Monday, June 04, 2007


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 18 years you surely know the origin of the word “d’oh.” It’s the comically melancholy utterance coined by The Simpsons’ Homer. As reported by PRWeek, Fox has created a contest for cities named Springfield across the country. Cities are charged with submitting videos claiming why their city should earn the illustrious honor of being dubbed Homer’s hometown. The winning city will also host The Simpsons Movie premiere on July 26.

So why does this merit a blog entry, you ask? Well first of all, The Simpsons is always worth talking about, and two, Simpsons writers already bestowed the honor upon a city. Season 11, episode 22 clearly identifies the home of the Simpson family.

The episode Behind the Laughter is a parody of the VH1 series Behind the Music. The episode chronicle’s the Simpson family. At the episode’s conclusion the location of Springfield is revealed when the Simpson bunch are referred to as “This Western Kentucky family.” What’s more, when you Google map Springfield, KY you will find that Shelbyville – the nearly rival city of Springfield on the show – is 46 short miles away. Moreover, Capital City Airport – yes, another nearby city in the show is the anonymously-named “Capital City” – is 48.6 miles away. I’m sure if one searches the Internet they will find much more elaborate research than I have presented here.

So why do you care, you ask? Other than being impressed by my wealth of Simpsons-related knowledge, the bigger picture is that FOX is stripping Springfield, KY of its rightful ownership of The Simpsons. And they are setting themselves up for a media meltdown. Think I’m crazy? You remember the Mooninites in Boston, don’t you???

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect the fine residents of Springfield, KY to raise arms against the FOX marketing team that is hoping to gain a little visibility for one of the longest running shows EVER – The Simpsons' 400th episode ran May 20, 2007. But by hosting the premiere of a long-awaited film will undoubtedly be an economic boon to a city, especially one like Springfield, KY which in 2005 reported 2,777 residents. Perhaps FOX wanted a larger city, maybe Springfield, KY wanted nothing to do with the contest, but again referencing the incident in Boston, the head of Cartoon Network resigned following the gaffe.

Two things to keep in mind, if another Springfield beats out Kentucky’s, one may see some sparks fly on televised news, though maybe not on FOX News. But, if Kentucky does in fact win you may hear stories of a fixed contest. In that case, if there’s no room for Pete Rose in the Baseball Hall of Fame for cheating, how will history judge The Simpsons following an elaborate ruse?

Keep your eyes on the blogospere for even more conspiracy theories once the announcement is made.


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