Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Simpsons Connection
The exact location of The Simpsons has always been a deliberate source of mixed signals by the show's producers. Various locations for their town of Springfield have been given across the show's run, but in at least one episode - "Behind the Laughter" - their home state is given as being Kentucky.
For years, Kentucky's Springfield was highly regarded among fans as being the most likely candidate, because the citizens of Springfield in The Simpsons have a rivalry with another city called... Shelbyville.
And for bonus irony, very close to the city of Shelbyville, we have Simpsonville!
So, one might have thought Kentucky would be a shoo-in when 20th Century Fox held a contest in 2007 to determine once and for all which of our nation's Springfields would become "in canon" with the show. Not so. Springfield, Vermont won the contest. Since Springfield, KY had the lowest population of any of the competing cities, it seemed a bit unfair just to leave such an important decision to the masses.
It doesn't really matter anyway, because now that the hoopla of the contest is over, the show doesn't really seem to be acknowledging Vermont as its setting. Even in The Simpsons Movie, which the contest was designed to promote, Flanders comments that the city of Springfield sits at the four-way border crux of Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky. Simpsonian topography, therefore, will clearly never be able to be matched with our world.