Posted: Mon., Dec. 7, 1992

The Simpsons Maggie's First Word

 ((Thurs. (3), 8-8:30 p.m., Fox))

Produced by Gracie Films in association with 20th Television. Executive producers, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon; producers, Richard Raynis, David Silverman, Richard Sakai; director, Mark Kirkland, script, Jeff Martin; animation executive producer, Phil Roman; animation producers, Bill Schultz, Michael Wolf.
Voices: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Elizabeth Taylor, Pamela Hayden.

It's probably no surprise that the casting of Elizabeth Taylor as the voice for baby Maggie Simpson's first word was a publicity stunt; what Maggie said could have been spoken by any female, and Taylor's own personality was subdued by the character. No mind, episode in question delivered well-rounded view of series' multiple attractions.

Flashbacks to first words of Bart and Lisa filled most of Jeff Martin's action-packed script, allowing show's run through the gamut of pop culture references to go all the way back to the mid-'80s, with Johnny Carson (voiced by Harry Shearer) cracking tired Boy George reference on TV, pop Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) coming home from work with Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" on his lips, and running takeoff on McDonald's 1984 Olympic Games promotion starring Krusty the Clown (Shearer, again).

Flashbacks also suggest possibility--or it is "threat"--of a Simpsons Kids spinoff somewhere in the future, if not a feature-length "The Simpsons--The Early Years."

Bart (Nancy Cartwright) was bratty from the first, to nobody's surprise, and always jealous of his adoring younger sister, Lisa (Yeardley Smith). Bart's efforts to get Lisa in trouble supply episode's violence quota, along with snatch of televised Itchy and Scratchy parody of old Tom and Jerry cartoons. Both children refer to dad as "Homer" from the start, all his efforts to have them call him something more fatherly notwithstanding.

Baby Maggie's first word, out of earshot of entire family, is to call Homer "Daddy." Even in madcap Simpsons environment, it's quite a heart-melter.

Julie Kavner's voicing of long-suffering mother Marge Simon was typically on-the-mark, and Hank Azaria and Pamela Hayden supplied various supplementary voices.

Show's design makes limited animation almost an asset, Alf Clausen's symphonic-sounding scoring gives much texture, and wide-screen stereo sound is another plus.

Editors, Mark McJimsey, Don Barrozo; sound, Brad Brook; music, Alf Clausen.


Variety is striving to present the most thorough review database. To report inaccuracies in review credits, please click here. We do not currently list below-the-line credits, although we hope to include them in the future. Please note we may not respond to every suggestion. Your assistance is appreciated.

Date in print: Mon., Dec. 7, 1992,


Have an opinion about this article? Be the first to comment

2009 Award Season Contenders

We don't pretend to know who will emerge as the winners in this awards season. However, every year has its frontrunners and dark horses and we already have a pretty good idea of who they will be. Here's our take on the top five categories.

Variety interviews the Jonas Brothers at the Power of Youth gala in Los Angeles. ; Nick Jonas; target; Power of Youth; disney; video; variety; Jonas Brothers; The Jonas Brothers drive the kids wild at Variety and Target's Power of Youth event. ; The Jonas Brothers; target; Los Angeles; Power of Youth; video; variety;

media & entertainment industry jobs online

Featured Jobs

City, State:
© 2008 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Use of this website is subject to its Terms & Conditions of Use. View our Privacy Policy.