I doubt any sitcom in television history has employed as many movie references as The Simpsons, or been as clever about it. It's been a staple of the series throughout its run, and catching as many of them as possible is a bit of an obsession for some, including Bryan Menegus, who did us all the wonderful favor of cutting together every movie reference from the first five seasons of The Simpsons into one video. You can watch the whole video after the cut, but I should say that it's about 20 minutes long and pretty much impossible to stop watching once you've started. You've been warned.
In terms of branding, Matt Groening has always been the anti-Bill Watterson. Whereas the Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist was opposed to nearly any use of his creations on merchandise, Groening was never shy about his desire to see characters from The Simpsons on t-shirts, posters, sneakers, and nearly anything else you could think of. The strategy paid off: Simpsons merchandise, seemingly omnipresent at one point, served as great advertising and played a role in making the show the longest-running American television sitcom of all time. And while that movement has died down a bit over the years, it hasn't completely gone away. Case in point: these new Converse sneakers, featuring Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, available now on Converse's website. You can check out pictures of each below. Feel free to get a pair of Bart Simpson kicks, grab a Butterfinger, and be transported to another world. And by another world, I mean 1993.
If you've ever thought, "I like The Simpsons well enough, but I wish it had more psychic superpowers and people's arms being shot off," artists Ryan Humphrey and James Harvey have the mash-up comic for you: Bartkira.
I'm a fan of any kind of artistic mashup or homage that involves The Simpsons, so I'm easy to impress in that regard. That said, even by those standards this Spider-Man themed Simpsons piece, by artist Terry Ververgaer
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