Matt Groening never once said 'The Simpsons' live in Springfield, Oregon
There's a lot of chatter on the interwebs lately about how Matt Groening finally revealed after 25 years to Smithsonian magazine that The Simpsons is based in Springfield, Ore. But The Juice* is with Best Week Ever (which came to the same conclusion) on this one: He says no such thing. Let's go to the quote, shall we?
"Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon," Groening told the magazine. "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."
That's "named after," not "based on." He says it right at the beginning -- the town is named after the Oregon city. He never says it's set there. To quote tbt* entertainment section editor Jay Cridlin, who treasures an unopened can of Buzz Cola and refutes all the Internet claims that Groening revealed the biggest secret in TV: "I'm not buying it." In fact, Groening goes on to say in the interview the show is based more on the city he's from.
[Using our best Comic Book Guy voice] He notes he grew up on Evergreen Terrace, and many characters like Flanders and Lovejoy are named after Portland streets. Homer is named after his father, and Lisa and Maggie are his sisters. He never, not once, says the actual town is Springfield, Ore. But hey, everyone's too busy twittering about it to care -- even @HomerJSimpson posted "That’s right, the Simpsons live in Oregon -- California’s toupée." This would be a really good doctoral thesis about how the Internet actually makes us less informed, because no one really reads all the links everyone posts.
The running gag has been on the show for two decades, with past references to the clan being a "Northern Kentucky Family" and Homer having a job as an oil rig worker in West Springfield, which was conveniently shaped like the state of Texas, and three times as big.
When Smithsonian said he'd never revealed the source of the name before, Matt simply stated, "I don’t want to ruin it for people, you know? Whenever people say it's Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go, 'Yup, that's right.'" That certainly doesn't sound like a guy looking to dish spoilers to us.
Entertainment Weekly says this Sunday's chalkboard will make a reference to this so-called revelation. We can't wait for Bart to call out everyone who didn't read the whole interview -- unless Matt decides to let the morons run the world and sticks with it.