Category Archives: the 1980’s

‘Springfield’ mystery solved by ham radio!

‘Springfield’ being the most common place-name in the United States (and Mrs. Spackman had us test this with an atlas in the 5th grade), the writers of ‘The Simpsons’ chose it for the place Homer’s family live.

Principal Skinner is a ham.  His callsign is WA3QIZ.  That 3 puts him in Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Delaware.  All three of those states have a Springfield.  (I looked on Google.)  Ha!

Almost Ha.  This call (now expired) really belonged to executive producer of the series, David Mirkin.  My original callsign is of the same vintage as his.  (It was WN7WXD.)  That makes him about my age.  I can’t think of a cooler job than one in which you can write in features of your life than this.  I did write for TV in the UK for a while.  I should have thought of doing this.

On is a very good compendium of ham radio references in The Simpsons and other, less-funny cartoons.  It’s very good reading.  Sorry to say, television writers’ composite portrait of us amateurs is not especially flattering.  Oh well.  It’s still good reading.

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Filed under the 1980's