matt groening

Comic strip artist Matt Groening is probably best known for his animated "the Simpsons".  Groening is into Zappa, the Residents, Beefheart, ...  which shows in his work.
Zappa references are found in "Life From Hell" and in "The Simpsons".


Frank Zappa pictured by Matt Groening.
Reward at the Zappa Movie kickstarter campaign.



frank zappa: frank zappa plays the music of frank zappa
   (1996, cd, usa, barking pumpkin) - cover manuscript

random notes

Born: February 15th, 1954

     From: Patrick Neve (
Matt Groening is a longtime Zappa fan, and FZ references often crept into his "Life In Hell" comic strip.  The most overt was the classic pledge of Zappa allegiance recited by Pongo, available from the Black Page, right over here:

Later, Groening would work with Gabor Csupo, an animator for The Simpsons.

Groening also did the cover manuscript art for Frank Zappa Plays The Music Of Frank Zappa, in his own instantly recognizable "Simpson's font".

Matt and Don Menn interviewed Zappa for The Mother of All Interviews. This began in April of 1992 but wasn't published until 1994, by Guitar Player.

     From: Mike Lee (
Hi, just found a Life In Hell titled 'My 1969 Diary' with the following written:

JAN. 21 TUESDAY 1969
I've gota get my "We're Only in It for the Money" album back from Griff, only why bother, my stereo's broken again.

     From: Zoogz Rift (
Matt grew up in Portland, and was a hardcore Zappa fan (as well as Beefheart and yours truly).  He moved to Los Angeles around 1980 or so and became a staff music writer with the Los Angeles Reader.  He soon thereafter syndicated his cool "Life In Hell" comic strip, and had nationwide exposure.  He wrote some pretty critical Zappa reviews in the early 1980's, which we were told infurated Frank.  By the mid'1980's, James L. Brooks' wife was reading "Life In Hell" one
night and essentially said, "Jimmy dear, why don't you give this nice boy Matt a job?," so he did.  Brooks hired Matt to develop a short cartoon to be part of The Tracey Ulmann Show, and thus The Simpsons were born.  Matt was thrilled that his new goofy cartoon variation of The Jetsons had taken off like wild fire, and he proceeded to make a fortune.  One night, Frank was watching TV and discovered The Simpsons, and fell in love with it.  He contacted FOX, wanting to meet this guy Matt Groening (apparently forgetting that this was the same guy who was tearing him up in print years earlier).  Matt eventually became friends with Frank, and would visit with him on a weekly basis (Zappa had close friends over to the house every Friday night as a social get-together).

     From: Martin (
watched some of my old simpson's tapes and just saw the episode where bart is sent to military-school. the teacher there talks about poetry and has the 'truth is beauty..etc' written on the chalkboard. and he ask's the question, 'is really truth beauty?'.
well, that was my highlight this day, so give me some other zappa-related stuff on simpsons and i'll be grateful!

Thanks to Evan Keysor ( for factual corrections.



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