A WRITER behind The Simpsons has revealed the answers to some of the show’s biggest mysteries – including why the family are yellow and why they live in Springfield.
Mike Reiss has lifted the lid on the secrets behind TV’s longest-running sitcom in a new book documenting his time behind-the-scenes.
20th Century Fox One of the show’s writers has revealed why the characters are all yellow
He has worked on the show since the very beginning when it launched in 1989 and has now written Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.
In the book, Reiss gives away the answers to some of fans’ most enduring questions about the show, which has racked up more than 636 episodes in its almost 30 years on-air.
Why they’re yellow
Reiss has revealed the characters’ trademark yellow complexion came about completely by accident.
AP:Associated Press One of the animators picked the colour to blend the kids’ hairlines
It was all down to a former show animator, who he has chosen not to name, who was put in charge of finding a colour for creator Matt Groening’s original drawings.
Reiss explained that she picked the unusual skintone for the animations because of the kids’ bizarre hairlines.
He wrote: “Bart, Lisa and Maggie have no hairlines — there’s no line that separates their skin from their hair points.
“So the animators chose yellow — it’s kinda skin, kinda hair.”
The Simpsons looked very different in its early episodes in the late 1980s
Alamy The name Springfield was chosen for its ‘generic blandness’
Why they live in Springfield
In the book, Reiss said the name of the town was “borrowed” from 1950s hit sitcom Father Knows Best and was chosen by Groening for its “generic blandness”.
He wrote of the seemingly location-less town: “Springfield has an ocean on its east side and its west side.
“We once said that East Springfield is three times the size of Texas. And in one episode, we see Homer shoveling snow in the morning and lying in a hammock sipping lemonade that afternoon.
“This raises the question: What planet is Springfield on?”
FOX The name of the show emerges from behind a cloud
Why the family’s name emerges from behind a crowd in the opening credits
Fans of the show are used to seeing the the family’s name emerge from a cloud at the start of the show, but they might be surprised there’s a secret reason why it plays out that way.
Reiss explained that when the show name is revealed, viewers only see half the word “The Simps” before the rest follows and it was created that way on purpose.
He wrote: “You see the first half of the family’s name, ‘The Simps,’ before the rest of the word.
“So what? Well, ‘Simps’ is short for simpletons — stupid people — like the ones you’re about to see in the show.”
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