The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






The Tracey Ullman Show

The Tracey Ullman Show was a weekly television variety show, hosted by comedienne Tracey Ullman. It debuted in April 1987 as the FOX network's first series and ran until May 1990. The show featured sketch comedy along with many musical numbers. Much of the current success of FOX can be attributed to this show and its hugely successful spinoff, The Simpsons.

The show won eight Emmy Awards, including two for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program.


  • Tracey Ullman .... Herself/Various Characters
  • Joseph Malone .... Himself/Various Characters
  • Sam McMurray .... Himself/Various Characters
  • Anna Levine .... Herself/Various Characters
  • Dan Castellaneta .... Himself/Homer Simpson/Various Characters
  • Julie Kavner .... Herself/Marge Simpson/Various Characters
  • Nancy Cartwright .... Bart Simpson
  • Yeardley Smith .... Lisa Simpson

The Simpsons shorts

The Simpsons family debuted in short animated cartoons on The Tracey Ullman Show before being spun off into their own half-hour series. These shorts, also called "bumpers", aired before and after commercial breaks during the first three seasons of the show.

All of them were written by Matt Groening and animated at Klasky-Csupo by a team of animators consisting of David Silverman, Wes Archer , and Bill Kopp . The characters' yellow skin color was invented by colorist Georgi Peluse , who wanted to make the cartoons more interesting and unique. Matt Groening has joked that it was done so people would think the tint control was broken on their TV set, as a high tint setting can cause a caucasian person's skin to appear yellowish.

In the beginning, the drawings appeared very crude because the animators were more or less just tracing over Groening's storyboards, but as the series developed, so did the designs and layouts of the characters and the "Simpsons drawing style" was ultimately conceived. This style evolved even more throughout the first few seasons of The Simpsons and was used more than a decade later on Futurama, another animated series created by Matt Groening.

Dr. N!Godatu was another series of animated shorts created by M.K. Brown (and animated by the same Klasky-Csupo team) that alternated every other week with the Simpsons shorts, but were dropped after the first season of the show. By this point, Groening's shorts had gained much more popularity and the producers saw no reason to continue Brown's shorts.

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Last updated: 10-22-2005 10:44:38
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