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Matt Groening Essay

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Matt Groening is arguably one of the best cartoonists in the history of television. When people hear the name Matt Groening, they immediately think about the hit cartoon series "The Simpsons" or "Futurama." However, not many people know much about Matt Groening as a person. Groening was born on February 15, 1954 in Portland Oregon. Groening graduated from Lincoln High School in Portland Oregon and graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington.

Right after Groening graduated from Evergreen State College, he started to make comic strips. In 1977 Groening made his first comic called "Life In Hell." "Life in Hell" is a comic strip about two rabbits and two men who are constantly having odd adventures. Groening distributed this comic by photocopying many comic strips and distributing them in a small corner of the record store he was working in. In 1980 the comic strip began to grab the attention of many people, and the comic was picked up by the Los Angeles Reader newspaper. The Life in Hell comic book is still very popular, today Groening has published dozens of comic books and Life in Hell is currently syndicated in over 250 newspapers around the world.

In 1987 Groening's popular comic caught the attention of Hollywood producer and Gracie Films founder, James L. Brooks. Brooks asked Groening to produce a short animated cartoon for FOX's "The Tracey Ullman Show." Groening agreed to produce the cartoon show. The cartoon became an instant hit and would get its name "The Simpsons."

The Simpsons is a cartoon show about a dysfunctional family of five. Groening picked the characters of the Simpsons by using people he grew up with. The parents in the Simpsons are named Homer and Marge, the same name that Groening's parents have. He named Lisa and Maggie after his two younger sisters. Groening thought it would be too obvious if he named the oldest son after himself, so Groening decided to name the last child Bart which is an anagram of brat. Homer's father also received the same name as Groening's grandfather, Abraham. Groening returned to his hometown of Portland Oregon to find some more names for his cartoon. Groening used street names from Portland, such as Flanders, Lovejoy, Quimby, Kearny, and Terwilliger to help him name some of the characters in his cartoon.

Today The Simpsons are watched by more than 60 million people weekly, and the show is aired in more than 60 countries around the world. This makes the Simpsons the most popular show in television history, beating "Baywatch" as the second popular show in the world by a significant margin.

Matt Groening currently serves as the Creative Consultant for The Simpsons. Many people feel that Groening thinks up most of the ideas for episodes of The Simpsons. This is actually very false because Matt Groening has only written one episode of the Simpsons series (aside from the Tracy Ullman Show Simpson cartoons). The episode that Groening wrote was called "Colonel Homer." The only episode Matt Groening wrote aired for the time on Thursday March 12, 1992 on FOX. The episode "Colonel Homer" begins with Homer and Marge getting into a fight over a boring movie. As a result of the fight Homer goes to a bar called the Beer N' Brawl. At the bar Homer meets an attractive country singer named Lurleen Lumpkin. Homer becomes Lurleen's manager and travels with her while she sings her country songs. While Homer is traveling his marriage with Marge sours. Lurleen is clearly attracted to Homer and Homer has some feeling for Lurleen but he can't stop thinking about his wife Marge. As a result Homer tells Lurleen to find a new manager and Homer returns home to his loving wife Marge and his children.

The show the Simpsons has certainly withstood the test of time. This year would mark the 18th anniversary of The Simpsons first airing on the Tracy Ullman Show. A once really short cartoon skit has turned into a half hour cartoon show, that has aired



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