One of the great things about living in Portland, which is where Matt Groening is from, was discovering that many of the character names on The Simpsons were based on streets in our fair city. It always gives me a chuckle to drive by Lovejoy Ave. or some such street.
Anyways, over at Surf, Emily Nussbaum’s new (and excellent [try saying that without the Mr. Burns inflection]) television blog, she discovers in John Ortved’s new The Simpsons: An Uncensored Unauthorized History the identity of the James L. Brooks assistant who inspired Waylon Smithers — one Mr. Richard Sakai.
It sounds like a great read, even though James L. Brooks and Matt Groening didn’t participate. But for good reason. Nussbaum hints that the book portrays Brooks as “a genius bastard who screwed over his cancer-ridden lifelong best friend for money” and Groening as “an amiable lame-o who stole credit for the series despite the fact that he wrote very little of it.”
Probably make a great Jesus’s birthday present for any Simpsons fan.