Matt Groening is a distinguished American animator, cartoonist, voice actor, writer, and producer. He is the creator of television series ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Disenchantment,’ ‘Futurama,’ and the comic strip ‘Life in Hell.' He is also the recipient of twelve ‘Primetime Emmy Awards,’ and ‘British Comedy Award.’ In 2012, he received a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’ He also bagged in the ‘National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award.’ We have curated some enlightening and thought-provoking quotes and sayings by Matt Groening which have been excerpted from his works, series, interviews, twitter, public utterances, writings, thoughts, and life. Take a look at the corpus of motivating and inspiring quotes and thoughts by Matt Groening.
Since I was there in the very beginning, I know the history of the characters. So, I make comments about the tone and sometimes remind the writers that we've done that before.
I love the idea that we put in jokes the kids don't get. And that later, when they grow up and read a few books and go to college and watch the show again, they can get it on a completely different level.
Everybody doesn't have to get every joke. People really appreciate not being condescended to.
Eat my shorts!
Don't have a cow, man.
In 'Futurama,' the skin color is no longer yellow. They have actually evolved to cartoon skin tone. But they still have four fingers.
I think there is a certain charm to the hand drawn image that I like. My problem with CGI is that it's so rich in texture that my eyes actually get tired. Everything is in focus down to the littlest leaf.
We've been running a little behind schedule. But only by about 15 years or so.
When The Simpsons came around, there really was nothing else like it on TV. It's hard to imagine, but when Fox first took the plunge with it, it was considered controversial to put animation on prime time.
Sometimes people try to read into my strip and find out what my state of mind is. And I can say if I'm in a good mood, generally the comic strip starts out in a good mood, but the punchline is very negative and sour.
The scary thing about the future... there will be tiny cameras everywhere, and they'll be flying around like mosquitoes and drones. That will be bad. Drones are scary. You can't reason with a drone.
We have 'Doctor Who' references on 'Futurama,' but we have a lot of science fiction references that I don't get; but in the staff we have experts on 'Star Trek,' 'Star Wars,' 'Doctor Who' and 'Dungeons and Dragons.'
I basically drew my own family. My father's name is Homer. My mother's name is Margaret. I have a sister Lisa and another sister Maggie, so I drew all of them. I was going to name the main character Matt, but I didn't think it would go over well in a pitch meeting, so I changed the name to Bart.
The thing about a cartoon is, you can do whatever you want. The tightrope that we are walking on 'The Simpsons' and 'Futurama' is 'How do you continue to surprise the audience, but make them good surprises?' Not every surprise is good, but you want to continue jolting people.
There's always room out there for the hand-drawn image. I personally like the imperfection of hand drawing as opposed to the slick look of computer animation. But you can do good stuff either way. The Pixar movies are amazing in what they do, but there's plenty of independent animators who are doing really amazing things as well.
Living creatively is really important to maintain throughout your life. And living creatively doesn't mean only artistic creativity, although that's part of it. It means being yourself, not just complying with the wishes of other people.
On 'The Simpsons,' I will say that we definitely like to comment on what's going on in the world, and we try to be funny. If we can figure out a way of being funny about it, then we've gone part of the way of accomplishing our task.
I grew up completely overwhelmed by TV, and part of the reason why I have gone into television is as a way to justify to myself all those wasted hours of watching TV as a kid. I can now look back and say, 'Oh, that was research.'
'The Simpsons' from the very beginning was based on our memories of brash '60s sitcoms - you had a main title theme that was bombastic and grabbed your attention - and when you look at TV shows of the 1970s and '80s, things got very mild and toned down and... obsequious.
I may be biting off more than I can chew, but with 'The Simpsons' and with 'Futurama,' what I'm trying to do in the guise of light entertainment, if this is possible - is nudge people, jostle them a little, wake them up to some of the ways in which we're being manipulated and exploited.
I went through a phase where people would introduce me at parties as a cartoonist, and everybody felt sorry for me. 'Oh, Matt's a cartoonist.' Then people further feeling sorry for me would ask me to draw Garfield. Because I'm a cartoonist, draw Snoopy or Garfield or something.
Nihilism in American comedy came along way before 'The Simpsons.' There was a fairly nihilistic point of view to 'Saturday Night Live,' for instance, back in the beginning, and a lot of really dark comedy had a really anti-sentimental take on life.
With Charlie Brown, it was about loneliness and isolation. I always thought that the thing about Charlie Brown and those characters was the absence of the parents. Half the strip was about who wasn't there. The parents were never in the picture.
It's a funny show. The characters are surprisingly likable, given how ugly they are. We've got this huge cast of characters that we can move around. And over the last few seasons, we've explored some of the secondary characters' personal lives a bit more.
Our solution on 'The Simpsons' is to do jokes that people who have an education, or some frame of reference, can get. And for the ones who don't, it doesn't matter, because we have Homer banging his head and saying, 'D'oh!'
I think 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad' have definitely staked out their own style and territory, and now the accusations are coming that 'The Simpsons' is taking jokes from 'Family Guy.' And I can tell you, that ain't the case.
I had been drawing my weekly comic strip, 'Life in Hell,' for about five years when I got a call from Jim Brooks, who was developing 'The Tracey Ullman Show' for the brand-new Fox network. He wanted me to come in and pitch an idea for doing little cartoons on that show.
Back in high school, I wrote a novel about a character named Bart Simpson. I thought it was a very unusual name for a kid at the time. I had this idea of an angry father yelling 'Bart,' and Bart sounds kind of like bark - like a barking dog.
My father was a really sharp cartoonist and filmmaker. He used to tape-record the family surreptitiously, either while we were driving around or at dinner, and in 1963 he and I made up a story about a brother and a sister, Lisa and Matt, having an adventure out in the woods with animals.
'The Simpsons' obviously is a huge success, and Fox has nothing to do with its success, with its creative success, and as a result they don't really like the show. They don't like 'The Simpsons' at Fox.
With 'Futurama,' I wanted to do unrequited love, and David Cohen agreed, and although our original plan was never to have Fry and Leela get together, we finally just said, 'You can only string the fans along so far.'
With 'Futurama,' I was just worried that somebody would beat us to it; it seemed so obvious that there should be an animated science fiction show set in the future. And one of the reasons why it's not, I learned, is that it's really, really difficult.
I loved literary science fiction. In fact, as a kid, when I was reading science fiction, I thought 'I can't wait for the future when the special effects are good' to represent what was in these books by Arthur C. Clarke, Alfred Bester, Philip K. Dick, J.G. Ballard, Jack Vance.
'The Simpsons' was about children and married parents; 'Futurama' is about people in between; they're growing up and haven't settled down. Every other cartoon show seemed to be, you know, dumb dad, bratty kids.
The nice thing about 'Futurama' for me personally was that it was a way to honor some of the traditional ideas in literary science fiction, not so much movie or television science fiction - although we have that too, obviously. Our situation, a workplace comedy, led to all sorts of stuff.
'The Simpsons' basically - and 'Futurama' - are really smart shows. They're kind of disguised as these goofy animated sitcoms, but the references within the shows, if you're paying attention, are pretty smart and pretty sophisticated.
I know for a fact, obviously, because my kids grew up watching the show, that there are some things they are introduced to from 'The Simpsons', and then later in life they see the thing we're parodying. My kids had not seen 'Casablanca,' and we'd done parodies of 'Casablanca.'
We did 'The Simpsons Movie,' which took almost four years; it was the same people that do the TV show, and it just killed us. So that's why there hasn't been a second movie. But I imagine if the show ever does go off the air, they'll start doing movies.
I like all of the early relationship strips that were collected in 'Love Is Hell,' where I pretended to be an expert in relationships and did comics like 'The Nine Types of Boyfriends,' 'Sixteen Ways to End a Relationship,' 'Twenty-Four Things Not to Say in Bed,' and other arbitrarily numbered lists.
The conundrum that I face on a daily basis is that I have two sons who have grown up watching 'The Simpsons,' so they know exactly what buttons to push. They know how Bart irritates Homer, and they use these lines against me to tell me that I'm not funny anymore.
Charles Schultz is a really interesting case. He wrote that comic strip and drew it himself from beginning to end, and it's a work of genius. It's very simply drawn, but it has some really deep emotions that you don't expect in a silly-looking comic strip.