One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Museum of Television & Radio's William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Directors Guild of America Theatre Complex, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television's creative community. This evening honors "The Simpsons," an animated comedy series about the Simpsons -- Homer and Marge and their children, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Craig Tomashoff, TV Guide's West Coast bureau chief, moderates. Rebecca Faez, director of administration at the Museum in Los Angeles, opens the evening by discussing the significance of the Paley Festival. Next, Tomashoff describes "The Simpsons" and how both adults and children can enjoy it on separate levels. Then, the show's executive producer and creator, Matt Groening, introduces the episodes "The Haw-Hawed Couple" and "Springfield Up" which are screened in their entirety. After the screening, Tomashoff introduces the panelists: Groening; executive producer Al Jean; executive producer Matt Selman; executive producer Ian Maxtone-Graham; executive producer Tim Long; director Mark Kirkland; producer David Mirkin; producer Carolyn Omine; and voice actor Nancy Cartwright. The panelists take the stage to touch on such topics as: whether they ever thought the show would last 400 episodes; the "secret" to the show's success; Groening being inspired by "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show"; the "freedom of form" of the show; how the show is able to tackle countless genres; when they realized the show was a cultural phenomenon; the longevity of the show's cast and crew; disadvantages of having a show last so long; how stories are conceived; how they keep track of such a massive cast of characters; why each show is like "a little movie"; fans' reactions and input; whether Cartwright is ever asked to do her Bart Simpson voice in public; celebrity fans, and those who turned down an offer to appear on the show; the crew's favorite lines from the show; how lines for Ralph Wiggum -- a "moron Confucius" -- are among the hardest to write; why fans are forgiving of inconsistencies on the show; and the years of planning that went into "The Simpsons Movie." Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: how Groening came up with the idea for the show; what Groening's day-to-day job on the show currently is; working with George Harrison on an episode; Paul McCartney's requirement for being on the show; antics of celebrity guests such as Mr. T and Elizabeth Taylor; why the last two episodes were so radically different; the craziest merchandising products proposed for the show; whether the show's creators feel pressure to do the kind of "quick humor" associated with animated shows such as "King of the Hill" and "South Park"; if more musical episodes are planned; the reason that Simpson children never age; and why the show is based in Springfield. Afterward, a special screening of "The Simpsons Movie" trailer is shown.

(This tape includes the "The Simpsons" episodes "The Haw-Hawed Couple" (T:90616) and "Springfield Up" (T:90617). These episodes are part of the Museum's collection and may be viewed separately.)


  • DATE: March 15, 2007 Thursday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:46:21
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:90563
  • GENRE: Seminars


  • Rebecca Faez … Host
  • Craig Tomashoff … Moderator
  • Matt Groening … Panelist
  • Al Jean … Panelist
  • Matt Selman … Panelist
  • Ian Maxtone-Graham … Panelist
  • Tim Long … Panelist
  • Mark Kirkland … Panelist
  • David Mirkin … Panelist
  • Carolyn Omine … Panelist
  • Nancy Cartwright … Panelist
  • Confucius
  • George Harrison
  • Paul McCartney
  • Mr. T
  • Elizabeth Taylor
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