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"Behind the Laughter" is the twenty-second Episode of The Simpsons eleventh season. It first aired in the United States on the Fox Network on May 21, 2000. In the Episode, the Simpson family are portrayed as actors on a sitcom and their dramatic inner turmoil and struggles are detailed. Told in a narative format, the Episode tells a fictional story of how The Simpsons began.
The Episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and Jim Reardon and written by more than ten writers: Richard Appel, David X. Cohen, Greg Daniels, Larry Doyle, Harvey Fierstein, Diana Fresco, Rowby Goren, Jay Kogen, Tim Long, Jeff Martin, Tom Martin, George Meyer, Conan O'Brien, Bill Oakley, Brian Scully, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, Josh Weinstein, Wallace Wolodarsky and Shelley Zellman.
The Episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) in 2000. In addition, Composer Alf Clausen won an Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Television Production". The Episode has seen positive reviews, with many reviewers noting it as a highlight of the season.