Monday, February 22, 2010

The Simpsons and Flint, Michigan: City of Tomorrow

Gerry Godin at All Things Buick spotted this classic Vehicle City reference: "On this week's Simpson's episode Lisa was searching the attic for a family tree school project. She came across a Bicentennial edition of the Readers Digest. On the cover is FLINT, MICHIGAN: CITY OF TOMORROW."

At least there was no reference to crime.


  1. This is at least the second reference to Flint on the Simpsons (the other that I recall was an episode about a cardboard box factory). I am curious if anyone knows anything about a Flint connection on the writing staff.

  2. One time too they showed a list of worst cities and Flint was on it too

  3. The box factory episode was from the first season. What I found funny about it was that I applied for a job at the box factory on south Dort hwy. back in 1970. Dose anyone remember the worst citys episode?

  4. "Bart Gets Famous" is the episode that mentions a Flint Box factory. There are several other Michigan references, the Holland Tulip Festival, and The episode "Take my Wife, Sleaze" Chief Wiggum says the department has a little slogan when it come to dangerous criminals, "Let Michigan handle it"
    There is also an episode "Homerpalooza" when Homer rocks out to Grand Funk Railroad, which I always took as a home town reference. In "I am Furious Yellow" a comic book artist is asked where Danger Dog lives, and he answers "Michigan" Sorry this went on so long but there is a writer that came from Michigan, and he likes to mention it in the show (a lot).

  5. Oddly, the only show writer I can think of from Flint is named Bart (Barton Dean if you want to look it up on IMDB). He wrote, produced, and directed many episodes in the first season of "Newhart", and some later in the series, and created the short lived series "Down Home". He's done quite a few other shows also.

    I always wondered if there was a writer from Michigan on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show", and that was why the call letters were WJM-TV, much like WJIM-TV, the old call letters of Channel 6 Lansing.

  6. I asked this very question to Mike Reiss, writer and producer of the Simpson's, at a screening of the Simpson's Movie.

    He looked at me like I was crazy and said they make fun of a lot of city's.

    I also just saw Grand Funk Railroad in Biloxi on Friday. They announced where each (non-original)member was from except Don and Mel. The singer was from .38 Special and the guitarist had played with KISS. They only played for an hour - but they did tear it up!

  7. On April 19, 1987, "The Simpsons" made their first appearance as shorts in The Tracey Ullman Show. mihai1497


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at