Two girls canvas

Here’s the first major review of The Simpsons from Dec. 22, 1989.

Matt Groening “has a talent for understating stupidity.”

In December 1989, The Simpsons debuted on Fox with their own stand-alone show. The Hollywood Reporter’s original review, published on Dec. 22, 1989, is below.

The Simpsons may well be the most moronic middle-class family since the beginning of time. But, hey, that’s what makes them so extra special.

The fact that cartoonist Matt Groening has been able to get away with slamming the American bourgeoisie since last January has been a miracle, one of getting stuff past execs who live in a culture where the idea of a major experience is a backyard barbeque with the in-laws. Groening has gone beyond his deliberately annoying snippets from The Tracey Ullman Show and expanded them into a FBC Christmas special called Simpsons: Roasting on an Open Fire Christmas Special.

For those unfamiliar with this particular horror of a nuclear family, it consists of dad Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta), mom Marge (Julie Kavner), kid Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and fellow munchkin Lisa (Yeardley Smith). Also in there are Harry Shearer, Penny Marshall and Marcia Wallace.

In this particular episode, the family has run out of money because Bart has gone and had a tattoo removed, a procedure that costs them all their holiday money.

Homer has to get a job as a department store Santa — and of course, by incredible coincidence, his son discovers that the old man has had to resort to desperate measures.

Click here to read the rest at THR.