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The Simpsons (1989-????)

Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

With more than 400 episodes (and counting), the most successful animated family in the history of TV has been going strong since 1989. Creator Matt Groening parodies the average (albeit dysfunctional) American family with buffoonish yet lovable Homer Simpson; his wife, Marge; their brilliant daughter, Lisa; bad-seed son, Bart; and baby, Maggie. There are enough interesting factoids about this show to make a book of its own! For starters, snagging a voice-over gig to play oneself on the show is a real show-biz coup. Even rock bands like U2, Smashing Pumpkins, and Aerosmith have contributed their likenesses and voices to the effort.

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