Matt Groening

“People should risk”
© Veja Magazine (Brazil), Edition 1,593. April 14, 1999. p. 128-129.

Veja: How would you summarize the content of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama”?

Groening: The philosophy of the two series’ is the same: challenge the authority. And besides, in “Futurama”, all the citizens receive “career chips”, that is, implants that determine their occupation, only our heroes rebel. We want to say to people that they should take risks, do things that they want, even when clearly they are not the best things.

Veja: Is there anything that you could not explore in “The Simpsons” which you will in the new series?

Groening: Sex was a problem. It was embarrassing to talk about because of the children characters, Lisa and Bart, but it will change. Also I’ve always thought “The Simpsons” very American, despite the world popularity. With “Futurama” we have a more cosmopolitan program, we might even create some aliens who talk Portuguese...

Veja: If you were a “Futurama” character, what would you miss most from the 20th Century?

Groening: I would miss many things like jazz and even Brazilian music. I love an old Brazilian artist called Ed Lincoln whose records I’ve inherited from my parents. I also like forró and Tom Zé.

Veja: Your first success was a strip called “Life in Hell”, for alternative newspapers. Are you faithful to your origin?

Groening: I think so. I continue to do the strip, exactly like twenty years ago. When I created “The Simpsons” I asked myself if it would be possible to import “alternative” ideas to a big television network. I tried and it worked out, and it is incredible. Today, I consider myself an artist of showbiz, but with an interesting trace of rebellion.

Notes: forró is a famous kind of music in Brazil. Tom Zé is a famous singer.

Look at this (it was in the same magazine).

  • Matt Groening is planning to build a park like Disney World. The theme? Maybe “Futurama”, it depends if this series will be as successful as “The Simpsons”.
  • In 1995, the trademark “The Simpsons” has been involved in almost 3 billion dollars worth of marketing and other stuff.

Translated by Filino Carvalho Neto
Revised by Paul Buxton

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Last updated on April 25, 1999 by Jouni Paakkinen (