The Simpsons 26th season premieres in the U.S.

The late 'Bleeding Gums' and student, jazz saxophonist Lisa Simpson

Last night the first episode in the 26th season of The Simpsons aired in the United States. The cultural reference to jazz has remained throughout.

Last night the first episode in the 26th season of cartoon series The Simpsons aired in the United States. The show is ingrained in the American psyche and after 26 years is the longest-running sitcom and animated program on U.S. TV.

The cultural reference to jazz has remained throughout with Lisa Simpson and her saxophone. In one episode from 2006, ‘Jazzy and the Pussycats’ Lisa becomes depressed when brother Bart becomes a better jazz musician than her and consequently set up an animal shelter in the attic. Her mentor and idol was the character Murphy Kenneth "Bleeding Gums" Hibbert who entered the series in season 1. Bleeding Gums is loosely based on the story of the saxophonist Sonny Rollins who retired early as a jazz musician to play by himself on a bridge but Sadly for Lisa, and fellow jazz fans, was killed off in 1995 aged 59 from an apparent heart attack. 

Season 26 premiered with a promise that another major character was to pass on. Viewers watched as a depressed Krusty The Clown passed out after a heavy bender and then … (spoiler alert!).

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