Posts Tagged ‘Dan Castellaneta’

A Whistleblower in Springfield: “The Simpsons” 500th Episode

Friday, February 17th, 2012

It started as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. It’s now the winner of 27 primetime Emmys, has been licensed in more than 100 countries, been syndicated domestically for 18 years, is the longest-running American sitcom in television history, and beat out Gunsmoke to become the longest-running primetime, scripted series. Oh, and no one on the show has aged in 23 years. Talk about mind-blowing.

Matt Groening’s The Simpsons celebrates a landmark achievement in television this Sunday night. The show will air its 500th episode, “At Long Last Leave,” in which the Simpsons are evicted from Springfield. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will guest star as himself and musician Alison Krauss will provide a special theme song to celebrate the milestone. In a lead up to Sunday’s episode, Groening received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past Tuesday, and FOX sponsored a marathon screening of the series on February 8th in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for longest continuous television viewing. Simpsons superfans Jeremiah Franco and Carin Shreve indeed reset the record by watching 86 hours and 37 minutes of The Simpsons and earning $10,500 from FOX in the process.

How did The Simpsons skyrocket from short reels to record setters? In his 2003 Archive Interview, Executive Producer James L. Brooks discusses The Simpsons rise from bumpers on The Tracey Ullman Show to the stand-alone, half-hour program that debuted on December 17, 1989:

Bart was quickly the breakout character of the show, and Nancy Cartwright shares how she voices his plethora of memorable catchphrases:

Not to be outdone, Homer has a pretty memorable catchphrase of his own. Dan Castellaneta on the origins of “d’oh!”:

Tune in Sunday at 8pm EST/PST on FOX to see what gems Bart, Homer and the rest of The Simpsons will deliver in their 500th episode. Think leaving Springfield leads to life in hell, or will the Simpsons finally get the love they deserve from their hometown?

- by Adrienne Faillace

Ay Caramba! “The Simpsons” start Season 23 and Bart’s still 10

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Though Bart remains 10 years old, The Simpsons begins its 23rd season Sunday, September 25th on FOX. Not just the longest-running animated program in American television history, The Simpsons is also the longest-running American sitcom, and beat out Gunsmoke to become the longest-running primetime, scripted series.

The brainchild of Matt Groening, The Simpsons originally appeared as a series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Executive Producer James L. Brooks liked the popular shorts, which were then developed into a stand-alone, half-hour program and debuted as such on December 17, 1989. Bart (Nancy Cartwright), Lisa (Yeardley Smith), Maggie, Marge (Julie Kavner) and Homer (Dan Castellaneta) hit the big-time that night and have reigned on FOX ever since.

The show at times stirs up controversy for its portrayal of a dysfunctional, but loving family, and not only cemented the phrase “D’oh!” into the minds of millions, but also launched dozens of other catchphrases. From “Don’t have a cow, man!”, “Ay Carumba!”, “Eat my shorts!” and “Cowabunga!” The Simpsons has its own vernacular that continues to penetrate pop culture. Nancy Cartwright’s interview (she voices Bart Simpson, Ralph Wiggum, Nelson Muntz, Todd Flanders, Kearney, and Database) is now available online. As Mr. Burns would say as he craftily twiddles his fingers, “Excellent.”

Cartwright was originally going to audition for the role of Lisa, but when she saw Bart Simpson described as “Ten years old, school-hating underachiever and proud of it”-  she knew that was the role she wanted:

On Bart Simpsons’ memorable catchphrases:

On how she differentiates between similar characters (“Nelson” v. “Kearney” and “Ralph” v “Todd Flanders”):

On how people who criticize the show respond when they find out she plays Bart:

On The Simpsons‘ place in American pop culture:

About this interview:

In her Archive interview, Nancy Cartwright describes how she got her start as a voiceover artist. Active in speech club in high school, she discovered her talent with voices and pursued Communications in college, first at Ohio University, then at UCLA, to be closer to the industry. She recalls training with acclaimed voiceover artist Daws Butler, her first professional job on Richie Rich, and her on-camera work as a guest actor on Cheers and as the lead in the television movie, Marian Rose White. Cartwright then details her work on The Simpsons, originally a series of sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show. She recalls going in to audition for the part of “Lisa Simpson” and walking out with the role of “Bart Simpson.” Cartwright outlines the recording schedule of the show, other characters she voices, expanding the show to a half hour program, her Emmy win for Outstanding Voiceover Actor, and her favorite episodes.  She also comments on other shows to which she’s contributed (Rugrats, Kim Possible) and speaks of her extensive charity work. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on March 17, 2011 in Northridge, CA.

And the Emmy nomination goes to…

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The 2011 Primetime Emmy Award season began today with the official nomination announcement at 8:30 AM EST. Congratulations to all the nominees for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards!

The Archive of American Television would also like to congratulate our interviewees who were nominated this year:

Dan Castellaneta for Outstanding Voice-Over performance (As “Homer Simpson”)
David Crane for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Episodes)
Robert Dickinson (multiple nominations for lighting design)
Linda Ellerbee for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction (Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Under the Influence: Kids of Alcoholics)
Michael J. Fox for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (“Louis Cannin” on The Good Wife)
Louis J. Horvitz for Outstanding Directing for a a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special (53rd Grammy Awards)
Susan Lacy for Outstanding Nonfiction Series (American Masters)
Cloris Leachman for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (as “Maw Maw” on Raising Hope)
Christopher Lloyd for Outstanding Comedy Series (co-creator of Modern Family)
Hector Ramirez (multiple nominations as camera operator)
Don Mischer for Outstanding Directing for a a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special (83rd Academy Awards)
Paul Shaffer for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony)
Tim Van Patten for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Game of Thrones)
Matthew Weiner for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Mad Men)
Betty White for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (as “Elka Ostrosky” on Hot in Cleveland)

The full list of nominees can be found here.

The Creative Arts Emmys will be held on September 10. The Primetime Emmys Telecast will be on September 18 on FOX.

Celebrate Father’s Day with Rob Petrie, Frank Costanza, Homer Simpson, and Mr. C.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Happy Father’s Day! To celebrate we’ve highlighted interview clips from some of our favorite TV Dads:

Tom Bosley on playing Howard “Mr. C.” Cunningham on Happy Days

Jerry Stiller on playing Seinfeld’s “Frank Costanza”

Dan Castellaneta on the origin of Homer Simpson’s “d’oh”

Dick Van Dyke on The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Rob Petrie