LOS ANGELES, May 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service said Thursday it has begun releasing 1 billion "The Simpsons" stamps through the country's 34,000 post offices.
A first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles, where "The Simpsons" Creator and Executive Producer Matt Groening, along with Executive Producer James L. Brooks, joined the actors who provide the voices for the famous characters appearing on the stamps -- Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith -- in conjunction with the Postal Service celebration of the issue.
"We're looking to encourage a younger generation to develop an interest in stamp collecting by creating stamps they can relate to," U.S. Postal Service Vice President of Ground Shipping James P. Cochrane said in a statement. "The Postal Service commemorates Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie as 'The Simpsons' is currently in its 20th year as a regularly scheduled half-hour series in 2009, making it the longest-running comedy in the history of American prime-time television."
"It's an incredible honor to be on a U.S. postage stamp," Groening said. "I honestly can't believe it. I thought the Pillsbury Doughboy would come before us."
"It's only supposed to be dead people on stamps," Brooks joked. "Somehow we were able to overcome that."