/sitcoms in American history.

Soon after, a day wouldn't go by where you wouldn't come across some kid on the street wearing a "Don't Have A Cow, Man" or "Eat My Shorts" t-shirt or some overweight balding man yell "Doh!" But that was ok. The show still managed to keep its originality all throughout the marketing phase of its life.

But now I fear the show that was once very original and creative has fallen into a hole it has dug for itself, leaving plenty of room for overused jokes, unfunny references and situations you sworn you've seen them in once before. I remember when it was cool when The Simpsons had guest voice actors, but now basically every week they get someone to donate their voice for the good of the show, so instead of becoming something only privilaged few have done, its something almost every actor has done, sometimes more than once.

The problem? Its simply become too popular, too mainstream. The show was good when it had an edge. Now every show is modeling itself after The Simpsons in one form or another. Its just not funny anymore.

Occasionally you will see a cartoon sitcom that dares to break the rules, but they usually fall flat within a season or two. The Simpsons had the perfect ingredients to make a hit series and make it last so many years, such is the fact that no other cartoon sitcom that has come out since could ever stand a chance of entering the lives of the people who watch it like The Simpsons has.

Its downfall, sadly, is one that many artistic projects and endeavors have fallen victim to. Popularity. Remember when Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were the "alternative" bands? Now everyone models their guitar playing and singing after them. Just another example of how Americans can take something so great, splash it onto t-shirts and billboards across America and destroy something sacred.


This node is featured in My Little Black Box, an ongoing autobiography by Corey Vallejo.
http://www.vulpinearts.com/littleblackbox/