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Simpsons’ creator Groening puts Springfield in Oregon

After 500 episodes, The Simpsons have a home.
Simpsons in springfield oreEnlarge
Cartoonist Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, poses with Bart and Homer during his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony on Feb. 14, 2012, in Hollywood. The 500th episode of the The Simpsons aired on Feb. 19. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Like Darth Vader’s identity or JR Ewing’s shooter, another of pop culture’s revered mysteries is no longer, well … very mysterious.

In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening finally fessed up and admitted Springfield is really in Oregon.

“The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown,” Groening said.

Looking back, it seems obvious. Groening – tapped by Fox executives 25 years ago to provide cartoons for the Tracey Ullman Show – has long admitted to basing The Simpsons on his family, right down to his father, Homer.

“I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the US,” Groening said in the interview. “In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.”

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It wasn’t a matter for debate in Oregon, The Associated Press reported.

There might have been some confusion when Springfield, Vt., beat 13 other Springfields to premier The Simpsons Movie in 2007, but not for the people in Oregon.

“Oh OK, we knew that,” Springfield’s community-relations manager Niel Laudati said when the AP gave him the big news.

The town museum features a plaque signed by Groening: “Yo to Springfield, Oregon — the real Springfield! Your pal, Matt Groening proud Oregonian!”

Laudati said the city is proud of the distinction, and doesn’t mind being compared to Springfield – the city of an eternal tire fire, stairway to nowhere and nuclear power plant on permanent meltdown alert.

“We don’t dwell on the bad stuff,” he said, the AP reported. “Obviously, we don't have a nuclear power plant. We don't have a lot of stuff in the Simpsons. What we do have are a lot of blue-collar working families that go to church every week and eat dinner together. That is accurate.”

The Simpsons is American TV's longest running sit-com and longest running primetime scripted series; it recently aired its 500th episode.

Fox recently renewed the show for seasons 24 and 25, E! Online reported.

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