This was Television on April 19

1987: America meets The Simpsons

“Good Night” was the first of Matt Groening’s crudely drawn animated shorts to see airtime on Fox’s sketch comedy series The Tracy Ullman Show. The dysfunctional family comedy became a fan favorite, inspiring the young network to give the Simpson family their own animated sitcom two years later. Though evolving into something quite different in tone and execution from the shorts, The Simpsons went on to become a reasonably successful program. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Tim Curry, character actor (67); James Franco, freak (35); Jayne Mansfield, panelist (d. 1967); Hugh O’Brian, lawman (88); Dick Sargent, second husband (d. 1994).

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