Lick My Shorts: “Simpsons” Stamps Debut

The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday released a set of five stamps depicting Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson to celebrate the 20th season of television's longest-running comedy.

One billion of "The Simpsons" stamps will be issued from the nation's 34,000 post offices, Postal Service officials said.

This is the first time a television series has been featured as the sole subject of a U.S. stamp set while still in primetime production, according to U.S. Postal Service Executive Director of Stamp Services David Failor.

Matt Groening, the creator of the Fox Broadcasting animated series, designed the stamps.

"This is the biggest and most adhesive honor 'The Simpsons' has ever received," he quipped.

The U.S. Postal Service receives about 50,000 suggestions for stamp subjects each year, but only about 20 are selected to become stamps, Failor said.

"We are emotionally moved by the Postal Service selecting us rather than making the lazy choice of someone who has benefited society," executive producer James L. Brooks joked. "It's only supposed to be dead people on stamps. Somehow we were able to overcome that."

Failor said the stamps "will serve as a great opportunity to interest youngsters into stamp collecting."

Groening initially created "The Simpsons" as a series of animated shorts for Fox's "The Tracey Ullman Show," naming the characters after his own family members and substituting Bart for his own name.

"The Simpsons" became a series of its own on Dec. 17, 1989, with the Christmas-themed episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." As its characters developed into international icons, the show has gone on to win 24 Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.

On Feb. 26, Fox announced that the series is being renewed for two more seasons -- another 44 episodes -- which will take its projected total number of episodes to 493.

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