'Simpsons' Creator Matt Groening Reveals Inspiration for Springfield

Matt Groening Headshot - P 2012
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Matt Groening Headshot - P 2012

"I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield'," Groening said of the show's heretofore geographically-nonspecific home base.

After more than two decades, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has revealed the inspiration behind the location of the animated Fox comedy's hometown.

In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Groening said that he was inspired by the TV series Father Knows Best, which took place in Springfield, Ore. The town is about 100 miles south of Portland, where Groening grew up.

"When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name," he said. "I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S."

He continued: "In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield'. And they do."

Groening said that he didn't want to reveal the location of the real Springfield so as not to ruin it for people who already had their own ideas.

"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'," Groening said.

The Associated Press notes that Simpsons has made a joke out of its location in the U.S. In an episode, Lisa points to Springfield on a map, but the animated "camera view" is blocked by Bart’s head.