Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Matthew Abram Groening (born February 15, 1954) (name rhymes with raining, IPA is an American cartoonist and the creator of the television series The Simpsons and Futurama, where he currently serves as creative consultant.
In high school, he was the student body president, but was stripped of this title when he tried to amend the constitution to make him an all-powerful president for life. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Before his work in television, Groening created the syndicated comic strip Life in Hell, which is still carried in many weekly newspapers and has been anthologized in a series of books, such as School is Hell , Love is Hell , Work is Hell , and The Big Book of Hell .
When he went in to Fox to pitch them an idea for a cartoon, Groening had second thoughts about turning Life in Hell into a TV series in case it failed. He also feared that Fox would take ownership of the rights to his characters and he wouldn't be able to continue writing his strip. As such he came up with The Simpsons on the spot.
The Simpson family character names
He quickly named the main family Simpson characters after his own family (reportedly he was not feeling very creative in those fifteen minutes), his parents, Homer and Margaret (Marge), and his younger sisters, Lisa and Maggie. Groening also has an older brother and sister, Mark and Patty, but these siblings were left out of the main Simpson family. As for Groening himself, he decided it was a bit too obvious to name a character after himself and therefore chose the name "Bart" (an anagram of brat). Not wishing to curse another member of his family by lending their name to a cartoon character, Groening says he refused to name Homer's dad, instead choosing to leave the room. When he returned, the writers had given him the name of Abraham, which coincidentally turned out to be the name of Groening's grandfather. Groening has also named his own sons Homer (who goes by Will) and Abe (which is the name of Grandpa Simpson).
Other character names
- His father Homer, a descendant from Russian Mennonites in Canada, spoke Plautdietsch as a child in Saskatchewan in the 1920s but Matt never learned the language.
- The name Groening may be derived from Groningen (city) (or Grun'n in the local dialect) in the north of the Netherlands.
- He is part of the rock & roll band The Rock Bottom Remainders whose members include Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King, Kathi Kamen Goldmark , and Greg Iles.
- Groening currently serves as creative consultant on The Simpsons. In the past he has served as executive producer on The Simpsons and Futurama.
- Both Groening and his character Bart Simpson are left handed. Other left handed characters on The Simpsons include Ned Flanders.
- Matt Groening's Portland from the Portland Tribune
- Matt Groening's Bio at Rock Bottom Remainders' Website
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