It’s the longest-running scripted, prime-time television series in America with over 600 episodes aired across twenty-eight years. What started out as an idea that piggy-backed off of a comic strip from creator Matt Groening is now a cultural icon. The Simpsons has become more than just a show: it’s a household name.
Mike Reiss has been involved since the beginning. He signed on as a writer even though most producers for the show didn’t expect it to last longer than a few weeks. Now, along with co-author Matthew Klickstein, he has written Springfield Confidential, a memoir that gives fans an account of the show’s origins, how episodes are developed, and the people who voice the characters. It also includes a barrage of trivia that will stump and entertain even the most hardcore Simpsons fans.
Image Via The Verge
Reiss takes readers inside the writers’ room and behind the scenes, revealing many interesting details of the show’s production. For example, each episode starts out with a forty-five-page script and takes nine months and eight rewrites to complete. They use a full orchestra for every episode even though it would be cheaper to use a synthesizer. Over the show’s run, it has had 725 guest stars including three former members of The Beatles, Stephen Hawking, and Elizabeth Taylor. Episodes of The Simpsons have even won the show a total of ten Emmys.
The memoir also reveals the answers to popular questions such as why the characters are yellow and where Springfield is located. The book does briefly touch on the recent hullabaloo regarding Apu, a character whom even the author admits may have run his course on the show, but overall, it is a funny and exclusive look into the world of The Simpsons that any fan of the show will enjoy.
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons is out now. You can find it hereon Amazon.
In a sweep of 850 new words, Merriam-Webster has announced that ’embiggen’ has been added to the dictionary. The word, though first appearing in The Simpsons, has been made popular by the show Ms. Marvel, and means to “make bigger or more expansive.” Ms. Marvel has the power to ’embiggen’ herself.
The motto of the town in which the Simpson family reside, Springfield, is “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.”
Last night’s premiere of season 29 of The Simpsons was an homage to all things fantasy. The episode mostly revolved around Game of Thrones, but Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings fans will find quality Easter eggs throughout.
Dr. Hibbert’s office includes potions from the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Legend of Zelda universes. | Image via Fox.
Marge’s mom’s life is in danger, thanks to a make-out session with an Ice Walker, and the only way to save Jackie Bouvier from freezing to death is a magical amulet worth 100 gold pieces – not in the budget for this universe’s Simpson family, the Serfsons, until Lisa uses illegal magic and turns Homer’s lucky lead piece into gold. She’s later kidnapped by King Quimby, and Homer starts a feudal uprising to save his daughter from a life as an evil wizard.
Image via Fox.
If you’re a Simpsons fan, you won’t be surprised to see this episode is chock full of references. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) makes a cameo as Marge’s twin brother Markery, who she “should have married”, if she had only listened to that witch.
During the uprising, a group of talking trees appears just in time to help the peasants storm the castle, and whether they reference Lord of the Rings‘ ‘ents’ or the Weirdwood trees of Westeros, they’re quickly turned into ladders.
If we listed out all of the references in the season 29 premiere we would have to go minute by minute, and shot by shot. Each scene has multiple nods to classic, iconic fantasy series. We absolutely loved it, and so will you.