Matt Groening

Matthew Abraham Groening (/ˈɡreɪnɪŋ/ (listen) GRAY-ning; born February 15, 1954)[2] is an American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, and voice actor. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell (1977–2012) and the television series The Simpsons (1989–present), Futurama (1999–2003, 2008–2013), and Disenchantment (2018–present). The Simpsons is the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history and the longest-running U.S. animated series and sitcom.

Groening made his first professional cartoon sale of Life in Hell to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978. At its peak, the cartoon was carried in 250 weekly newspapers. Life in Hell caught the attention of James L. Brooks. In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Fearing the loss of ownership rights, Groening decided to create something new and came up with a cartoon family, the Simpson family, and named the members after his own parents and sisters—while Bart was an anagram of the word "brat". The shorts would be spun off into their own series The Simpsons, which has since aired 656 episodes. In 1997, Groening and former Simpsons writer David X. Cohen developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000, which premiered in 1999, running for four years on Fox, then picked up by Comedy Central for additional seasons. Groening developed a new series for Netflix titled Disenchantment, which premiered in August 2018.

Groening has won 12 Primetime Emmy Awards, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama as well as a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004. In 2002, he won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for his work on Life in Hell. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.

Matt Groening
Matt Groening by Gage Skidmore 2
Groening in 2010
Born
Matthew Abraham Groening

February 15, 1954 (age 65)
Alma materThe Evergreen State College
OccupationCartoonist, writer, producer, animator, voice actor
Years active1977–present
Known forThe Simpsons
Futurama
Disenchantment
Life in Hell
Spouse(s)
Deborah Caplan
(m. 1986; div. 1999)

Agustina Picasso (m. 2011)
Children8[1]
Signature
Matt Groening Signature

Early life

Groening was born on February 15, 1954[3][4] in Portland, Oregon,[5] the middle of five children (older brother Mark and sister Patty were born in 1950 and 1952, while the younger sisters Lisa and Maggie in 1956 and 1958, respectively). His Norwegian American mother, Margaret Ruth (née Wiggum; March 23, 1919 – April 22, 2013),[6] was once a teacher, and his German Canadian father, Homer Philip Groening (December 30, 1919 – March 15, 1996),[7] was a filmmaker, advertiser, writer and cartoonist.[8][9] Homer, born in Main Centre, Saskatchewan, Canada, grew up in a Mennonite, Plautdietsch-speaking family.[10]

Matt's grandfather, Abraham Groening, was a professor at Tabor College, a Mennonite Brethren liberal arts college in Hillsboro, Kansas before moving to Albany College (now known as Lewis and Clark College) in Oregon in 1930.[11]

Groening grew up in Portland,[12] and attended Ainsworth Elementary School[13] and Lincoln High School.[14] From 1972[15] to 1977, Groening attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington,[16] a liberal arts school that he described as "a hippie college, with no grades or required classes, that drew every weirdo in the Northwest."[17] He served as the editor of the campus newspaper, The Cooper Point Journal, for which he also wrote articles and drew cartoons.[15] He befriended fellow cartoonist Lynda Barry after discovering that she had written a fan letter to Joseph Heller, one of Groening's favorite authors, and had received a reply.[18] Groening has credited Barry with being "probably [his] biggest inspiration."[19] He first became interested in cartoons after watching the Disney animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians,[20] and he has also cited Robert Crumb, Ernie Bushmiller, Ronald Searle [21] and Charles M. Schulz as inspirations.[22]

Career

Early career

In 1977, at the age of 23, Groening moved to Los Angeles to become a writer. He went through what he described as "a series of lousy jobs," including being an extra in the television movie When Every Day Was the Fourth of July,[23] busing tables,[24] washing dishes at a nursing home, clerking at the Hollywood Licorice Pizza record store, landscaping in a sewage treatment plant,[25] and chauffeuring and ghostwriting for a retired Western director.[26][27]

Life in Hell

Life-in-Hell-No-4
Cover of Life in Hell No. 4, published in 1978

Groening described life in Los Angeles to his friends in the form of the self-published comic book Life in Hell, which was loosely inspired by the chapter "How to Go to Hell" in Walter Kaufmann's book Critique of Religion and Philosophy.[28] Groening distributed the comic book in the book corner of Licorice Pizza, a record store in which he worked. He made his first professional cartoon sale to the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978.[28] The strip, titled "Forbidden Words," appeared in the September/October issue of that year.[24][29]

Groening had gained employment at the Los Angeles Reader, a newly formed alternative newspaper, delivering papers,[15] typesetting, editing and answering phones.[25] He showed his cartoons to the editor, James Vowell, who was impressed and eventually gave him a spot in the paper.[15] Life in Hell made its official debut as a comic strip in the Reader on April 25, 1980.[24][30] Vowell also gave Groening his own weekly music column, "Sound Mix," in 1982. However, the column would rarely actually be about music, as he would often write about his "various enthusiasms, obsessions, pet peeves and problems" instead.[17] In an effort to add more music to the column, he "just made stuff up,"[23] concocting and reviewing fictional bands and nonexistent records. In the following week's column, he would confess to fabricating everything in the previous column and swear that everything in the new column was true. Eventually, he was finally asked to give up the "music" column.[31] Among the fans of the column was Harry Shearer, who would later become a voice on The Simpsons.[32]

Life in Hell became popular almost immediately.[33] In November 1984, Deborah Caplan, Groening's then-girlfriend and co-worker at the Reader, offered to publish "Love is Hell", a series of relationship-themed Life in Hell strips, in book form.[34] Released a month later, the book was an underground success, selling 22,000 copies in its first two printings. Work is Hell soon followed, also published by Caplan.[15] Soon afterward, Caplan and Groening left and put together the Life in Hell Co., which handled merchandising for Life in Hell.[24] Groening also started Acme Features Syndicate, which syndicated Life in Hell, Lynda Barry and John Callahan, but now only syndicates Life in Hell.[15] At the end of its run, Life in Hell was carried in 250 weekly newspapers and has been anthologized in a series of books, including School is Hell, Childhood is Hell, The Big Book of Hell, and The Huge Book of Hell.[12] Although Groening has stated, "I'll never give up the comic strip. It's my foundation,"[35] he announced that the June 16, 2012 strip would mark Life in Hell's conclusion.[36] After Groening ended the strip, the Center for Cartoon Studies commissioned a poster that was presented to Groening in honor of his work. The poster contained tribute cartoons by 22 of Groening's cartoonist friends who were influenced by Life in Hell.[37]

The Simpsons

Creation

Simpsons on Tracey Ullman
The design of the Simpson family, circa 1987

Life in Hell caught the eye of Hollywood writer-producer and Gracie Films founder James L. Brooks, who had been shown the strip by fellow producer Polly Platt.[33][38] In 1985, Brooks contacted Groening with the proposition of working in animation on an undefined future project,[9] which would turn out to be developing a series of short animated skits, called "bumpers," for the Fox variety show The Tracey Ullman Show. Originally, Brooks wanted Groening to adapt his Life in Hell characters for the show. Groening feared that he would have to give up his ownership rights, and that the show would fail and would take down his comic strip with it.[39] Groening conceived of the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks's office and hurriedly sketched out his version of a dysfunctional family: Homer, the overweight father; Marge, the slim mother; Bart, the bratty oldest child; Lisa, the intelligent middle child; and Maggie, the baby.[39][40][41] Groening famously named the main Simpson characters after members of his own family: his parents, Homer and Margaret (Marge or Marjorie in full), and his younger sisters, Lisa and Margaret (Maggie). Claiming that it was a bit too obvious to name a character after himself, he chose the name "Bart," an anagram of brat.[39][42] However, he stresses that aside from some of the sibling rivalry, his family is nothing like the Simpsons.[43] Groening also has an older brother and sister, Mark and Patty, and in a 1995 interview Groening divulged that Mark "is the actual inspiration for Bart."[44]

Maggie Groening has co-written a few Simpsons books featuring her cartoon namesake.[45]

The Tracey Ullman Show

The family was crudely drawn, because Groening had submitted basic sketches to the animators, assuming they would clean them up; instead, they just traced over his drawings.[39] The entire Simpson family was designed so that they would be recognizable in silhouette.[46] When Groening originally designed Homer, he put his own initials into the character's hairline and ear: the hairline resembled an 'M', and the right ear resembled a 'G'. Groening decided that this would be too distracting though, and redesigned the ear to look normal. He still draws the ear as a 'G' when he draws pictures of Homer for fans.[47] Marge's distinct beehive hairstyle was inspired by Bride of Frankenstein and the style that Margaret Groening wore during the 1960s, although her hair was never blue.[8][48] Bart's original design, which appeared in the first shorts, had spikier hair, and the spikes were of different lengths. The number was later limited to nine spikes, all of the same size.[49] At the time Groening was primarily drawing in black and "not thinking that [Bart] would eventually be drawn in color" gave him spikes that appear to be an extension of his head.[50] Lisa's physical features are generally not used in other characters; for example, in the later seasons, no character other than Maggie shares her hairline.[51] While designing Lisa, Groening "couldn't be bothered to even think about girls' hair styles".[52] When designing Lisa and Maggie, he "just gave them this kind of spiky starfish hair style, not thinking that they would eventually be drawn in color".[53] Groening storyboarded and scripted every short (now known as The Simpsons shorts), which were then animated by a team including David Silverman and Wes Archer, both of whom would later become directors on the series.[54]

The Simpsons shorts first appeared in The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987.[55] Another family member, Grampa Simpson, was introduced in the later shorts. Years later, during the early seasons of The Simpsons, when it came time to give Grampa a first name, Groening says he refused to name him after his own grandfather, Abraham Groening, leaving it to other writers to choose a name. By coincidence, they chose "Abraham", unaware that it was the name of Groening's grandfather.[56]

Half-hour

Although The Tracey Ullman Show was not a big hit,[57] the popularity of the shorts led to a half-hour spin-off in 1989. A team of production companies adapted The Simpsons into a half-hour series for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The team included what is now the Klasky Csupo animation house. James L. Brooks negotiated a provision in the contract with the Fox network that prevented Fox from interfering with the show's content.[58] Groening said his goal in creating the show was to offer the audience an alternative to what he called "the mainstream trash" that they were watching.[59] The half-hour series premiered on December 17, 1989 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", a Christmas special.[60] "Some Enchanted Evening" was the first full-length episode produced, but it did not broadcast until May 1990, as the last episode of the first season, because of animation problems.[61]

The series quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, to the surprise of many. Groening said: "Nobody thought The Simpsons was going to be a big hit. It sneaked up on everybody."[17] The Simpsons was co-developed by Groening, Brooks, and Sam Simon, a writer-producer with whom Brooks had worked on previous projects. Groening and Simon, however, did not get along[57] and were often in conflict over the show;[24] Groening once described their relationship as "very contentious."[40] Simon eventually left the show in 1993 over creative differences.[62]

Like the main family members, several characters from the show have names that were inspired by people, locations or films. The name "Wiggum" for police chief Chief Wiggum is Groening's mother's maiden name.[63] The names of a few other characters were taken from major street names in Groening's hometown of Portland, Oregon, including Flanders, Lovejoy, Powell, Quimby and Kearney.[64] Despite common fan belief that Sideshow Bob Terwilliger was named after SW Terwilliger Boulevard in Portland, he was actually named after the character Dr. Terwilliker from the film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.[65]

Although Groening has pitched a number of spin-offs from The Simpsons, those attempts have been unsuccessful. In 1994, Groening and other Simpsons producers pitched a live-action spin-off about Krusty the Clown (with Dan Castellaneta playing the lead role), but were unsuccessful in getting it off the ground.[27][66] Groening has also pitched "Young Homer" and a spin-off about the non-Simpsons citizens of Springfield.[67]

In 1995, Groening got into a major disagreement with Brooks and other Simpsons producers over "A Star Is Burns", a crossover episode with The Critic, an animated show also produced by Brooks and staffed with many former Simpsons crew members. Groening claimed that he feared viewers would "see it as nothing but a pathetic attempt to advertise The Critic at the expense of The Simpsons," and was concerned about the possible implication that he had created or produced The Critic.[44] He requested his name be taken off the episode.[68]

Groening is credited with writing or co-writing the episodes "Some Enchanted Evening", "The Telltale Head", "Colonel Homer" and "22 Short Films About Springfield", as well as The Simpsons Movie, released in 2007.[69] He has had several cameo appearances in the show, with a speaking role in the episode "My Big Fat Geek Wedding". He currently serves at The Simpsons as an executive producer and creative consultant.

Futurama

After spending a few years researching science fiction, Groening got together with Simpsons writer/producer David X. Cohen (known as David S. Cohen at the time) in 1997 and developed Futurama, an animated series about life in the year 3000.[19][70] By the time they pitched the series to Fox in April 1998, Groening and Cohen had composed many characters and storylines; Groening claimed they had gone "overboard" in their discussions.[70] Groening described trying to get the show on the air as "by far the worst experience of [his] grown-up life."[19] The show premiered on March 28, 1999. Groening's writing credits for the show are for the premiere episode, "Space Pilot 3000" (co-written with Cohen), "Rebirth" (story) and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" (story).

David X. Cohen & Matt Groening by Gage Skidmore
David X. Cohen and Groening at the Futurama panel of Comic-Con 2009

After four years on the air, the show was canceled by Fox. In a situation similar to Family Guy, however, strong DVD sales and very stable ratings on Adult Swim brought Futurama back to life. When Comedy Central began negotiating for the rights to air Futurama reruns, Fox suggested that there was a possibility of also creating new episodes. When Comedy Central committed to sixteen new episodes, it was decided that four straight-to-DVD films – Bender's Big Score (2007), The Beast with a Billion Backs (2008), Bender's Game (2008) and Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009) – would be produced.[71][72]

Since no new Futurama projects were in production, the movie Into the Wild Green Yonder was designed to stand as the Futurama series finale. However, Groening had expressed a desire to continue the Futurama franchise in some form, including as a theatrical film.[73] In an interview with CNN, Groening said that "we have a great relationship with Comedy Central and we would love to do more episodes for them, but I don't know... We're having discussions and there is some enthusiasm but I can't tell if it's just me".[74] Comedy Central commissioned an additional 26 new episodes, and began airing them in 2010. The show continued in to 2013,[75][76] before Comedy Central announced in April 2013 that they would not be renewing it beyond its seventh season. The final episode aired on September 4, 2013.[77]

Disenchantment

On January 15, 2016, it was announced that Groening was in talks with Netflix to develop a new animated series.[78] On July 25, 2017 the series, Disenchantment, was ordered by Netflix with a two-season order, totalling 20 episodes.[79]

Other pursuits

In 1994, Groening formed Bongo Comics (named after the character Bongo from Life in Hell[80]) with Steve Vance, Cindy Vance and Bill Morrison, which publishes comic books based on The Simpsons and Futurama (including Futurama Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis, a crossover between the two), as well as a few original titles. According to Groening, the goal with Bongo is to "[try] to bring humor into the fairly grim comic book market."[44] He also formed Zongo Comics in 1995, an imprint of Bongo that published comics for more mature readers,[44] which included three issues of Mary Fleener's Fleener[81] and seven issues of his close friend Gary Panter's Jimbo comics.[82]

Groening is known for his eclectic taste in music. His favorite band is Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and his favorite album is Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart (which was produced by Zappa).[83] He guest-edited Da Capo Press's Best Music Writing 2003[84] and curated a US All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in 2003.[83][85] He illustrated the cover of Frank Zappa's posthumous album Frank Zappa Plays the Music of Frank Zappa: A Memorial Tribute (1996).[86] In May 2010, he curated another edition of All Tomorrow's Parties in Minehead, England. He also plays the drums in the all-author rock and roll band The Rock Bottom Remainders (although he is listed as the cowbell player), whose other members include Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Stephen King, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Sam Barry and Greg Iles.[87] In July 2013, Groening co-authored Hard Listening (2013) with the rest of the Rock Bottom Remainders (published by Coliloquy, LLC).[88]

Personal life

Groening and Deborah Caplan married in 1986[25] and had two sons together, Homer (who goes by Will) and Abe,[42] both of whom Groening occasionally portrays as rabbits in Life in Hell. The couple divorced in 1999 after thirteen years of marriage.[26] In 2011, Groening married Argentine artist Agustina Picasso after a four-year relationship, and became stepfather to her daughter Camila Costantini.[89] In May 2013, Picasso gave birth to Nathaniel Philip Picasso Groening, named after writer Nathanael West. She joked that "his godfather is SpongeBob's creator Stephen Hillenburg".[90] In 2015 Groening's daughters Luna Margaret and India Mia were born.[91] Matt is the brother-in-law of Hey Arnold! and Dinosaur Train creator, Craig Bartlett, who is married to Groening's sister, Lisa. Arnold used to appear in Simpsons Illustrated.[92] On 16 June 2018, he became the father of twins for a second time when his wife gave birth to Sol Matthew and Venus Ruth, announced via Instagram. [93] Groening identifies himself as agnostic[94][95] and a liberal[96] and has often made campaign contributions to Democratic Party candidates.[97] His first cousin, Laurie Monnes Anderson, is a member of the Oregon State Senate representing eastern Multnomah County.[98]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Hair High Dill (voice)
Comic Book: The Movie Himself
2006 Tales of the Rat Fink Finkster (voice)
2007 The Simpsons Movie N/A Writer and producer
Futurama: Bender's Big Score N/A Direct-to-DVD
Executive producer
2008 Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs N/A
Futurama: Bender's Game N/A
2009 Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder N/A
2012 The Longest Daycare N/A Short film
Writer and producer
2013 I Know That Voice Himself
2015 I Thought I Told You To Shut Up!! Himself Short film

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1987–1989 The Tracey Ullman Show N/A 48 episodes; writer and animator
1989–present The Simpsons N/A Also creator, writer, executive producer
Also appeared in 3 episodes as himself
1996 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself Episode: "Glen Campbell"
1999 Olive, the Other Reindeer Arturo (voice) TV special
1999–2003;
2008–2013
Futurama N/A 140 episodes; also creator, writer, executive producer
Also appeared in Episode: "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences" as himself
2003 The Pitts Bank teller Episode: "Dummy and Dummier"
2015 Portlandia Himself Episode: "Fashion"
2018–present Disenchantment N/A Also creator, writer, executive producer

Video games

Year Title Voice
2007 The Simpsons Game Himself
2014 The Simpsons: Tapped Out

Music video

Year Title Artist Notes
1990 "Do the Bartman" Nancy Cartwright Executive producer

Theme park

Year Title Notes
2008 The Simpsons Ride Producer

Awards

Groening has been nominated for 25 Emmy Awards and has won twelve, ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for programming one hour or less)" category.[99] Groening received the 2002 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award, and had been nominated for the same award in 2000.[100] He received a British Comedy Award for "outstanding contribution to comedy" in 2004.[101] In 2007, he was ranked fourth (and highest American by birth) in a list of the "top 100 living geniuses", published by British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.[102]

He received the 2,459th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 14, 2012.[103]

Bibliography

  • Groening, Matt (1977–2012). Life in Hell
    • Love Is Hell (1986) ISBN 0-394-74454-3
    • Work Is Hell (1986) ISBN 0-394-74864-6
    • School Is Hell (1987) ISBN 0-394-75091-8
    • Box Full of Hell (1988) ISBN 0-679-72111-8
    • Childhood Is Hell (1988) ISBN 0-679-72055-3
    • Greetings from Hell (1989) ISBN 0-679-72678-0
    • Akbar and Jeff's Guide to Life (1989) ISBN 0-679-72680-2
    • The Big Book of Hell (1990) ISBN 0-679-72759-0
    • With Love From Hell (1991) ISBN 0-06-096583-5
    • How to Go to Hell (1991) ISBN 0-06-096879-6
    • The Road to Hell (1992) ISBN 0-06-096950-4
    • Binky's Guide to Love (1994) ISBN 0-06-095078-1
    • Love Is Hell: Special Ultra Jumbo 10th Anniversary Edition (1994) ISBN 0-679-75665-5
    • The Huge Book of Hell (1997) ISBN 0-14-026310-1
    • Will and Abe's Guide to the Universe (2007) ISBN 0-06-134037-5
  • Chocano, Carina (January 30, 2001). "Matt Groening". Salon.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  • Groening, Matt (1994). "Introduction". Love is Hell: Special Ultra Jumbo 10th Anniversary Edition. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-75665-5.
  • Groening, Matt (2001a). "My Rock 'n' Roll Life, Part One: So You Want To Snort Derisively". Simpsons Comics Royale. New York: Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093378-X.
  • Groening, Matt (2001b). "47 Secrets About The Simpsons, A Poem of Sorts, and Some Filler". Simpsons Comics Royale. New York: Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093378-X.
  • Groening, Matt (2001c). "The Secret Life of Lisa Simpson". Simpsons Comics Royale. New York: Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093378-X.
  • Groth, Gary (April 1991). "Matt Groening". The Comics Journal (141): 78–95.
  • Lloyd, Robert (March 24, 1999). "Life in the 31st century". LA Weekly. Retrieved December 30, 2005.
  • Morgenstern, Joe (April 29, 1990). "Bart Simpson's Real Father". Los Angeles Times Magazine. pp. 12–18, 20, 22.
  • Ortved, John (August 2007). "Simpson Family Values". Vanity Fair (564). pp. 70–77. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  • Paul, Alan (September 30, 1995). "Life in Hell". Flux Magazine. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2005.
  • Groening, Matt (1997). Richmond, Ray; Coffman, Antonia, eds. The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family (1st ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 978-0-06-095252-5. LCCN 98141857. OCLC 37796735. OL 433519M.
  • Scott, A.O. (November 4, 2001). "Homer's Odyssey". The New York Times Magazine. pp. 42–47. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
  • Turner, Chris (2004). Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation. Foreword by Douglas Coupland. (1st ed.). Toronto: Random House Canada. ISBN 978-0-679-31318-2. OCLC 55682258.
  • Von Busack, Richard (November 2, 2000). "'Life' Before Homer". Metroactive. Retrieved April 28, 2007.

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External links

Bongo Comics

Bongo Comics Group was a comic book publishing company founded in 1993 by Matt Groening along with Steve & Cindy Vance and Bill Morrison. It published comics related to the animated television series The Simpsons and Futurama, as well as the SpongeBob SquarePants comic; along with original material. It was named after Bongo, a rabbit character in Groening's comic strip Life in Hell.

Bongo has, at some time in its history, printed Simpsons Comics, Simpsons Comics and Stories, Futurama Comics, Krusty Comics, Lisa Comics, Bart Simpson, Bartman, Itchy & Scratchy Comics and Radioactive Man.

Zongo Comics, also created by Groening, was Bongo Comics' counterpart geared towards niche audiences.

David X. Cohen

David Samuel Cohen (born July 13, 1966), better known as David X. Cohen, is an American television writer. He began working on Beavis and Butt-Head, has written for The Simpsons, and served as the head writer and executive producer of Futurama. Cohen is a producer of Disenchantment, Matt Groening's series for Netflix.

Disenchantment (TV series)

Disenchantment is an American adult animated fantasy sitcom created by Matt Groening. The series is Groening's first production for Netflix; he previously created The Simpsons and Futurama for 20th Century Fox Television. Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland, the series follows the story of Bean, a rebellious and alcoholic princess, her naïve elf companion Elfo, and her destructive "personal demon" Luci. Disenchantment stars the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Matt Berry, David Herman, Maurice LaMarche, Lucy Montgomery, and Billy West.

Twenty episodes of the series were initially ordered by Netflix, with the first ten episodes being released on August 17, 2018, and the remaining episodes set to be released in 2019. In October 2018, Disenchantment was renewed for a twenty-episode second season, to be released between 2020 and 2021.

Futurama

Futurama is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of slacker Philip J. Fry, who is accidentally transported to the 31st century and finds work at an interplanetary delivery company. The series was envisioned by Groening in the mid-1990s while working on The Simpsons; he brought David X. Cohen aboard to develop storylines and characters to pitch the show to Fox.

In the United States, the series aired on Fox from March 28, 1999, to August 10, 2003, and aired in reruns on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim from 2003 to 2007. It was revived in 2007 as four direct-to-video films, the last of which was released in early 2009. Comedy Central entered into an agreement with 20th Century Fox Television to syndicate the existing episodes and air the films as 16 new, half-hour episodes, constituting a fifth season.In June 2009, Comedy Central picked up the show for 26 new half-hour episodes, which began airing in 2010 and 2011. The show was renewed for a final, seventh season, with the first half airing in 2012 and the second in 2013. The series finale aired in September 2013. An audio-only episode featuring the original cast members was released in 2017 as an episode of The Nerdist Podcast.Futurama was nominated for 17 Annie Awards, winning seven, and 12 Emmy Awards, winning six. It was nominated four times for a Writers Guild of America Award, winning for the episodes "Godfellas" and "The Prisoner of Benda". It was nominated for a Nebula Award and received Environmental Media Awards for the episodes "The Problem with Popplers" and "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular". Merchandise includes a tie-in comic book series, video games, calendars, clothes and figurines. In 2013, TV Guide ranked Futurama one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time.

Futurama (season 5)

The fifth season of Futurama began airing in March 2008 and concluded after 16 episodes on August 30, 2009. All episodes were TV edits of the four DVD movies (originally released between November 2007 and February 2009), split into four episodes each. This list refers to the TV versions.

Hans Moleman

Hans Moleman is a recurring character on the animated television series The Simpsons. He was created by series creator Matt Groening and is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the episode "Principal Charming". His appearance usually comes in the form of a running gag, in which, as a bystander to disastrous events, he suffers unfortunate, often seemingly fatal accidents, only to return in later episodes completely unharmed.

Life in Hell

Life in Hell is a comic strip by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Disenchantment, which was published weekly from 1977 to 2012. The strip features anthropomorphic rabbits and a gay couple. The comic covers a wide range of subjects, such as love, sex, work, and death, and explores themes of angst, social alienation, self-loathing, and fear of inevitable doom.

List of The Simpsons books

This is a list of books relating to The Simpsons television series.

List of awards and nominations received by Matt Groening

The following is a list of awards and nominations received by American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, musician, and voice actor Matt Groening.

Maggie Simpson

Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. She received her first name from Groening's youngest sister. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family was given their own series on the Fox Broadcasting Company which debuted December 17, 1989.

Maggie is the youngest child of Homer and Marge, and sister to Bart and Lisa. She is often seen sucking on her red pacifier and, when she walks, she trips over her clothing and falls on her face (this running gag is used much more in earlier seasons). Being an infant, she has not learned how to talk. However, she did appear to talk in the first Tracey Ullman Show short.

Though she rarely talks, she frequently makes a characteristic sucking noise with her pacifier, which has become synonymous with the character. Her pacifier sucking noises are provided by the show's creator, Matt Groening and early producer Gabor Csupo. Maggie's occasional speaking parts and other vocalisations are currently provided by Nancy Cartwright, but she has also been voiced by guest stars James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Taylor and Jodie Foster, and by series regulars Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer. Maggie has appeared in various media relating to The Simpsons – including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials and comic books – and has inspired an entire line of merchandise.

Milhouse Van Houten

Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Pamela Hayden, and created by Matt Groening who named the character after President Richard Nixon's middle name. Later in the series, it is revealed that Milhouse's middle name is "Mussolini."

Milhouse is Bart Simpson's best friend in Mrs. Krabappel's fourth grade class at Springfield Elementary School, and is insecure, gullible, and less popular than Bart. Milhouse is often led into trouble by Bart, who takes advantage of his friend's naïveté, and he is also a regular target for school bullies Nelson Muntz and his friends Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz. He also has a crush on Bart's sister, Lisa, which is used as a plot element in many episodes. Milhouse is one of the few residents in Springfield with visible, in fact rather thick, eyebrows.

Oysterhead

Oysterhead was an American rock supergroup featuring bassist Les Claypool of Primus, guitarist Trey Anastasio of Phish and drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police, with both Claypool and Anastasio providing vocals. The style and sound of the band is a collaborative eclectic mix of alt-funk fusion.In April 2000 Superfly Productions asked Claypool to assemble a band to perform during New Orleans Jazz Fest. Claypool contacted Anastasio and together they agreed on mutual hero, Copeland. Oysterhead was originally intended to be a singular live performance at New Orleans Saenger Theatre on May 4, 2000. The band compiled a set of almost entirely original material for the show, practicing at Muskegon's Frauenthal Theatre. Tickets were scalped for up to $2,000 each and in the audience were Francis Ford Coppola and Matt Groening.

Ralph Wiggum

Ralph Wiggum is a recurring character on the animated series The Simpsons, voiced by Nancy Cartwright. The son of Police Chief Wiggum and a classmate of Lisa Simpson, Ralph is best known as the show's resident oddball, and is noted for his non-sequiturs and erratic behavior. His lines range from nonsensical, or bizarre interpretations of a current event, to surprisingly profound statements that go over people's heads; and his behavior varies between blissfully unaware, to dim-witted, to awkwardly spontaneous, even occasionally straightforward. The very nature of the character has undergone seemingly differing interpretations over the years and within various media.

The creator of the show, Matt Groening, has cited Ralph as his favorite character. He generally remains one of the more popular and often quoted secondary characters in the show. In 2006, IGN ranked Ralph No. 3 on their list of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters," behind Sideshow Bob and Troy McClure .

Rock Bottom Remainders

The Rock Bottom Remainders are an American rock and roll band, consisting of published writers, most of them both amateur musicians and popular English-language book, magazine, and newspaper authors. The band took its self-mocking name from the publishing term "remaindered book", a work of which the unsold remainder of the publisher's stock of copies is sold at a reduced price. Their performances collectively raised $2 million for charity from their concerts.

The band's members have included Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Cynthia Heimel, Sam Barry, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, Aron Ralston and honorary member Maya Angelou among others, as well as professional musicians such as multi-instrumentalist (and author) Al Kooper, drummer Josh Kelly, guitarist Roger McGuinn and saxophonist Erasmo Paulo. Founder Kathi Kamen Goldmark died on May 24, 2012.

The Curiosity Company

The Curiosity Company, Inc. (currently known as The ULULU Company) is an American production company founded by Matt Groening, behind television series Futurama and the 1999 television film Olive, the Other Reindeer. The company logo depicts the letter "C" being formed by a surfboard reflection against various ocean waves, alongside distorted water sounds. The footage and sounds are taken from A Study in Wet, a short film made by Matt's father, Homer.

The Simpsons

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a solicitation for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after his own family members, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After three seasons, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show and became Fox's first series to land in the Top 30 ratings in a season (1989–90).

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, 656 episodes of The Simpsons have been broadcast. It is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and number of episodes. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and grossed over $527 million. Then on October 30, 2007, a video game was released. Currently, The Simpsons is on its thirtieth season, which

began airing September 30, 2018. The Simpsons was renewed for a thirty-first and thirty-second season on February 6, 2019, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.The Simpsons received acclaim throughout its first nine or ten seasons, which are generally considered its "Golden Age". Time named it the 20th century's best television series, and Erik Adams of The A.V. Club named it "television's crowning achievement regardless of format". On January 14, 2000, the Simpson family was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has won dozens of awards since it debuted as a series, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. Homer's exclamatory catchphrase "D'oh!" has been adopted into the English language, while The Simpsons has influenced many other later adult-oriented animated sitcoms. However, it has also been criticized for a perceived decline in quality over the years.

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