Today's TV fans ... they don't know about Tracey Ullman
This month celebrates the 24th anniversary of the first full episode of The Simpsons that aired on Dec. 17, 1989. The answer to the trivia question of the origins of The Simpsons is today's Lost and Found entry - Tracey Ullman.
Before The Tracey Ullman Show, Ullman was a popular British telly actress and her 1984 hit They Don't Know was a world-wide hit and made it to No. 8 in the US. The song was first recorded by Kirsty MacColl (Fairytale of New York) in 1979 and in a show of blessing, sang backup on Ullman's version including belting out the "Bay-ay-be-ee" in the middle of the song. The video showcases Ullman's sense of humor, finishing with a surprise cameo by one of England's most famous heart throbs, Paul McCartney, who repayed Ullman for her appearance in his movie Give My Regards To Broadstreet.
The Tracey Ullman Show was one of the first successful shows on the fledgling Fox Network that aired from '87-'90. The show's legacy is the dance choreography by a young upstart named Paula Abdul and the little animated shorts by Matt Groening, which spawned The Simpsons Empire. In 1992, Ullman sued Fox for a share of Simpsons profits on the basis that she was essential to the financial success of Bart, Homer and the gang, but her the courts favored on the side of Fox.
Ullman still is active in show business however her last series, Tracey Ulluman's State of the Union was canceled by Showtime in 2010. You can also see her next Christmas in movie houses for the Disney movie adaptation of Into the Woods that will feature an all-star cast including Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and others.