While I will continue to discuss The Simpsons and other shows that came after it. I did want to jump ahead (about ten years) and talk some about “Family Guy” (1999-present). Because this show while very different from “The Simpsons”, it also helped changed the animated landscape and like the Simpsons plowed its share of greatness as well.
Title: Pilot aka Death Has a Shadow
Air Date: January 31st, 1999
Plot: Father and husband Peter Griffin loses his job, but manages to get rich because of an error with his welfare check.
Family guy came a decade after The Simpsons, it was clearly inspired by the show. (Though the Simpsons likely inspired by The Flintstones.) The Griffins have similarities to the Simpsons, but push for humor over heart.
This is why this official aired pilot is among the funniest first shows any series has produced. The jokes land with great presentation and timing. There is a mix of the absurd and pop culture references. Talking babies, dogs, and pushing the envelope of what comedy is on an animated show.
Seth MacFarlane, you can love or hate him, but he was certainly clever and opened brand new doors.
Without Family Guy, i doubt Archer would be a thing. I feel like Family Guy opened the door for many other talented people to come into the animated sitcom landscape.