The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has revealed the real-life town that inspired Springfield.
Groening told Smithsonian magazine he named the town after Springfield, Oregon, because it was the name of the place next to his hometown of Portland.
Springfield was named after Springfield, 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.
The revelation brings an end to one of the show's longest running jokes, where characters would often be seen hiding the true location of the town.
In one episode Lisa Simpson points to Springfield on the map only for Bart's head to obscure the audience's view.
When asked why he had not revealed that it was Springfield, Oregon before, Groening said:
I don’t want to ruin it for people, you know? Whenever people say it’s Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go, 'Yup, that’s right.'
The Simpsons first aired in 1989, making it the longest-running show in the US.
Facts and figures on the real Springfield:
Springfield has a population of around 59,000 people.
It is just over 100 miles south of Groening's hometown of Portland.
Springfield was incorporated as a city in 1855.
Facts and figures on the fictional Springfield:
The town was founded by Jebediah Springfield, a pirate who once fought former US President George Washington.
Springfield's mayor is Democrat Joe Quimby, a corrupt and adulterous politician.
The town has several landmarks including, the stadium of baseball team the Springfield Isotopes and Krustylu Studios where Krusty the Klown is filmed.