This Wednesday, January 14, 2015, marks the 25th anniversary of “Bart The Genius,” the second half-hour episode of The Simpsons and the show’s debut as a weekly primetime series. In honor of this historic occasion, The A.V. Club will be running Simpsons-themed content all week long, a running tribute to a towering achievement in popular culture—a TV show without which this website might not exist. (Certainly the comments would be a lot quieter without a reliable well of Simpsons quotes to pull from.) We’ve already posted an Inventory charting the evolutions of 12 Simpsons supporting players; stay tuned for Simpsonsized takes on other regular features like For Our Consideration, We’re No.1 , Hear This, and Watch This. Then, on Wednesday, our look back at 25 years of The Simpsons goes even wider, as we consider the show’s impact on the last quarter-century of TV comedy with a countdown of the best sitcom episodes of the last 25 years. Will your favorite Simpsons episode make the list? How high will it place? And will Troy McClure’s work on Son Of Sanford And Son go unjustly snubbed yet again?
Yes, we know The Simpsons technically reached this milestone in 2012, because the first Simpsons short aired on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. And, yes, we also missed the 25th anniversary of “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” this past December. But it wasn’t until January 1990 that the half-hour adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie were being broadcast on a regularly scheduled basis, a pattern that continues to this day. (And, thanks to recent developments in streaming video, might not ever stop.) We think that’s a perfectly cromulent reason to celebrate, and we hope you do, too.