Matt Groening has been very influential on America’s cartoon industry in the past twenty years. Thanks to creating the popular duo of Futurama and mega-hit The Simpsons, Groening is one of the best known artists in the world. Yet despite the millions it earns him, Groening wishes that network Fox would end the show (ironic considering the opposite problems for Futurama).
“It’s cool to reach 1,000 episodes or whatever we’re at; but truthfully, I haven’t watched the show regularly in about 15 years,” he admitted to his local station KBBL-TV back in 2013, “I’m surprised The Simpsons is still on TV, frankly. I think we should have ended it years ago.”
“I don’t know why Fox keeps renewing it. The jokes aren’t good, the storylines are a mess and episodes are forgettable. I think the staff and co-creators agree. But the money keeps rolling in and Fox says we’re better than ever, so what do you do?”
Of what he has seen of more recent seasons, he is not impressed. “I did see the episode where it was in the ’90s, and Homer fronts this Nirvana-type band [That 90’s Show]. God, those were awful. I hope someone got fired over that.”
An oft-debated subject amongst fans is exactly when the inarguable decline began, Groening has a firm viewpoint on the debate. “Our first eight seasons or so were terrific; the pinnacle of television comedy,” he stated. “We had memorable quotes, great stories, great characters, cutting satire and genuine heart and emotion. It was based in reality. I was proud of it.”
He even dismisses the idea of the show ‘evolving’ with time and the changes in audience. “People who say that are crazy,” he said. “When we developed The Simpsons we used to mock all these TV clichés and tropes. We never would have brought Lady Gaga [Lisa Goes Gaga] or Justin Bieber [The Fabulous Faker Boy] on to appeal to kids, unless we had a unique idea like with Michael Jackson [Stark Raving Dad]. We definitely wouldn’t have Homer get raped by a panda [Homer vs. Dignity].”
Groening stated that he is busy working on other projects he would prefer to prioritise, which had included the recently cancelled Futurama – a show that Groening had admitted finding more fun to work on. “I’m hoping The Simpsons doesn’t get renewed again. I have other ideas for TV and movies I’d do instead.”
The criticism didn’t just stop there, Groening also laid into fellow animated show Family Guy – who the show will have a cross-over episode with later this year. “I watch Family Guy but that hasn’t been very good for the last several years. Family Guy is everything we used to criticize; now there’s little difference between the two.”
“I think Seth MacFarlane was right when he said it [Family Guy] should have ended years ago. We probably should have done the same.”
The Simpsons recently finished its 25th season but few would argue against these undeniably bold statements from the shows creator.