“The Simpsons” has always grabbed inspiration from real-life, whether it’s Bumblebee Man being inspired by a Mexican hero, or Dr. Hibbert’s name being a cheeky “SNL” reference, but Duff beer? It’s complicated.

The beer’s connection to Guns n’ Roses actually comes from Duff McKagan’s own autobiography, “It’s So Easy (And Other Lies),” where he described being introduced in a 1988 MTV concert as “The King of Beers.” Shortly thereafter, the production company behind an animated show reached out to McKagan and asked if they could use “Duff” for their beer brand. MMcKagan wrote: “I laughed and said of course, no problem.” Though McKagan thought this was a low-rent project, he soon came to see the name Duff everywhere.

But that’s not how “The Simpsons” writers see it. For years, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening called the claim “absurd,” and in the book “Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons,” writer Mike Reiss recalled how the name Duff came to be.

“We needed a name for Homer’s favorite beer, and Jay Kogen came up with Duff. No, it was not named after Duff McKagan, bassist for Guns N’ Roses,” Reiss wrote, and went on to call out McKagan’s version of the story: “It’s a cute and fake story that McKagan tells in his aptly named memoir.”

“The Simpsons” may seem like an overnight success, but it came after a lot of hard work by not just one person, but many unsung heroes. Even 35 years after its premiere, “The Simpsons” just keeps growing, with more legends, gags, and backstories that make Springfield even bigger and more fleshed-out, with new episodes just as good as the golden age of the show. 

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