The August issue of Vanity Fair features John Ortved's oral history of The Simpsons, available online in expanded form.
Ortved interviewed about two dozen people for the article, including writers, producers, voice actor Hank Azaria, animator Gabor Csubo, and former Fox network chairman and CEO Barry Diller. He even got to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who claims that when he saw a 20-minute compilation of early Simpsons animation from "The Tracey Ullman Show," he said, "You gotta buy this tonight." (Murdoch also takes credit for scheduling "The Simpsons" opposite NBC's seemingly unbeatable "The Cosby Show," which went off the air one season later.)
On the other hand, Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman (Maus) was skeptical:
I pleaded with Matt and advised him strongly from my elder-statesman position to not work with Fox. "Whatever you do, don't work with those guys! They're gangsters! They're gonna take your rights away!" He's never let me forget it.
Check out Vanity Fair's picks for ten funniest Simpsons episodes ever. With one exception, all of the episodes on the list aired during the show's first eight seasons.
P.P.S. In case you missed it last month, here's a link to the Simpsons Brand-o-Rama.