SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of people turned out Monday for the festivities as a mural honoring “The Simpsons” was unveiled in Springfield, Oregon.
On hand for the big event was actress Yeardley Smith, the voice of Bart Simpson’s sister, Lisa, on the animated sitcom.
Smith was more than happy to land on both sides of the ongoing controversy: is Oregon’s Springfield the REAL Springfield that provides the setting for “The Simpsons”?
At a news conference prior to the official ceremony, Smith told reporters, “Um, well, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but … it is true that the name Springfield was chosen because it’s the most common name for a town in the United States,” The Register-Guard reported.
Later, as Smith stood in front of the waiting crowd, she declared, “We have always said that Springfield is every town in America. But that is a dirty lie. Springfield is obviously in Oregon.”
By then she was reading from a script, but the crowd was happy.
Series creator Matt Groening grew up in Portland.
The 15-by-30 foot mural was created by artist Julius Preite, who’s been drawing the show for 17 years, and was painted by Old City Artists, the newspaper said.
The city is paying Old City Artists as much as $10,000 for the work, drawing from hotel tax revenues. Twentieth Century Fox, which will own the mural, is not charging the city for the artwork.
It shows Homer Simpson lying in a hammock enjoying a beer. His blue-haired wife, Marge, paints an image of her husband — that shows him with long, wavy hair and a chiseled body.
Above Homer is son Bart, in the process of dropping a water balloon. At bottom right is Lisa, riding her bicycle with baby Maggie on the back.
“This mural is the product of several years of work with our partners at Fox and Matt Groening,” city spokesman Niel Laudati told the crowd.