4/10/12

Springfield = Portland? Sort of...

The Simpsons when made their first TV appearan...
The Simpsons when made their first TV appearance on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In my review of Greg Rucka's "Stumptown" I mentioned how The Simpsons's Springfield is loosely based on Matt Groening's home town of Portland, Oregon. In a bittersweet moment, I have to admit I was wrong. 

In an interview with the Smithsonian magazine Groening finally comes clean:
Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show “Father Knows Best” took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown. When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, “This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.” And they do. 
Ok, I led you astray. But the names of a lot of the characters were inspired by Portland.  Kearney, Terwilliger, Flanders, even Mr. Burns(side) are street names in Portland, Oregon.

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