Simpsons creator Matt Groening spills Springfield secret

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, stands between Bart and Homer Simpson in a file picture 14 February 2012 Matt Groening says he wanted his viewers to think of Springfield as a town they knew

Related Stories

The creator of the iconic cartoon sitcom The Simpsons has finally revealed the inspiration behind the show's fictional town of Springfield.

Matt Groening told Smithsonian magazine he based the town on Springfield, Oregon, but since it is such a common US place name he knew many would think it was their own Springfield.

The Springfield question is one of the best-kept secrets in TV history.

The Simpsons is the longest-running animation on US TV, on air since 1989.

Characters in the show have often joked about hiding Springfield's real location.

"In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought: 'This will be cool, everyone will think it's their Springfield.' And they do," Mr Groening said.

There are thought to be at least 34 towns or cities called Springfield in the US.

Springfield, Wherever

Mr Groening also said he was inspired by the TV show Father Knows Best, which was set in a place called Springfield.

But the Springfield in Oregon is just 100 miles (160km) south of Portland, the city where Mr Groening grew up.

The Simpsons has sometimes given false answers to the question of Springfield's true location, leaving open the possibility that Mr Groening's latest comments are a continuation of the joke.

"Whenever people say it's Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go: 'Yup, that's right,'" Mr Groening said.

In one episode, Marge and Homer Simpson's precocious daughter Lisa points to Springfield on a map, but the audience's view is obscured by Bart Simpson's head.

It appears that the town of Springfield, Oregon, has known of its connection to the sitcom since 2007, when Mr Groening visited before the release of The Simpsons Movie.

"Oh, okay, we knew that," a community relations manager told the Associated Press when she heard about Mr Groening's latest comments.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • WomenBling and bags

    From luxury goods to expensive fundraisers - discover how the mega-rich in Indonesia spend it big

Programmes

  • Narrow boats on Regent's Canal, LondonThe Travel Show Watch

    Explore London’s industrial past on a narrowboat trip along the atmospheric Regent’s Canal

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.