General Speech Purpose: To Inform
Specific Speech Purpose: To Inform my audience about the sitcom "The Simpsons"


I. They have eight fingers, yellow skin, wacky hairdos, and a severe case of an underbite.
A. They are the typical american family, but far from your average "Cleaver household"
B. The Simpsons are the new generation of quality television sitcom families.
II. The Simpsons were a runaway hit ever since their first season.
A. The show generated ratings that placed it among the top 15 shows in the Nielsen ratings during its original run.
1. It continued its success into the summer, pulling top 10 ratings throughout the summer rerun series.
2. The show\'s success prompted every self respecting trend follower to wear a Simpsons t-shirt.
B. It is one of the only animated series in prime time and it still produces solid shows every week..
III. Their success is based primarily on the show\'s satirical nature, characterization, and
realism.
A. Cartoonist Matt Groening drew the Simpsons in the image of the nuclear american family.
1. The Simpsons\' is a joke on traditional sitomcs because its characters are so far removed from what has always been thought of as the "norm". When in actuality, they are truly the "norm".
a. Up until the Simpsons, American television viewers were merely exposed to a typical upper-middle class professional family with wise parents and generally well-behaved children. Such as the Cosby Show, Family Ties, and Growing Pains.
b. Unlike those shows, The Simpson family consists of Homer, a bone headed father, Marge, a mother whose greatest accomplishment is keeping the family members from killing each other, Bart, a lazy, mischevisous son, Lisa, a sweet and intelligent, but moody and self pitying daughter, and Maggie, a baby girl, who has yet to say her first word on the show.
2. Although they aren\'t what we consider to be a traditional family unit, they are together, and they stay that way, through misadventure after misadventure.
B. Another main key to the show\'s success is due to its satirical form of comedy.
1. Being perhaps one of the most self-reflexive programs to date, the Simpsons are not afraid to call themselves what they are, a cartoon.
a. In a recent episode, Lisa tells Bart that what they see on television isn\'t real. She does so while we see Homer pass by in the background not only once, but three times, in the same direction.
2. Another example of their satirical humor was displayed in a more older episode. Krusty the Clown is an exaggerated version of children heroes on the sitcom. When he believed to have robbed the Kwik-E-Mart, perhaps in an OJ Simpson reference, his popularity plummets. Although his treatment is exaggerated, it does show how our society treats our fallen heroes.
C. Realism is one of the shows most important elements to its success.
1. Much of the action which takes place within the boundaries of Springfield city limits is far fetched at best.
2. More often, however, lies a ring of truth and common experience in ever story line. The shows themes give it the ability to relate to almost every plane of human experience that any American has ever had.
IV. These things serve to set the show apart from thers that would seek to imitate it.
A. The wit, satire, and realism of The Simpsons can be said to be it\'s defining element, and the key to its success.
B. It remains popular today, in it\'s eighth season, and entertains us while at the same time, pointing out things that we might not otherwise see about ourselves, our beliefs, and our institutions, and surely that is the mark of quality.
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