Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Simpson's House

It seems every year some company comes up with a contest so weird that everyone takes notice.


Perhaps the weirdest such contest was "Win the Simpson's House!" I wish they had done "Spend the Night with a Woman in a Marge Costume" or "Have Yourself Surgically Altered to Look like Bart." I am sure someone would have done it.

Anyway, in 1997 The Fox network decided to give away the house that Homer and Marge share with their kids on the successful animated series.

Since the show is a cartoon they had to build the house.

The architects studied episodes of the show and came up with a plan for a house that would look as close to the real thing as possible. Some changes had to be made since it had to meet safety code regulations.

I suppose you can't just wave your hand at the safety inspector and say "safety schmafety." This is a shame, because it's the only way I know to deal with authority figures.

The winner of the contest was a 63-year-old great-grandmother from Kentucky. The house was built in Henderson, Nevada (just minutes from Las Vegas) and was said to be worth about $100,000. The house had four bedrooms and 25 different colors of paint.

It also was filled with every knick knack, painting, Duff can and furniture piece that appears in the show. The amount of effort that went into getting every detail correct is astonishing.

It is easily the ugliest house ever built.

Simpson's creator Matt Groening toured the house before it was given away and he signed the cement, leaving his handprints and a cartoon of Homer. This made the house like Grauman's Chinese Theater (if Grauman's Chinese Theater only had the prints of a guy who made a TV show and most people wouldn't recognize if he tried to sell them a hot dog.)

The house even came complete with Bart's tree house in the backyard, an oil stain in the driveway and three mouse holes.

Homer's car came parked in the driveway.

Unfortunately after the contest the owner did what most people would do: had the house painted and removed all of the Simpson's stuff.

The house is located at 712 Red Bark Lane.


  1. It was surpisingly hard to find any information about what happened after the contest ended. The other scenerio I have read is that:
    The winner decided not to move to Las Vegas and was instead given $75,000 by Pepsi. Pepsi and Fox allowed tours through the house for another year and then discontinued them and sold the house.

    I wish they had built the house in Hollywood and ran it as a tourist attraction.

    The Las Vegas Sun has a great archive about the house including virtual tours.

  2. Hear about the latest wacky contest? Dish Networks will provide satellite service to every home in a particular town if said town officially changes its name to "Dish."

  3. Anonymous8/26/2005

    I can't believe I didn't think to write about this. I found out about it a few years after the contest was over. The downstairs is pretty good (the garage could use some tweaking), but the second floor makes me question how close the architects watched the show.

    I can't really blame the owner for painting over everything. It's an interesting idea, but it does look kind of creepy.

  4. I had not heard of the whole "Dish Network" thing. I hope the town is in Washington state. Then I call it Dish, Wash.

    As for the Simpson House, it doesn't really line up with the real house at all from the outside. In fact, I think my parents house looks more like the real one. The garage is way off and the windows don't look right. Plus the animated home had a small addition off behind the garage.

    I think they did the house "on the cheap" and that is what they got. They chose a housing development that ALREADY resembled the house (a little) on the outside and then took it the next step.
    One of the Fox execs was quoted as saying (paraphrased) "We could have built it in L.A., but this had the Springfield feel."

    I think that translates to "We could have built it in L.A., but that would have cost a million dollars. Here in Henderson it's less than $100,000."

  5. Anonymous8/26/2005

    Now that I think of it a house is a pretty horrible prize. It's great if you already live in the area but it's not like you can pick it up and move it someplace new.

    I did a bit more searching and supposedly the furnishings weren't part of the contest. I don't know if that also means they came back and repainted everything as well.

  6. Anonymous8/26/2005

    Yeah, Cravi, it is a pretty lousy prize. Plus, the outskirts of Las Vegas is not a nice place to live. It has one of the highest crime rates in the US.

  7. Anonymous8/26/2005

    Yeah, Las Vegas sucks. Full of damned eskimos if you ask me.

  8. Anonymous8/26/2005

    I was about to tell Mrs. Bane to pack her bags so we could move in next door, but then I saw the last photo. So sad.

    I wanted to be Flanders.

  9. Anonymous8/26/2005

    Hi-delly Ho, good people! None of you can de-diddly be Flanders because I am Flanders!

    Ed Flanders from St. Elsewhere, that is.

  10. Anonymous8/26/2005

    I think it's swee-diddly-sweet that you might want to be me, but you can't.
    I am Flanders. Woman's basketball player Julie Flanders. #22 George Mason.

  11. Anonymous8/26/2005

    I too diddly-dee crappy of a movie to be anyone else. Moll Flanders, starring Robin Wright Penn and Morgan Freeman.

  12. Anonymous8/26/2005

    Woof, diddly-woof.

    1999 dramatic film remake A Dog of Flanders (the orignal film had to be put to sleep a few years ago. Very sad.)

  13. Anonymous8/26/2005

    The interiors look awesome!

    This is the word of Todd.

  14. I don't know the show well enough to judge if it's accurate or not. Now, the Golde Girls' house...