The 500th episode of the Simpsons will air this Sunday, marking a staggering milestone for the show that is almost unmatched in television history. To put it into perspective, only two other prime-time, scripted shows have lived to see their 500th episodes – Gunsmoke and Lassie, which notched 635 and 588, respectively. If that doesn’t wow you, consider this – the show began its run in 1989, when mobile phones were still about the size of bricks and the Internet as we know it had not yet come to be. The flexibility of the animated family no doubt helped the Simpsons last that long – over the years, the family has become timeless and timely all at once, keeping up with the changes in the world and staying relevant while staying true to the things that made their characters unforgettable in the first place. The Simpsons even survived a budget crisis last fall, when it was heavily rumored that the show would get axed due to network cost-cutting. Despite that, a new deal was made, which will ensure at least a grand total of 559 episodes. I wouldn’t bet against there being more than that, when all is said and done.
A milestone like this is cause for celebration, prompting a couple of California guys to show their love for the Simpsons in dedicated fashion. Jeremiah Franco and Carin Shreve entered the Guinness Book of World Records at the Ultimate Fan Marathon held by Fox in Los Angeles from February 8th to February 12th. The two were part of 100 contestants challenged with watching the Simpsons for almost four days straight (no falling asleep allowed), and were the only ones to make it all the way. All told, they watched the Simpsons for 86 hours and 37 minutes, just breaking the previous record of nearly 86 hours.
At Chip Chick, we’re celebrating by hearkening back to Mypods and Boomsticks, the episode where the Simpsons finally got around to directing their satirical cannon Apple’s way, as Lisa strives to join the Mapple faithful.