Back in 2011, during a Twitter discussion about whether Milhouse’s design was inspired by Wonder Years actor Josh Saviano, Simpsons superdirector David Silverman dismissed that theory, mentioning Milhouse had originated from an unproduced Saturday morning cartoon Matt Groening had pitched to a network in the 80s, and his design was recycled for a Butterfinger commercial. I wrote about it at the time.
Silverman mentioned that cartoon again recently (the Wonder Years thing just won’t die!), and this time some more details have emerged.
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Disenchantment creator Matt Groening appears to have quietly launched a YouTube channel last night. Currrently its sole video is “Trumpy’s Rhapsody,” a short cartoon directed by Dwayne Carey-Hill featuring Donald Trump singing a song, with the lyrics credited to Groening and Dan Castellaneta (TV’s Homer Simpson) providing the voice.
This raises some questions:
Why now? For someone who’s arguably the most famous cartoonist of the era, it’s remarkable that Matt Groening has maintained almost zero internet presence. His personal website was supposedly “under construction” for years (the domain name appears to have lapsed) and outside of the rare promotional Q&A, he’s had no official social media account or means of communicating directly to fans. Which is fine, because it’s always disappointing when you follow someone and discover they have a weird axe to grind against Cuba or whatever, and it’s also really funny to me when people – sometimes people he works with – unknowingly tag phony accounts.
What the hell did I just watch? This Trump Jib-Jab thing with Putin jokes is, uh, not my cup of tea, to put it politely. Groening is a rich, aging baby boomer Democrat (albeit one who donated to orb queen Marianne Williamson during the primaries) who works in the entertainment industry, which partially explains why he’s succumbed to Trump derangement syndrome like the rest of his peers. But I still can’t quite wrap my head around a line like “Sorry I ruined the Republican party!” coming from the same guy who drew this.
Why do it independently? The Simpsons has been putting out godawful Trump shorts since he announced his candidacy. Why Groening chose not to use the existing Simpsons infrastructure is a real head-scratcher. Was it somehow considered too edgy???
What’s next? Was this a one time thing? Could this be the start of his own version of Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy? Who knows!
[Matt Groening on YouTube via Bob Mackey]
How did Simpsons creator Matt Groening get to be so rich and successful? Well, it turns out he had a trick up his sleeve… a time-traveling trick!!!
It has now become clear that at some point in the future where time travel has become achievable, Matt Groening warped back to Olympia, Washington in the 1970s, and gave his past self a bunch of Simpsons memorabilia and a 20-year plan for creating the franchise and becoming king of all media. Unfortunately, Old Matt didn’t count on Young Matt painting all this new information and hiding it away for years. Now, those paintings – the only known evidence linking him to the crime of violating the Temporal Prime Directive – have resurfaced.
As originally reported by the Kitsap Sun, a 69-year old artist bought some Simpsons watercolors at a Seattle-area thrift store and thinks they were made by Matt Groening when he was a student at the Evergreen State College, more than a decade before the Simpsons shorts began airing on The Tracey Ullman Show. She is now trying to auction them off at $2,000 apiece.
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America’s most famous Portlander Matt Groening will guest star as himself in the upcoming fifth season of Portlandia. Groening’s previous acting roles include himself, a greaser, and a talking car.
Meanwhile, Japan’s most famous Portlander Kamenosuke Yamamoto will guest star in a commercial for Cup Noodle.
Simpson creator Matt Groening has apologized for murdering a dog. The dog is not alive not in an alive state, Groening did it, he did the murder. The dog is dead dead dog dead rip im sorry
Groening: I’m sorry we killed the dog.
murderdeath murderer Bad Man groening dog-killer Sad sorry so sorry apology sad tears kill kill killdeath deathmurder die unalive not alive dead dead dead
So, pop superstar Justin Bieber had a small 10-second cameo in last Sunday’s Simpsons episode, which seemed to disappoint everyone. Bieber fans didn’t like it because it was too short, unbeliebers thought it was too long, and Bieber himself initially tried to suppress all evidence of it last year.
Perhaps wary of The Controversy, executive producer Al Jean attempted to deflect blame for it onto his boss, Matt Groening:
According to Jean, Groening requested that Bieber be worked into an episode. “I think he has a family member who was a fan,” Jean says. “I think he’s a fan, too. So he asked us to find a place to use him. I think [Bieber] had also met Matt and wanted to be on the show.”
Matt Groening, a Bieber fan? It’s possible, but Groening – a former music critic – is known for his eclectic music taste. He likes oddball rock & roll, Balinese gamelan music, and Romanian brass bands. He said pop music “usually sounds like the audio equivalent of CGI.” He wrote a biography of The Residents. He’s curated the All Tomorrow’s Parties progressive music festival twice. He guest-edited an anthology of music writing. He’s let indie bands Tender Forever and Electrelane hang out at his house. He’s a big Captain Beefheart fan. He interviewed and was friends with Frank Zappa.
Nice try, Al.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening added yet another company to his only robust portfolio last year, a mysterious entity known as “Bapper Entertainment.” Bleeding Cool suspects he’s “getting ready to reveal” whatever this new thing is. I wouldn’t count on it, though, because making new companies seems to be something of a hobby for him. Let’s take a look at some of the other companies he’s had over the years, shall we?
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Simpsons creator Matt Groening has apparently joined the advisory board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization that’s basically an ACLU for funnybooks. According to its website, one of CBLDF’s missions includes providing “for the legal defense of individuals whose First Amendment rights are threatened for making, selling, or even reading comic books.”
It’s a change of pace for Groening, who’s usually the one playing legal offense.
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Matt Groening gave a brief interview with Rolling Stone about ending his long-running comic strip Life in Hell that’s worth reading. He reveals that it was only running in 38 papers, compared to its zenith of 250 or so, which is pretty sad. I did make an effort to check it out every week in the LA Weekly, but when they dropped it there were no other LA-based papers to pick up the slack (at least, as far as I could find) so I haven’t been able to read it on a regular basis for years. I did find out fairly late it was running in The Oregonian, though.
Some choice quotes:
Why pull the plug on Life in Hell now? Did you simply run out of jokes?
It’s pretty obvious that I ran out of jokes a couple of decades ago – but that doesn’t stop any cartoonist!
[A] TV producer sneered at the strip and said, “Why do you bother? Give it up.” Because of that, I dug in my heels and kept it going two decades longer than I might have. I also liked the idea of having one slice of my creative output being completely solo, unlike TV animation. It’s very satisfying to sit down at a drawing table by yourself and solve a puzzle with a deadline.
[Rolling Stone via The Comics Journal]
Matt Groening announced he’s quit his legendary long-running weekly comic strip Life in Hell just a couple hours ago at The Illustration Conference (ICON) in Rhode Island, according to this guy on Twitter:
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