Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kentucky town is one of 14 hoping to claim it's hometown of Simpsons

This from the Herald-Leader.

Hey, you know what would be sweeter than a plateful of doughnuts (Mmmm ... doughnuts!) to the folks in Springfield, Ky.? More intoxicating than a truckload of Duff beer? More smooth-jazz cool than a Lisa Simpson saxophone solo?

To be named the site of the world premiere of the The Simpsons Movie, due July 27. It's the big-screen version of the Fox TV animated series. And Springfield, Ky., pop. 2,800, is among 14 Springfields across the country vying to host the premiere.

"There's really a buzz around town," said Jeff Moreland, editor of The Springfield Sun weekly newspaper. "We've had a lot of excitement about it."
Each town submitted a 3- to 5-minute video to make its case as the premiere site. The Kentucky Springfield asked Washington County native and Lexington resident Michael Breeding to direct its video.

"I have never had more fun," said Breeding, who has made documentaries on Keeneland and other Kentucky subjects. "It's a sweet little community. We had 50 people show up for our call for actors, and 150 people showed up for the shoot."

The premise of Breeding's video is that the series' creator, Matt Groening, came to Springfield in the 1980s to research Abraham Lincoln, whose parents were married in Springfield. The video posits the theory that Groening's idea for an animated series was born in Springfield. So the town puts him on trial and confronts him with evidence that he based the cartoon world on the Washington County seat...

The Evidence?

One episode of the animated series said that the fictional Springfield is south of Shelbyville, which is the case in Kentucky. Fans of the show say another episode said the Simpsons lived in "Northern Kentucky," although the Kentucky Springfield is close to the geographic center of the state. The city's real-life postmaster is Marshall Simpson.

In another episode, a statue of Jebediah Springfield was beheaded. Well, twice a similar war-memorial statue was beheaded on the Washington County courthouse lawn in Springfield some years ago -- before The Simpsons episode ever aired.

"How much more evidence do we need to bring to the table?" said Hal Goode, executive director of Springfield-Washington County Economic Development.
The more famous Springfield, Illinois may have a power plant, run by a man who looks a lot like Mr. Burns, head of the nuclear plant on "The Simpsons," and the local school may be identical, but Kentuckians are still hopeful of getting the nod.

Afterall, the nuns at St Catherine College have been praying for Bart for years.
The Kentucky video features an original song written by Beau Haddock, a former member of the Little River Band of '70s fame. And Peter Thomas, who narrated NOVA science programs on PBS and Forensic Files, narrates the video. Rick Dees, the disc jockey and Disco Duck singer who owns a home in Boyle County, contributed a concluding comment.

Beginning tomorrow, people across the country can go to to view the competing videos and vote for the Springfield that most represents the spirit of the animated town. The voting ends July 9 and the winner will be announced on or about July 10.

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