On August 21st, FXX began broadcasting the longest television marathon in history: all 25 seasons of The Simpsons, which is 552 episodes in total. Run back-to-back, the episodes will last for twelve days.
Whenever people talk about The Simpsons, they usually talk about how it’s not as good as it used to be, and how it should be cancelled. With all due respect, that’s crazy talk. The Simpsons is a cultural institution, and even on its worst day, the show slays its competition. No show has been as consistently and smartly funny as The Simpsons, and it’s hard to believe that another show will ever come close.
What gives The Simpsons its longevity? It’s actually the side characters. Since the very first season, the writers have taken great pains to flesh out the other inhabitants of the town. Had they focused exclusively on the Simpsons family, they would have exhausted their ideas a decade ago. Instead, The Simpsons cast now numbers in the hundreds. So lean back in your hammock and crack open a Duff (or a Tomacco juice, if you prefer). We’re counting down the top 25 minor Simpsons characters—the faces and voices who are seldom seen, but turn Springfield into a living, breathing American town.