Wednesday, 9 December 2020

show dna

Informed earlier by our faithful chronicler and now reprised for the cinematic adaptation of Larry McMurty’s 1975 novel of the same name going into general release in US cinemas on this day in 1983, James L. Brooks directorial debut film (also writer and producer) has a throughline to the Simpsons. As a thank you gift for securing her and her production team an Academy Award (Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacClaine, Danny DeVito, Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels, John Lithgow and Jack Nicholson did quite well at the Oscars) assistant Polly Platt had procured for her collaborator an original panel of the comic Life in Hell—a bleak strip about a depressed, neurotic rabbit called Bongo, specifically one from 1982 entitled “The Los Angeles Way of Death”—as imagined and illustrated by Matt Groening. A year later, with a new television project, a variety show with a series of sketches, Brooks reached out to Groening about developing a series of animated interstitial bumpers between segments. Fearing loss of creative control over his original characters, Groening created a wholly new cast based on his own family, giving the world the Simpsons as a regular part of The Tracey Ullmann Show.