Understanding “The Simpsons” in the Future

It is nearly impossible to deny the cultural impact of The Simpsons but that doesn’t mean future generations will treat it with the same reverence as we do.

Matt Zoller Seitz examines the comedy longevity of shows that trade in “referential humor.”

“Krusty Gets Kancelled” is one of the greatest of all “Simpsons” episodes, but if it were a poem, it would need to have nearly as many footnotes as “The Waste Land” — and the further away from its original air date we get, the truer that’s going to be.So much post-“Simpsons” comedy is in that vein: “Seinfeld,” “Friends,” “South Park,” “Family Guy” and its spinoffs. Not to mention such recent arrivals as “Community,” “Chuck,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Glee,” “30 Rock” and the American version of “The Office.” They’re all footnote shows: amusing and perhaps hilarious right now, but likely to be dated in five years, quaint in 10, and borderline impenetrable in 20. Or inadvertently poignant. Or chilling.

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