GROEN DRAIN

matt groeningSimpsons creator Matt Groening got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. According to KPCC, it’s star #2,459 , located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd, in case you want to visit it and step all over it. Since The Simpsons themselves already have a star, you can consider this one a quiet acknowledgment of Futurama and Life in Hell.

It’s been a banner couple of weeks for the Groenster – he’s getting a toy modeled off of his likeness, he just celebrated the 500th episode of The Simpsons, he just created the Matt Groening Chair in Animation with a $500,000 donation to UCLA, and his birthday is tomorrow. Everything’s coming up Groening!

[Huffington Post]

WHAA...?!

to tahitiThe Cato Institute, the highly respected and influential libertarian think tank, just released an important study revealing that the Obama Administration’s push for high-speed rail is exactly the same as as an episode of a cartoon show:

Biden’s performance brings to mind the classic Simpsons episode “Marge vs. the Monorail” in which con-man Lyle Lanley convinces the town’s residents to waste money on an exciting-sounding high-speed train that turns out to be a boondoggle.

Looks like Vice President Biden made the mistake of talking to a group of people about transportation and being enthusiastic about it! Everybody knows you’re not supposed to do that anymore, or else you’ll be compared to a Phil Hartman character from 20 years ago. Doesn’t this guy have handlers?

There are some uncanny parallels between the two pitches.

OH I BET THERE ARE.

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BONGO BEAT

bongo logoBongo Comics, the independent comic book company owned by Matt Groening, has finally joined the 1990s and will launch a website tomorrow, which will feature news items, blog posts, and, most amazing of all, a list of “all Matt Groening’s comic-book, trade-book, and calendar publications.” Bongo, which publishes Simpsons, Futurama, and NewsRadio comics, has owned the domain www.bongocomics.com since 1996 but until now only used it for e-mail purposes.

Still no word on the long-dormant MattGroening.com, which has been “under construction” since 2000. [The Beat]

D'OH REPORT

dohBack in 2002, a more innocent time when we were told Saddam Hussein could attack us again at any moment, Futurama was on death watch. Since its premiere, Fox had shuffled its timeslot multiple times, and it eventually wound up in the 7 o’clock hour, the almost-but-not-quite-primetime hour where TV shows go to die (bad news for American Dad) and football pre-emptions occur every other week. Together with a lack of advertising and the fact that it was a niche show to begin with, Futurama could only manage to wring out a pitiful 6.4 million viewers when the show was mercifully put out to pasture by Fox.

In 2010, The Simpsons, which has held the same timeslot for sixteen straight seasons and has always had the full support of the network, recieved 5.74 million viewers for its season finale, which featured guest appearances by four American Idol judges and host Ryan Seacrest. [No Homers Club/Media Life Magazine]

EXCLUSIVE

After finding out former Simpsons writer David M. Stern (Bart Gets an F, Kamp Krusty) developed Ugly Americans (watch it!! it’s cool), I got curious and decided to find out what some other ex-Simpsons people are up to. DISCLAIMERS/CAVEATS: 1. I basically only looked at wikipedia and imdb, so this could be rife with inaccuracies, etc. 2. With some exceptions, I don’t care about anyone who joined the show after it got bad or only wrote like one episode 3. This is essentially limited to movies/tv, since the internet assumes people fell off the face of the earth if they’re not doing something for mass audiences

Richard Appel (writer): Showrunner for The Cleveland Show

Wes Archer (director): Was working on The Goode Family until it got cancelled; unclear what he’s currently doing

Brad Bird (director): Doing a live-action movie for Pixar (zuh????)

Daniel Chun (writer): Now writing for The Office

David S/X. Cohen (writer): His beloved baby Futurama returns in June on Comedy Central

Jonathan Collier (writer): MIA

Jennifer Crittenden (writer): Producing mysterious project called What’s Your Number?

Greg Daniels (writer): Co-creations The Office and Parks and Recreation still going strong

Brent Forrester (writer): Writer for The Office

Ken Keeler (writer): Nerding it up at Futurama

Jay Kogan (writer): Executive producer for some supernatural live-action Nickelodeon show called The Troop; writing an adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Lauren MacMullan (director): MIA

Jeff Martin (writer/clown): MIA

George Meyer (writer): Occasionally contributes to The New Yorker

Bill Oakley (showrunner, seasons 7 – 8): Writing stuff from Portland

Conan O’Brien (writer): Legally prohibited from being funny on television

Jim Reardon (director): Presumably still Pixarin’ it up

Mike Reiss (showrunner, seasons 3-4): While technically still a producer for The Simpsons (I think??), he’s been doing a bunch of other projects like writing children’s books, computer-animated movies, and the critically-unacclaimed My Life in Ruins

David M. Stern (writer): Developed Ugly Americans, which recently debuted on Comedy Central

Mike Scully (showrunner, seasons 9-12): Writer on Parks & Recreation

John Swartzwelder (writer): Still cranking out funny books from his secret underground lair

Sam Simon (executive producer/showrunner, seasons 1-2): Doing some poker thing

Jon Vitti (writer): Co-wrote an upcoming movie starring Steve Carell; currently working on something called “Boo U.”

Josh Weinstein (showrunner, seasons 7-8): MIA??? Wikipedia says he’s a producer on Futurama (again), but I’m not sure if I believe that

Frank Welker (voice actor, Santa’s Little Helper): Most recent voice credit is “Additional Nuts Voice”

Lona Williams (beauty pageant winner/writing assistant): MIA

Wallace Wolodarsky (writer): Voiced an opossum in Fantastic Mr. Fox; adapting a Philip K. Dick story into a Disney cartoon

WAGON TRAIN

Matt Groening and David X. Cohen provided one of the night’s several references to the writer’s strike as they approached the podium with strike signs to collect their award for Futurama: Bender’s Big Score (Best Home Entertainment Production). Cohen joked that the writers had granted the Annie Awards a waiver for that one category alone. After winning the Annie for Music in an Animated TV production, The Simpsons composer Alf Clausen thanked Groening for using L.A. studio musicians and a 35-piece orchestra for every episode of his long-running show. He was modest as always comparing himself to Elizabeth Taylor’s eighth husband. “I know what to do, but I don’t know how to make it interesting!”

Hey idiots, the strike’s over! [Animation Magazine]

GROEN DRAIN

iF: For everyone who worked on [Futurama], it’s been off the air much longer, since Fox had a whole season left in the can to air once production had stopped.

GROENING: That’s the nature of animation. When the SIMPSONS finally ends, there will probably be another season and we’ll do a long farewell tour and wave to people.

[iF Magazine]