The Most Famous Cartoon Mom in History, Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson is no doubt the most famous cartoon mom in history, ‘The Simpsons’ being the longest-running animated series ever produced for TV and the highest rated as well. Marge is the matriarch of the offbeat Simpson clan, and often serves as the voice of reason and of order when the family shenanigans and schemes get out of hand.
The Simpsons themselves were something of a crudely created family; Matt Groening sketched out an idea for the series while waiting in the lobby of the office James L. Brooks, who at that time was the producer of ‘The Tracy Ullman Show.’ Groening was originally set to pitch an entirely different idea to Brooks but created the Simpsons at the last minute. He named Marge after his mother, Margaret ‘Marge’ Groening, and the character’s trademark beehive hairdo is said to be a combination of Groening’s mother’s style and that of the bride of Frankenstein.
Groening’s sketches of the family and of Marge herself are somewhat basic when compared to other cartoon characters and shows; Groening admitted that he created the sketches rather quickly and sent them to the animation department assuming they would clean them up and enhance them. The animators however just traced over his quick sketches, giving the entire family their simple appearance!
As quickly as he may have created the family, each character has a full background as you would expect of any TV family. Marge has two older sisters, Patty and Selma, and met her husband Homer in college where she dated him partly out of pity and partly because her first date was too pushy. She has expressed high morals throughout the show, objecting to violent cartoons and encouraging the family in their church attendance. She openly admits that she puts up with a lot from her rather buffoonish husband, Homer, and from her three children, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The oldest, Bart, is often causing trouble and Marge has described him as her ‘special little guy.’ Lisa is the smartest of the three children, questioning her parents’ beliefs and eventually turning to Buddhism and vegetarianism. Marge remains loyal to her family throughout, as is often the case with a stereotypical suburban sitcom housewife.
The character of Marge Simpson has had such an impact on popular culture that she was named to ‘Time Magazine’s’ ‘Top 10 Moms’ list in 2008, and the character even appeared on the cover of ‘Playboy’ magazine in 2009. She’s often cited as one of the best moms on television and helps to keep her otherwise zany family together and safe. The next time you watch an episode, keep in mind her humble roots and see if you do not better appreciate the character of Marge Simpson.