"The Tracey Ullman Show" was a half hour music/comedy/variety show on Fox starring Tracey Ullman herself. For the most part, the series served as a platform to showcase Ullman's ability to do characters and every show featured various comedy and musical skits. It also occasionally featured various amusing animated shorts. One series of shorts stood out and soon became the exclusive animated series on the show. That series was called The Simpsons.
The characters in the shorts were voiced by the show's cast members (Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, and Nancy Cartwright) and eventually every episode of Ullman's program would have three Simpsons shorts linked by a common plot such as Bart going to get a haircut. The art slowly changed as well, as the Simpsons seen in the first shorts look like only rough sketches of what the characters eventually became. When "The Tracey Ullman Show" finished a four season run in 1990, The Simpsons was reborn as a full-length show and became the driving force behind Fox's growth into a major network.
As Marge and Homer say goodnight to the kids, Bart philosophically ponders the workings of the mind; Lisa hears Marge say, "Don't let the bedbugs bite," and fears that the bedbugs will eat her; Maggie listens to Marge sing "Rock-a-Bye-Baby" and is traumatized by the lyrics.
Bart will win a round of frosty chocolate milkshakes if he can catch one of his father's long football passes. Unfortunately, he must stop at the cliff, watching the football, and the milkshakes, disappear...
Lisa, Bart, and Maggie role-play a Save-the-Earth game. Lisa is space pilot Lisuey, Maggie is her energetic sidekick Mageena, and Bart is Bartron, the crazed Martian robot who looks like Bart with a vase stuck to his head.
Homer demands that the kids stop watching their favorite cartoon, "Itchy & Scratchy." Bart turns off the TV, pulls out the picture tube, gets inside the set, and puts on his own show. And yes, you guessed it - this was the first appearance of Itchy & Scratchy.
The kids go to see Krusty the Clown's live TV show. To his great disappointment, Bart discovers that his hero is not a real clown but merely some guy in clown makeup. This was Krusty's first appearance in the shorts.
Homer tricks the family into going to a psychologist by pretending to take them out for frosty chocolate milkshakes. He seeks an answer to the family's problems, saying that they don't laugh anymore. The family breaks into a collective chuckle after the psychologist kicks them out of his office.
Bart and Lisa do a poor job babysitting for Maggie. Unsupervised, she hops on Bart's skateboard and rolls through a sewage pipe to a waterfall. As she goes over the falls, the short ends, to be continued the following week.