Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, was going to name the main character Matt but didn’t think it would go over well in a pitch meeting, so he changed the name to Bart.
Claudia De La Roca recently interviewed The Simpsons creator Matt Groening for Smithsonian Magazine and, after 25 years, Groening has revealed the namesake for the show’s fictional town of Springfield (Oregon!). The entire interview is a great read. Interestingly, the interviewer is also a co-producer for Futurama and had the show’s character Countess de la Roca credited to her name.
OK, why do the Simpsons live in a town called Springfield? Isn’t that a little generic?
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.
You’ve never said it was named after Springfield, Oregon, before, have you?
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.”