FXX is going to have a 12-day Simpsons marathon, playing all 552 episodes. In appreciation of the series, we’ve compiled several of our Simpsons interviews into one show.
Since The Simpsons began, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross has interviewed many people who have had a hand creating the show – from Matt Groening in 1989 and 2003 to two of the writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss in 1992. Gross also talked with actors who do the voices, including Nancy Cartwright, who plays Bart, in 2007; Julie Kavner, the voice of Marge in 1994; Hank Azaria, the voice of Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggum and others in 2004.
Here, Simpsons creator Matt Groening tells Terry about how they occasionally got in trouble with the Fox network:
"At the beginning, virtually anything we did would get somebody upset and now it seems like the people who are eager to be offended — and this country is full of people who are eager to be offended. They’ve given up on our show. We got into trouble a few years ago for — Homer is watching an anti-drinking commercial and it said, "Warning! Beer causes rectal cancer." And Homer responds by saying, "Mmm beer." Fox didn’t want us to do that because beer advertisers are a big part of the Fox empire and it turns out the writer was able to track down the actual fact where some studies show that indeed it does — or did or has a tendency to [cause cancer] — so we were able to keep it in."
Photo: Courtesy of Fox