Liberal Arts Blog — Matt Groening and the Simpsons

Liberal Arts Blog — Sunday is the Joy of Humor, Food, Travel, Practical Life Tips, and Miscellaneous Day

Today’s Topic: Matt Groening and the Simpsons

Has anyone brought more joy to more people over more years than Matt Groening? What are his best lines? What are the best episodes of the Simpsons ever? Having laughed my head off more than once while glued to one or another adventure of Homer and company, I decided to do a little research and report back. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.


1. “Here’s to alcohol — the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.”

2. “Donuts: is there anything they can’t do?” (a reference to The Sound of Music in which Elsa, that is Baroness Schrader, jealous and annoyed, asks this question of Maria, the multi-talented and irresistibly charming nanny)

3. “You tried your best and failed miserably, the lesson is: Never try.”


1. “Love is a perky elf dancing a little jig — and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun.”

2. “When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Don’t have sex with authorities.”

3. “I can’t believe it! Reading and writing actually paid off!”

SEX, LIES, AND T-SHIRT INSCRIPTIONS (from Bongo in Childhood is Hell, 1988)

1. “Where do babies come from? Don’t bother asking adults. They lie like pigs. However, diligent independent research and hours of playground consultation have yielded fruitful, if tentative, results.”

2. “There are several theories. Near as we can figure out, it has something to do with acting ridiculous in the dark. We believe it is similar to dogs when they act peculiar and ride each other. This is called “making love”.

3. “Careful study of popular song lyrics, advertising catch-lines, TV sitcoms, movies, and T-Shirt inscriptions offers us significant clues as to its nature.”

NB “Apparently it makes grown-ups insipid and insane. Some graffiti was once observed that said “sex is good.” All available evidence, however, points to the contrary.”


1. The Simpsons (1989 — ) is the longest running primetime TV show in history.

2. Life in Hell (1977–2012) was a comic strip that at it’s peak ran in 250 newspapers.

3. Groenig has been nominated for 41 Emmy Awards and has won 13.

NB: The theme song of The Simpsons is absolutely brilliant and is the work of one of the greatest film composers of all time — Danny Elfman. It popped into his head in the car on the way back home from a meeting with Groening. “I didn’t know that I would actually be hitting a jackpot. I didn’t expect anybody to see The Simpsons. I didn’t think it would last more than one season, if it even lasted one season. So I did it purely for fun. That silly moment would become this major defining moment in my life. It’s amazing. It’s ironic.” Elfman also did the scores for Batman, Spider Man, Good Will Hunting, Men in Black…..

Matt Groening

Life in Hell

For a great 16 panel sample from Life in Hell:

Danny Elfman

For the last three years of posts organized by theme:

PDF with headlines — Google Drive


So what is the best cartoon you have seen lately? or in the last 10 years? or the last 50? or your favorite joke? Or what is your famous holiday food? Main course? Dessert? Fondest food memories? Favorite foods to eat or prepare? Anything miscellaneous to share from anywhere? Best trip you ever took in your life? Practical life tips? Random facts? Jokes?

This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your mind a memory that might otherwise disappear. Or to think more deeply about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.



Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.

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John Muresianu

Passionate about education, thinking citizenship, art, and passing bits on of wisdom of a long lifetime.