Theresa wrote:The Simpsons certainly wins hands-down in the animated longevity area, but it wasn't the first animated sitcom. That honor goes to The Flintstones which debuted in 1960!
I am very impressed with your list, Snoopy!
The Flintstones were first, but were a direct steal of the Honeymooners. Nothing original or groundbreaking there. Jackie Gleason already paved that road.
When I said "first", I meant the first to have such original, adult themes and not just another cartoon for the kiddies. My bad for not expanding on my earlier statement.
The Simpsons was and truly remains unique. Again, it is what others try to emulate and often don't succeed.
It also started as a bit on the Tracey Ullman show and, technically, is a spin-off. But if you ever saw those original bits on her show, you would notice a huge difference. First, the voice of Homer was done by someone different and the episodes were not very good quality. At least Fox was able to recognize the potential and gave the creators a bigger budget.
Another piece of trivia, Conan O'Brien used to be a writer on the show.