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HAPPY BirtHD'OH! ..to the Simpsons as they clock up 20 years on the box.

Byline: By RORY SMITH

WOO-HOO! Grab the doughnuts and crack open a can of Duff - the world's favourite cartoon family has just turned 20.

Since its debut on The Tracey Ullman Show in America in April 1987, Matt Groening's The Simpsons has been watched by more than 60 million people around the world.

And its stars - Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie - are as popular as ever.

Their first movie is due in cinemas this summer and a new TV series is scheduled for later this year.

Meanwhile, the animated antics are broadcast in Russian, Japanese and Arabic, while hapless head of the household Homer was recently voted the UK's favourite TV character.

His "Homerisms" - such as "Doughnuts... is there anything they can't do?" have inspired Office creator Ricky Gervais, while his catchphrase "D'oh!" has even made it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

Other memorable lines from Homer include: "Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it.

"Now quiet! They're about to announce the lottery numbers."

Homer also likes a drink, once toasting: "To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

And he tries to pass his wisdom to Bart and Lisa, telling them: "Kids, you tried your best, and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try."

Simpsons expert and TV critic Ben Marshall calls it "the Laurel And Hardy of our time - consistently funny and totally outrageous".

He addded: "The comedy works on every level."

Simpsons merchandise makes more than EUR1.4billion a year. Celebrities including Richard Gere and Paul McCartney have all bagged guest slots. Big names lined up for the movie, which is due for release on July 27, include Isla Fisher, Kelsey Grammer and Minnie Driver.

Name the celebs given the Simpsons treatment:

1 He brought a touch of the X-Factor to Springfield

2 Homer's on a roll with these rockers

3 This Irish band got cheeky at Moe's

4 Which author predicted a wizard ending for Lisa?

5 This singer gave Apu a knight to remember...

6 He took a break from The Office for a beer

ANSWERS

1 Simon Cowell 2 Rolling Stones 3 U2 4 JK Rowling 5 Elton John 6 Ricky Gervais

news@irishmirror.ie

CAPTION(S):

WELL, EAT MY SHORTS! Simpsons are still as funny 20 years on; CREATOR: Matt; 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6
COPYRIGHT 2007 MGN LTD
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 21, 2007
Words:397
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