Ay Carumba!

18 years after their primetime series debut, and 20 years after their first appearance on The Tracy Ullman Show, The Simpsons are everywhere. 2007 is looking to be a huge year for the veteran ‘toon. Last Sunday the show aired their season finale and 400th episode. 400 episodes is no easy task for any show, let alone a once weekly comedy, and yet the show perseveres… though some would argue that its best days are behind it.

This summer will bring the release of The Simpsons Movie, allowing loyal fans to finally see Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and all of the dozens of recurring characters on the big screen (and according to some reports… a little more than some may be expecting ).

Also, Universal Studios has announced that they are building a Simpsons themed ride at both their Florida and California theme parks. You read that correctly. Soon, you will be able to ride along with The Simpsons on a wacky tour of Springfield. Still, questions remain… what exactly will the ride be about? A recreation of the opening sequence? A(nother) nuclear meltdown caused by Homer? A rather unpleasant bus ride courtesy of Otto? And will Universal be smart enough to capitalize on one of Bart’s most popular catch phrases, and start selling edible shorts to visiting families?

Well, not exactly…According to Variety, the ride: “will let parkgoers travel through a "Simpsons"-ized version of a theme park, as envisioned by Krusty the Clown.”

Alright, fair enough, the plot seems to remind me a little too much of It by Stephen King, but I am sure they can make it funny and fun. Creator Matt Groening added: "The ride is designed to duplicate the Simpsons home-viewing experience, only at high speed and with lots of screaming." To get my two cents in, sounds good to me.

From the small screen to the big screen to the world of motion simulator amusement park rides, The Simpsons are back baby. Though it isn’t like they ever really left.

By Alex Weprin