pop trash

Fourteen Springfields Vie for Hollywood Lucre

Vermont’s Homer Simpson.Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Simpsons Movie’s marketing juggernaut continues! First, there was the Simpsons Character Generator. Then there was the real-live Kwik-E-Mart. Now over on USA Today’s Website, fourteen towns of Springfield are competing to be named the “real-life Springfield,” each presenting a homemade short video in an effort to sell its town as the perfect place for a Simpsons movie premiere. We watched them all, from the totally amateurish to the slightly less amateurish, and can firmly state that a lot of Middle American town managers really, really like The Simpsons. Which of the shorts is worth your time? Who should win your vote? The tale of the tape:

Best Homer look-alike: Vermont’s, pictured.

Best short film: Massachusetts’ mockumentary about a town betrayed by handsome, bearded Matt Groening’s visit twenty years ago.

Short film most like something that would actually be mocked on The Simpsons: New Jersey’s music video by bar band the Double Deuces, featuring lyrics like “Maude Flanders may no longer be, but we’ve got many representatives of Christianity!”

Most obscure references: Nebraska’s entry features Mr. Sparkle; Illinois produces a dead three-eyed fish; Springfield, New Jersey, claims its town motto is “A Noble Spirit Embiggens the Smallest Man.”

Insult humor: In Missouri’s short, one angry townsperson says, “I think The Simpsons borrowed all their good ideas from Futurama“; in Ohio’s, a member of the city council grumps, “They haven’t been good in like ten years — ever since Conan left.”

Local celebrities: Tony Hawk (Oregon); Ted Kennedy (Massachusetts); “Brad Pitt, who was born in Springfield, Missouri, could not be reached for comment” (Missouri).

Scenes of city employees calling a pub with a fake name: Tennessee (“Amanda Hugandkiss”) and Michigan (“Hugh Jass”).

Mayors wearing “Mayor” sashes à la Joe Quimby: Oregon, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky.

Springfield Challenge [USAT]

Fourteen Springfields Vie for Hollywood Lucre