In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening reveals some behind the scenes facts about his long-running FOX show, including the inspiration for the fictional Springfield town, as well as what he pulled from his own life in creating the hit program.
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.”
Thus, he puts an end to the wild speculation circulating one of pop culture's finest mysteries. And in search of verisimilitude, Gizmodo compared some of Groening's fictional, animated locations to their real counterparts in Springfield, Oregon. How well do they match up?