Thursday, May 6, 2010
The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a working-class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with the producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and was an early hit for Fox, becoming the first Fox series to land it in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–1990).
Since its debut on December 17, 1989 the show has broadcast 461 episodes and the twenty-first season began airing on September 27, 2009. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and July 27, 2007, and grossed US$527 million worldwide. The Simpsons has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 25 Primetime Emmy Awards, 26 Annie Awards and a Peabody Award. Time magazine's December 31, 1999 issue named it the 20th century's best television series, and on January 14, 2000 the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest running American primetime entertainment series. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D’oh" has been adopted into the English lexicon, while The Simpsons has influenced many adult-oriented animated sitcoms.
Kobe Bryant was born August 23, 1978. He is a shooting guard who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA. Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career and made instant headlines when he decided to go directly into the NBA upon graduation. He was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant and then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. After O'Neal's departure following the 2003–04 season, Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers franchise. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second highest number of points scored in a single game in NBA history second only to Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point performance.
Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award in the 2007–08 season and led his team to the 2008 NBA Finals as the first seed in the Western Conference. He won his fourth NBA championship in 2009, leading the Lakers to their fifteenth title. He also won his first Finals MVP award. In 2008, he won a gold medal as a member of the 2008 Summer Olympics U.S. Men's Basketball Team, occasionally referred to as "The Redeem Team," a play on the name of the first Olympic team that featured NBA players, the Dream Team. Since his second year in the league, Bryant has started in every NBA All-Star Game that has been hosted, winning the All-Star MVP award in 2002, 2007, and 2009. In 2009 Bryant had the top-selling jersey in the United States, Europe, and China. In 2010 Bryant again had the top-selling jersey in the United States. Although known by several names throughout his career, Bryant's current nickname is Black Mamba. After having been represented by Arn Tellem, Bryant is now represented by Rob Pelinka. In 2010, Bryant became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history.