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Cartoon Culture

Dad of “Simpsons” Creator Matt Groening Was a Filmmaker Too

Basic Brown Basic Blue (1969) is a recently unearthed short film directed by Homer Groening, the father of Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. Here’s the description from The Academic Film Archive of North America which posted the film onto Archive.org:

Ever wonder how Matt Groening of ‘The Simpsons’ got his quirky sense of humor? Probably from his filmmaker dad, Homer Groening, who passed away in 1996. Although known for his documentaries, Homer Groening directed and narrated this film, ostensibly about color, but filled with an ongoing series of bikini-clad bathing beauties. The film is perhaps best viewed as a graphic artifact that will interest media historians seeking additional insight into the elements that influenced the cartoonist.

Prior to this, I knew nothing of Groening’s father. This obituary fills in some fascinating details about his life. There’s a certain sense of relief in learning that Groening’s father was nothing like the famous cartoon character named after him, but who would have expected a guy who sounds as calm and reserved as Mister Rogers? Well, at least the real Homer loved doughnuts, too.

This is what Homer Groening looked like in 1973, a few years after this film was made.

Homer Groening

(via Jeff Scher’s Twitter)