Homer Simpson may think his home is his castle, but no interior decorator would make that mistake: The Simpsons’ charming two-story maison in Springfield, USA, is that rare and wonderful design find — a house made for people without a lifestyle! David Silverman, The Simpsons’ supervising animation director and one of its producers, places the architecture in the historic ”post-Levittown” period of 1952-60. And although he is nonplussed by the family’s casual attitude toward housekeeping (”there are stains on the acoustic-tile ceiling, for example”), Silverman, 36, who has worked with Marge and Homer since their rise to fame on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, has come to accept that after four seasons as the stars of Fox’s most successful comedy series, Mr. and Mrs. S. will probably never move to more stylish digs. ”Their roots are firmly entrenched,” he says. As the season draws to a close on May 13 with an episode in which Krusty gets canceled and Johnny Carson and Bette Midler make guest appearances, we are pleased to offer an exclusive tour of three much-lived-in Simpson settings.
In a household of hearty appetites, the Simpsons’ fridge stands as a shrine to family togetherness and nutritional catastrophe, as well as a surface on which to display the accomplishments of Bart and Lisa. ”One thing we also try to show in every kitchen scene are the dishes drying,” says Silverman, who is sympathetic to Marge’s ongoing attempts to keep things spic-and-span.
1. BART’S STUDENT ARTWORK
A loving tribute to a father from his devoted son.
2. BRAIN IN A JAR
”We went on a field trip to the Springfield County Coroner’s office last year,” says Bart, ”and I picked myself up a little souvenir.”
3. DAIRY SHELF
”The little section with the see-through plastic door is my favorite part of the refrigerator,” says Homer. ”Door goes up, door goes down. Door goes up, door goes down ”
4. CONDIMENT SHELVES
Peanut butter with the jelly already mixed in, creamy marshmallow spread, ultra-mild taco sauce, and artificial American- cheese-product-in-a-can.
5. DUFF BEER SUPPLY
Explains Homer: ”I keep Duff Lite on the left, Duff Dry on the right, and regular Duff smack dab in the middle — or is it the other way around? Aw, who cares?”
6. FRESH-FRUIT BIN
”I hide my secret Duff backup supply in here,” confesses Homer. ”No one in the family ever looks in here since we don’t believe in eating fresh fruit. ”
7. LAST NOVEMBER’S THANKSGIVING TURKEY CARCASS
”The meat’s kind of dry, but I think I can scrape about 17 more sandwiches out of it,” says Marge.
8. HOMER’S PRIZE BOWLING BALL
”A cool ball gathers no gutters,” he says. ”Plus, that way my fingers don’t sweat so much when I bowl.”
9. WALL PHONE ‘80S MODEL
”We bought three remote phones,” says Homer, ”but they kept getting lost around the house. You can still hear them ringing sometimes, but damned if we can find ‘em.”
”The nice thing about Bart’s room is that it’s a mess, but it’s a tidy mess, because it always stays the same. And his desk is not too messy, because he hardly uses it,” says Silverman with admiration about the nerve center of Bart’s universe. (The tree house, Bart’s outdoor annex in which he and his best friend, Milhouse, swap philosophies and read comics, is just out of view.)
1. AUTOGRAPHED KRUSTY POSTER
”Yeah, I know the signature’s fake,” says Bart, ”but you gotta admire the guy. When I get to be as big and famous as Krusty, I hope to treat my fans with the same utter contempt.”
2.RADIOACTIVE MAN COMIC BOOK COLLECTION
”I have every one except the rare, recalled issue, No. 73, the one with the nude centerfold of Radioactive Man,” Bart boasts.
3. BOOKSHELF WITH MANY HEFTY VOLUMES
”My mom put them there to improve my mind,” admits Bart. ”But what kid in his right mind wants to read the 1968 Reader’s Digest Junior Encyclopedia of Barnyard Friends?”
4. PRINCIPAL SKINNER DARTBOARD
”I was flattered when young Simpson requested a large glossy of myself,” says Skinner. ”The lad has started quite a trend. A lot of the other young hooligans have also requested photos of me.”
5. HOMEWORK-EATING DOG
”Do you realize how hard it is to train a dog to do this trick?” asks Bart.
6. BART’S DEATH-DEFYING SKATEBOARD OF DOOM
”I always keep it at the foot my bed,” says Bart. ”I tried sleeping with it, but I woke up with splinters in my butt.”
7. ASSORTED SNACK TREATS
”I have an ample supply of emergency rations in case of an earthquake or other natural disaster,” says Bart. ”Every time I hear a loud noise, I start a-gobblin’.”
8. KRUSTY BEDSPREAD
Recalled from stores for causing rashes. ”Anyone who can’t stand a few red patches on his skin and a little incessant itching doesn’t deserve to be called a true Krusty fan,” says Bart.
THE TV ROOM
The deceptively informal layout of this all-important family room disguises the thought that went into the placement of the lamps and bric-a-brac-the very details that, as every decorator well knows, make a TV room a comfy entertainment center. ”Too bad you can’t see the stereo from here,” says Silverman. ”You know how Marge loves to listen to her Xavier Cugat albums.”
1. THE TELEVISION
”It really is the center of our lives,” says Homer. ”We’ve canceled entire vacations so we wouldn’t miss our favorite reruns of Bumblebee Man.”
2. HOOK RUG 3’x 5’
Handmade by Marge. ”The rug used to be 9’ x 12’, but Homer washed it as a sort of gift on Mother’s Day six years ago, and it’s never been the same since,” she explains.
Brown Dacron upholstery, polyester fill. ”Brown compliments our skin tone,” explains Marge. ”Plus, it really hides stains.”
4. SCRATCHES ON COUCH MADE BY SNOWBALL I
”She was a cute cat,” says Lisa, ”but she was very, very naughty.” The rips haven’t been repaired, says Homer, ”because they don’t make duct tape in brown.”
5. WALL PAINTING
Purchased for $39.95 at Lloyd’s Seascapes Ahoy. ”If you stare at it long enough,” says Marge, ”you’ll notice the seagulls’ eyes follow you around the room.”
6. REMOTE CONTROL
In Homer’s opinion, ”The greatest invention since the television, bar none. When I was a boy, you had to get up and walk all the way across the room to change the channel.”
7. READING LAMP
”Unfortunately, the only family member who gets any use out of it is Lisa, of course,” says Marge. ”Except Homer, who likes to wear it as a hat when he’s had a little too much party punch.”
8. SECRET HIDING PLACE FOR THE FAMILY MONEY JAR
”It helps give my hair body,” says Marge, ”and there’s something comforting about walking around with a lot of money on your head.”
9. PLASTIC PLANT
”They say real plants can sense your moods,” says Marge, ”and frankly, that makes me very nervous. So I had all our plants replaced with artificial ones, and I feel much calmer now.”