America’s first family of comedy is being formally recognized by the government.  The Simpsons will be featured on postage stamps.  The stamp design will be unveiled on April 9.

The Simpsons debuted on the Tracy Ulman show in 1987.  The Simpsons broke free as their own TV show in December of 1989 and have won dozens of Emmys and billions of other awards since their debut.  When the show first came out, its irreverent humor received quite a bit of criticism.  It’s funny – if you watch one of the early shows now, it’s often difficult to determine which aspects could have been so offensive.  It’s also cool to watch the older shows to observe the quality of the animation.  The images and voices have improved a lot over the years  – they were fairly rough in the early years.

We didn’t have Fox when I was growing up (just the three networks and Iowa Public Television, since those were the only stations the antenna picked up).  I started seeing the show on a regular basis when I was in college, and I have been a huge fan ever since.  I don’t see a lot of the new episodes, simply because I have really gotten out of the TV habit.  I wasn’t blown away by the movie, although we finally figure out which states border Springfield – Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky.

I consider The Simpsons to be a wonderful social commentary on life.  Negative actions typically have negative consequences.  Moe and Mr. Burns, for example, do not have the happiest lives (in fact, when Mr. Burns gets shot, everyone had a motive).  Of course, it’s also hilarious.

The Simpsons also does a great job of parodying others shows and movies.   I can remember one episode in particular.  Grandpa Simpson goes to a church to break up the wedding of the woman he loved.  A couple of years later, I was watching The Graduate (honestly, not terribly impressed) and saw Dustin Hoffman do the exact same thing.  My mind immediately yelled “hey, they ripped that off from The Simpsons.”

D’Oh.  Maybe it was the other way around.

Keep an eye out for these stamps when they come out.  Rarely have we had the opportunity to invest 44 cents more wisely.