Homer's Enemy

"Homer's Enemy" is the twenty-third episode in the eighth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It was first broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on May 4, 1997. The episode's plot centers on the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's hiring a new employee named Frank Grimes. Despite Homer's attempts to befriend him, Grimes is angered and irritated by Homer's laziness and incompetence despite leading a comfortable life. He eventually declares himself Homer's enemy and tries to expose his flaws through public humiliation. Meanwhile, Bart buys a run-down factory for a dollar.

"Homer's Enemy" was directed by Jim Reardon and the script was written by John Swartzwelder, based on an idea pitched by executive producer Bill Oakley. The episode explores the comic possibilities of a realistic character with a strong work ethic hired for a job where he has to work alongside a man like Homer. He was partially modeled after Michael Douglas as he appeared in the film Falling Down. Hank Azaria provided the voice of Frank Grimes, and based some of the character's mannerisms on actor William H. Macy. Frank Welker guest stars as the voice of the Executive Vice President dog.

In its original broadcast on the Fox network, "Homer's Enemy" acquired a 7.7 Nielsen rating. It was viewed in approximately 7.5 million homes, finishing the week ranked 56th. "Homer's Enemy" is considered to be one of the darkest episodes of The Simpsons, and it split critical opinion. It is a favorite of several members of the production staff, including Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein and Matt Groening, but it is one of the least favorites of Mike Reiss. Although Grimes is never shown alive after this episode, he was later named one of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral characters" by IGN. He has since been referenced many times in the show, most notably in the season fourteen episode "The Great Louse Detective", in which his vengeful son plots to kill Homer.

"Homer's Enemy"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 8
Episode 23
Directed byJim Reardon
Written byJohn Swartzwelder
Production code4F19
Original air dateMay 4, 1997[1]
Guest appearance(s)

Frank Welker as Executive Vice President dog

Episode features
Couch gagBart turns lime green when he sits on the couch. Homer fixes the TV, only to make Bart appear red, and Homer slaps Bart on the head to make him appear in his normal way.[2]
CommentaryMatt Groening
Josh Weinstein
Hank Azaria
Jim Reardon

Plot

A new employee, Frank Grimes, who has spent most of his life alone, working hard to make ends meet, is hired at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and put into Sector 7G, where he must work alongside Homer, Lenny and Carl. Grimes is aghast at Homer's laziness and general irresponsibility. When Grimes prevents Homer from drinking a flask of sulfuric acid (Grimes mistakenly refers to it as a "beaker") by slapping it out of his hands and into a wall, a passing Mr. Burns admonishes Grimes for the damage caused and reduces his pay. Grimes angrily declares to Homer that they are now enemies.

At Moe Syzlak's suggestion, Homer invites Grimes to his home for a lobster dinner, hoping to make friends. However, Grimes is only further incensed by Homer's ability to live such a comfortable life despite his slothful and ignorant ways, while he had to work hard every day of his own life and has little to show for it. Declaring Homer a fraud, Grimes leaves in anger.

The next day, Homer, on advice from Marge, tries to earn Grimes's respect by acting as a model employee, but his efforts fail. Grimes rants about Homer to Lenny and Carl, who both insist that despite his faults, Homer is a decent person. To prove Homer's lack of intelligence, Grimes tricks Homer into entering a nuclear power plant design contest intended for kids. However, Grimes's plan backfires as Homer's model, which is identical to the current plant save for two cosmetic modifications, wins the contest. Moreover, Homer's co-workers applaud instead of laughing at him, causing a manic Grimes to run around the plant, mimicking and mocking Homer's habits. Grimes sees a high voltage machine, declares that he does not need safety gloves and grabs the wires, which immediately electrocutes him. At Grimes's funeral, Homer falls asleep and talks in his dream, making all the attendees and Reverend Lovejoy laugh as Grimes's coffin is lowered into the earth.

Meanwhile, Bart buys an abandoned factory for a dollar at a foreclosure auction at the Springfield Town Hall. He and Milhouse spend their days wrecking the building until it collapses one night during Milhouse's watch, at which point the rats inside swarm into Moe's Tavern.

Production

Voice actor Hank Azaria (above) based much of his performance as Frank Grimes on William H. Macy (below).

Hankazaria05
WilliamHMacyTIFFSept2012

"Homer's Enemy" was written by John Swartzwelder, directed by Jim Reardon and executive produced by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. One of the goals of Oakley and Weinstein was to create several episodes in each season that would "push the envelope conceptually."[3] The idea for the episode was first conceived by Bill Oakley, who thought that Homer should have an enemy. The thought evolved into the concept of a "real world" co-worker who would either love or hate Homer. The writers chose the latter as they thought it would have funnier results.[3] The result was the character of Grimes, a man who had to work hard all his life with nothing to show for it and is dismayed and embittered by Homer's success and comfort in spite of his inherent laziness and ignorance.[3]

"Homer's Enemy" explores the comic possibilities of a realistic character with a strong work ethic placed alongside Homer in a work environment. In an essay for the book Leaving Springfield, Robert Sloane describes the episode as "an incisive consideration of The Simpsons's world. Although The Simpsons is known for its self-reflectivity, the show had never looked at (or critiqued) itself as directly as it does in ['Homer's Enemy']."[4] In the episode, Homer is portrayed as an everyman and the embodiment of the American spirit; however, in some scenes his negative characteristics and silliness are prominently highlighted.[3][5] By the close of the episode, Grimes, a hard-working and persevering "real American hero,"[5] is relegated to the role of antagonist; the viewer is intended to be pleased that Homer has emerged victorious.[5] In an interview with Simpsons fan site NoHomers.net, Josh Weinstein said:

We wanted to do an episode where the thinking was "What if a real life, normal person had to enter Homer's universe and deal with him?" I know this episode is controversial and divisive, but I just love it. It really feels like what would happen if a real, somewhat humorless human had to deal with Homer. There was some talk [on NoHomers.net] about the ending—we just did that because [(1)] it's really funny and shocking, (2) we like the lesson of "sometimes, you just can't win"—the whole Frank Grimes episode is a study in frustration and hence Homer has the last laugh and (3) we wanted to show that in real life, being Homer Simpson could be really dangerous and life threatening, as Frank Grimes sadly learned.[6]

The animators and character designers had a lot of discussion about what Frank Grimes should look like. He was originally designed as a "burly ex-marine guy with a crew cut",[7] but would later be modeled after Michael Douglas in the movie Falling Down[3] and director Jim Reardon's college roommate.[7] Hank Azaria provided the voice of Frank Grimes, even though such a role would normally have been performed by a guest star. The producers decided Azaria was more suitable because the role involved a great deal of frustration and required extensive knowledge of the show.[3] Azaria felt that the role should instead go to William H. Macy. According to Azaria, "I based the character on William Macy. I can't really copy him vocally, but I tried to get as close as I could and copy his rhythms and the way he has that sort of seething passion underneath that total calm exterior."[8] The producers worked a lot with Azaria to help him perfect the role, and gave him more guidance than they normally would.[3] Azaria felt that it was the role he worked hardest on, adding "I think it's the one we did the most takes on, the most emotional, it felt like the one I worked on the hardest from a performance point of view, in preparation and in execution."[8]

Josh Weinstein has expressed regret about killing off Grimes after only one episode, describing him as "such an amazing character."[3] In an interview with The Believer, producer George Meyer said, "Grimes's cardinal sin was that he shined a light on Springfield. He pointed out everything that was wrongheaded and idiotic about that world. And the people who do that tend to become martyrs. He said things that needed to be said, but once they were said, we needed to destroy that person. I'll admit, we took a certain sadistic glee in his downfall. He was such a righteous person, and that somehow made his demise more satisfying."[9]

The subplot, where Bart buys a factory, was added so that there would be some lighter scenes to split up the main plot. According to Weinstein, "We wanted to have a Bart or Lisa kids' story to contrast the heaviness and reality of Frank Grimes."[3]

Reception

In its original broadcast on the Fox network, "Homer's Enemy" acquired a 7.7 Nielsen rating. It was viewed in approximately 7.5 million homes, finishing the week ranked 56th.[10] The Simpsons was the sixth highest rated show on Fox the week it was broadcast, behind The X-Files, a broadcast of the film The Mask, Melrose Place, King of the Hill and Beverly Hills, 90210.[11]

The episode divided opinions. Simpsons creator Matt Groening (above) includes it among his favorite episodes, but former executive producer Mike Reiss (below) names it as one of his least favorite.

Matt Groening by Gage Skidmore 2
Mikereiss

According to Josh Weinstein, when the episode was first broadcast, many fans felt it was too dark, lacked humor and that Homer was portrayed as overly bad-mannered.[3] Weinstein considers this episode one of the most controversial of the seasons he ran, as it involves sharp observational humor which he thinks many fans "didn't get."[3] Weinstein also talks about a "generation gap"—he believes the episode was originally panned by viewers, but has since become a favorite among fans who grew up with the show.[3]

Critical opinion of the episode is mixed. Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, authors of I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, described the episode as "one of the series' darkest episodes [that] ends on a real downer but is nevertheless also one of the wittiest and cleverest in ages."[2] In 2007, Vanity Fair called "Homer's Enemy" the seventh best episode of The Simpsons. John Orvted said it was, "the darkest Simpsons episode ever... To see [Grimes] fail, and ultimately be destroyed, once he enters Homer's world is hilarious and satisfying."[12] Comedian Rick Mercer called it a "great episode, and one of the darkest ever produced."[13] Entertainment.ie named it among the 10 greatest Simpsons episodes of all time.[14]

Jon Bonné of MSNBC used "Homer's Enemy" as an example of a bad episode of the eighth season and wrote "even now [in 2000], when subsequent episodes have debased Homer in new and innovative ways, the Grimes episode stands out as painful to watch."[15] In April 2007, former Simpsons executive producer Mike Reiss listed "Homer's Enemy" as one of his two least favorite episodes, stating, "I just think the episode was in bad taste."[16] In August 2014, writing for The Verge, Chris Plante listed "Homer's Enemy" as one of his favorite episodes of The Simpsons and the Grimes' funeral scene as one of the funniest moments in the show, but he cited the latter as the moment the series jumped the shark, because of the impact it "has on the show's character [Homer], and through that character, the world."[17]

Several members of the staff have included the episode among their favorites. In a 2000 Entertainment Weekly article, Matt Groening ranked it as his sixth favorite Simpsons episode.[18] It is a favorite of Josh Weinstein, who cites the scene when Grimes visits the Simpson home as one of his favorite scenes,[3] while The Office creator Ricky Gervais has called it "the most complete episode."[19] In her autobiography My Life as a 10-Year-Old Boy, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart, praises Azaria's performance as Grimes, and uses it as an example of how "Accent, pitch, pacing, range and intention" can allow an actor to voice many characters. She writes,[20]

Sometimes [in voice acting], it isn't even a big change from your regular voice, but the attitude behind it makes all the difference. [...] We were going to have a guest star play Frank Grimes. [...] Hank, at the table-read, just filling in, created such a beautifully crafted character, beautifully psychotic, that no one was used to replace him.

In October 2006, IGN.com released a list of "The Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral characters", in which they ranked Frank Grimes at number 17, making him the least-frequently shown character to appear in that list.[21]

Legacy

Frank Grimes has since been referenced many times in the show, often showing his tombstone, and occasionally mentioning him by name. In the season fourteen episode "The Great Louse Detective", it is revealed that he fathered a son named Frank Grimes Jr., who tries and fails to kill Homer. The footage of Grimes' death is also shown during that episode.[22] In the non-canon season twenty-eight episode "Treehouse of Horror XXVII", the ghost of Frank Grimes joined Sideshow Bob's army of the Simpsons' enemies.[23][24]

During the nuclear power plant design contest, one of the entrants is Ralph Wiggum, whose entry is rejected by Mr. Burns. When Ralph does not leave the stage, Chief Wiggum says "Ralphie, get off the stage, sweetheart." This line was later used as the chorus in the song "Ralph Wiggum" by the Bloodhound Gang.[3] In February 2000, the cast of The Simpsons performed a live reading of the episode script at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.[25]

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Richmond & Coffman 1997, pp. 226–227.
  2. ^ a b Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Homer's Enemy". BBC. Retrieved February 13, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Enemy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ Sloane 2003, p. 149
  5. ^ a b c Turner 2004, pp. 99–106.
  6. ^ "Ask Bill & Josh". NoHomers.net. November 2, 2005. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Reardon, Jim (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Enemy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  8. ^ a b Azaria, Hank (2006). The Simpsons season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Enemy" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  9. ^ "Interview with George Meyer". The Believer. September 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  10. ^ The Associated Press (May 8, 1997). "'Ellen', 'Forrest Gump' boost ABC". South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
  11. ^ "Nielsen Ratings/Sept. 16–22". Long Beach Press-Telegram. The Associated Press. September 25, 1991.
  12. ^ Orvted, John (July 5, 2007). "Springfield's Best". Vanity Fair. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
  13. ^ Caldwell, Rebecca; Shoalts, David (March 1, 2003). "My favourite episode". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ Molumby, Deidre (September 6, 2019). "The 10 greatest 'The Simpsons' episodes of all time". Entertainment.ie. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  15. ^ Bonné, Jon (October 10, 2000). "'The Simpsons' has lost its cool". MSNBC. Retrieved September 19, 2008.
  16. ^ last, James (April 19, 2007). "'Simpson' writer returns to a familiar scene". The Bristol Press.
  17. ^ Plante, Chris (August 22, 2014). "'The Simpsons' jumped the shark in one of its best episodes". The Verge. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  18. ^ "Springfield of Dreams". EW.com. January 14, 2000. Retrieved February 28, 2007.
  19. ^ "Best in D'oh". EW.com. March 31, 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2007.
  20. ^ Cartwright 2000, p. 102
  21. ^ "The Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral characters". IGN.com. October 6, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2007.
  22. ^ "The Great Louse Detective". TheSimpsons.com. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
  23. ^ Snierson, Dan (September 8, 2016). "The Simpsons to resurrect Frank Grimes for 600th episode". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  24. ^ Guilbault, Kristy (September 8, 2016). "The Simpsons to Revive Frank Grimes in Annual Halloween Episode". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  25. ^ Bianculli, David (February 14, 2000). "Laughs rule as 'Simpsons' go live". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 3, 2011.

Bibliography

External links

1997 in animation

Events in 1997 in animation.

Bart Simpson

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip, Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

At ten years old, Bart is the eldest child and only son of Homer and Marge, and the brother of Lisa and Maggie. Bart's most prominent and popular character traits are his mischievousness, rebelliousness and disrespect for authority. He has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons – including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books – and inspired an entire line of merchandise.

In casting, Nancy Cartwright originally planned to audition for the role of Lisa, while Yeardley Smith tried out for Bart. Smith's voice was too high for a boy, so she was given the role of Lisa. Cartwright found that Lisa was not interesting at the time, so instead auditioned for Bart, which she thought was a better role.Hallmarks of the character include his chalkboard gags in the opening sequence; his prank calls to Moe; and his catchphrases "Eat my shorts", "¡Ay, caramba!", "Don't have a cow, man!", and "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?". Although, with the exception of "Ay, caramba!", they have been retired or not often used.

During the first two seasons of The Simpsons, Bart was the show's breakout character and "Bartmania" ensued, spawning Bart Simpson-themed merchandise touting his rebellious attitude and pride at underachieving, which caused many parents and educators to cast him as a bad role model for children. Around the third season, the series started to focus more on the family as a whole, though Bart still remains a prominent character. Time named Bart one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, and he was named "entertainer of the year" in 1990 by Entertainment Weekly. Nancy Cartwright has won several awards for voicing Bart, including a Primetime Emmy Award in 1992 and an Annie Award in 1995. In 2000, Bart, along with the rest of his family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He has appeared in every Simpsons episode except "Four Great Women and a Manicure".

Bill Oakley

William Lloyd Oakley (born February 27, 1966) is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.

Oakley and Weinstein eventually penned a spec script for Seinfeld, after which they wrote "Marge Gets a Job", an episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, the two were hired to write for the show on a permanent basis in 1992. After they wrote episodes such as "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Bart vs. Australia" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", the two were appointed executive producers and showrunners for the seventh and eighth seasons of the show. They attempted to include several emotional episodes focusing on the Simpson family, as well as several high-concept episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Two Bad Neighbors" and "The Principal and the Pauper", winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work.

After they left The Simpsons, Oakley and Weinstein created Mission Hill. The show was plagued by promotional issues and was swiftly canceled. They worked as consulting producers on Futurama, then created The Mullets in 2003. The two wrote several unsuccessful TV pilots, and were due to serve as showrunners on Sit Down, Shut Up in 2009. Oakley left the project over a contract dispute. He has since written for The Cleveland Show and Portlandia, without Weinstein. He also served as co-executive producer and writer on Portlandia, sharing a Writers Guild of America Award with his fellow writers in 2013. In 2018, Oakley reunited with Weinstein as co-executive producer on Disenchantment, Matt Groening's series for Netflix. Oakley is married to fellow writer Rachel Pulido.

Grimes (surname)

Grimes is a surname that is believed to be of a Scandinavian, English, or Irish descent, and may refer to:

Alison Lundergan Grimes (b. 1978), Kentucky Secretary of State

Aoibhinn Grimes (b. 1976), former field hockey forward from Canada

Ashley Grimes (disambiguation), multiple people

Barbara Grimes (d. 1957), teenage American murder victim - see Murder of the Grimes sisters

Brent Grimes (b. 1983), American football player

Bryan Grimes (1828–1880), major general in the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War

Burleigh Grimes (1893–1985), American baseball player

Camryn Grimes (b. 1990), American actress

Charles Grimes (surveyor) (1772–1858), English surveyor

Charles Grimes (rower) (1935–2007), American Olympic rower

Christopher M. Grimes (b. 1948), artist from Bermuda

Connor Grimes (b. 1983), American field hockey player

David Grimes (Alabama politician) (b. c. 1953), American politician

David Robert Grimes, (b. 1985), Irish physicist and cancer researcher

Edward Grimes (b. 1991), one of the twin performers in the duo known as Jedward (along with John Grimes)

Frank Grimes (actor) (b. 1947), Irish actor

Gary Grimes (b. 1955), American actor

Grimes (musician) (b. 1988), stage name of the Canadian musician Claire Elise Boucher

Henry Grimes (b. 1935), American jazz musician

Jack Grimes (disambiguation), multiple people

James W. Grimes (1816–1872), American politician

Jason Grimes (b. 1959), American long jumper

Jesse Grimes (1788–1866), Texas pioneer and politician of Grimes County Texas

John Grimes (disambiguation), multiple people

Joseph Rudolph Grimes (1923–2007), Liberian Secretary of State; Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law founder

Karolyn Grimes (b. 1940), American actress

Louis Arthur Grimes (1883–1948), tenth Chief Justice of Liberia

Ken Grimes (b. 1947), American artist

Mark Grimes, Toronto City Councillor

Mark Grimes, Dublin's most beautiful person 2016

Martha Grimes (b. 1931), American writer of detective fiction

Oscar Grimes, Jr. (1915–1993), utility infielder in Major League Baseball

Patricia Grimes (d. 1957), teenage American murder victim - see Murder of the Grimes sisters

Paul Grimes (criminal) (b. 1950), former Liverpudlian gangster who became and informant in a witness protection program

Paul Grimes (public servant), contemporary senior Australian public servant and former Secretary of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture

Phil Grimes (1929–1989), Irish hurler

Quentin Grimes (born 2000), American basketball player

Ray Grimes, Sr. (1893–1953), first baseman in Major League Baseball

Roger Grimes (b. 1950), Canadian politician

Roy Grimes (1893–1954), second baseman in Major League Baseball

Sarah Grimes, musician in the band September Girls

Scott Grimes (b. 1971), American actor

Shenae Grimes (b. 1989), Canadian-American actress

Steve Grimes, contemporary member of the British band The Farm

Stuart Grimes (b. 1974), former Scottish international rugby player and captain

Tammy Grimes (1934–2016), American actress and singer

Tiny Grimes (1916–1989), American jazz and R&B guitarist

Vic Grimes (b. 1970), American professional wrestler

W. F. Grimes (1905–1988), British archaeologistFictional characters:

Frank Grimes, a character from The Simpsons Season 8 episode "Homer's Enemy"

John Grimes, the hero of a series of science fiction novels by A. Bertram Chandler

John Grimes, in the film Black Hawk Down

Morgan Grimes, major character on the television series Chuck

Muddy and Dallas Grimes, villains of the film Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

Rick Grimes, protagonist in the comic book and television series The Walking Dead

Lori Grimes, his wife

Carl Grimes, their son

Sarah Grimes in Welcome Home (2015 film)

Hank Azaria

Henry Albert Azaria ( ə-ZAIR-ee-ə; born April 25, 1964) is an American actor, voice actor, singer, comedian and producer. He is known for his voice characterizations as a variety of characters in the animated sitcom The Simpsons (1989–present), which has included Moe Szyslak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Carl Carlson and others. After attending Tufts University, he joined the series with little voice acting experience, but became a regular in its second season, with many of his performances on the show being based on famous actors and characters.

In addition to his work on The Simpsons, Azaria became more widely known for his live-action appearances in feature films such as The Birdcage (1996), Godzilla (1998), Mystery Men (1999), America's Sweethearts (2001), Shattered Glass (2003), Along Came Polly (2004), Run Fatboy Run (2007), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and The Smurfs (2011). Since 2017, he has starred as the titular character in Brockmire.

Azaria had recurring roles on the television series Mad About You and Friends, as the titular character in the drama Huff (2004–2006) and appeared in the popular stage musical Spamalot. Originally known as a comedic actor, he has also taken on more dramatic roles, including the TV films Tuesdays With Morrie (1999) and Uprising (2001). He has won six Emmys and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He was married to actress Helen Hunt from 1999 to 2000 and has been married to actress Katie Wright since 2007.

Homer Simpson

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

As patriarch of the eponymous family, Homer and his wife Marge have three children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. As the family's provider, he works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant as safety inspector. Homer embodies many American working class stereotypes: he is crude, obese, incompetent, lazy, clumsy, dim-witted, hot-tempered, childish and addicted to beer, junk food and watching television. However, he often tries his hardest to be a decent man and is fiercely devoted to his family, especially when they need him the most. Despite the suburban blue-collar routine of his life, he has had a number of remarkable experiences, including going to space, climbing the tallest mountain in Springfield by himself, fighting former President George H. W. Bush and winning a Grammy Award as a member of a barbershop quartet.

In the shorts and earlier episodes, Castellaneta voiced Homer with a loose impression of Walter Matthau; however, during the second and third seasons of the half-hour show, Homer's voice evolved to become more robust, to allow the expression of a fuller range of emotions. He has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons—including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books—and inspired an entire line of merchandise. His signature catchphrase, the annoyed grunt "D'oh!", has been included in The New Oxford Dictionary of English since 1998 and the Oxford English Dictionary since 2001.

Homer is one of the most influential characters in the history of television, and is widely considered to be an American cultural icon. The British newspaper The Sunday Times described him as "The greatest comic creation of [modern] time". He was named the greatest character "of the last 20 years" in 2010 by Entertainment Weekly, was ranked the second-greatest cartoon character by TV Guide, behind Bugs Bunny, and was voted the greatest television character of all time by Channel 4 viewers. For voicing Homer, Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and a special-achievement Annie Award. In 2000, Homer and his family were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In Marge We Trust

"In Marge We Trust" is the twenty-second episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 27, 1997. It was written by Donick Cary and directed by Steven Dean Moore. The episode guest stars Sab Shimono as Mr. Sparkle, Gedde Watanabe as the factory worker, Denice Kumagai and Karen Maruyama as dancers, and Frank Welker as the baboons. In the episode, Marge replaces Reverend Lovejoy as the town's moral adviser while Homer explores the mystery of why his face appears on a Japanese-language detergent box.

Jim Reardon

Jim Reardon (born 1965) is an American animation director and storyboard consultant best known for his work on the animated TV series The Simpsons. He has directed over 30 episodes of the series and was credited as a supervising director for seasons 9 through 15. Reardon attended the Character Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts in 1982, where one of his student projects, the satirical cartoon Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown (1986), has become a cult classic through the likes of YouTube. He was hired by John Kricfalusi as a writer on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures and later worked on Tiny Toon Adventures. He has been described by Ralph Bakshi as "one of the best cartoon writers in the business".Reardon supervised the storyboard department and co-wrote the Pixar film WALL-E with Andrew Stanton, which was released on June 27, 2008. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for WALL-E at the 81st Academy Awards.

John Swartzwelder

John Joseph Swartzwelder Jr. (born February 8, 1949) is an American comedy writer and novelist, best known for his work on the animated television series The Simpsons. Born in Seattle, Washington, Swartzwelder began his career working in advertising. He was later hired to work on comedy series Saturday Night Live in the mid-1980s as a writer. He later contributed to fellow writer George Meyer's short-lived Army Man magazine, which led him to join the original writing team of The Simpsons, beginning in 1989.

He worked on The Simpsons as a writer and producer until 2003, and later contributed to The Simpsons Movie. He is credited with writing the largest number of Simpsons episodes (59 full episodes, with contributions to several others) by a large margin. After his retirement from the show, he began a career as a writer of self-published absurdist novels. He has written more than eleven novels, the most recent of which, The Squirrel Who Saved Practically Everybody, was published in 2019.

Swartzwelder is revered among comedy fans; his colleagues have called him among the best comedy writers. He is famously averse to press.

Josh Weinstein

Josh Weinstein (born May 5, 1966) is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Weinstein and Bill Oakley became best friends and writing partners at St. Albans High School; Weinstein then attended Stanford University and was editor-in-chief of the Stanford Chaparral. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.

Weinstein and Oakley eventually penned a spec script for Seinfeld, after which they wrote "Marge Gets a Job", an episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, the two were hired to write for the show on a permanent basis in 1992. After they wrote episodes such as "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Bart vs. Australia" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", the two were appointed executive producers and showrunners for the seventh and eighth seasons of the show. They attempted to include several emotional episodes focusing on the Simpson family, as well as several high-concept episodes such as "Homer's Enemy", "Two Bad Neighbors" and "The Principal and the Pauper", winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work.

After they left The Simpsons, Oakley and Weinstein created Mission Hill. The show was plagued by promotional issues and was swiftly canceled, but in subsequent years has gone on to develop a cult following. They worked as consulting producers on Futurama, then created The Mullets in 2003. The two wrote several unsuccessful TV pilots, and were due to serve as showrunners on Sit Down, Shut Up in 2009. Oakley left the project over a contract dispute, but Weinstein remained until it was canceled. He co-produced and wrote for Futurama again during its Comedy Central revival, winning an Emmy in 2011. Since 2013, Weinstein has served as showrunner for the CBBC series Strange Hill High, and in 2015, Danger Mouse. He has also served as a writer for Season Two of Gravity Falls, co-writing nine of the season's episodes. In 2018, Weinstein co-developed the Netflix animated series Disenchantment with creator Matt Groening, of which he and Oakley are currently serving as co-showrunners. Weinstein is married to journalist Lisa Simmons.

Media in The Simpsons

Media is a recurring theme of satire on The Simpsons. The show is known for its satire of American popular culture and especially television culture, but has since its inception covered all types of media such as animation, journalism, commercials, comic books, movies, internet, and music. The series centers on a family and their life in a typical American town but the town of Springfield acts as a complete universe. The town features a vast array of media channels—from kids' television programming to local news, which enables the producers to make jokes about themselves and the entertainment industry.

Most of The Simpsons media satire focuses on television. This is mainly done through three characters: Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Bob, and until 1998 Troy McClure. The Itchy & Scratchy Show is a show within a show, used as a satire of animation and in some cases The Simpsons itself. Topics include censorship, plagiarism, unoriginal writing, live-action clip shows and documentaries. Kent Brockman, Springfield's principal news presenter illustrates the glibness, amplification, and sensationalism of broadcast journalism. His tabloidization methods include making people look guilty without trial, and invasion of privacy by setting up camp outside people's homes.

Nixon's Enemies List

"Nixon's Enemies List" is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon's major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell (assistant to Colson, special counsel to the White House), and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971. The list was part of a campaign officially known as "Opponents List" and "Political Enemies Project".

The list became public knowledge on June 27, 1973, when Dean mentioned during hearings with the Senate Watergate Committee that a list existed containing those whom the president did not like. Journalist Daniel Schorr, who happened to be on the list, managed to obtain a copy of it later that day.A longer second list was made public by Dean on December 20, 1973, during a hearing with the Congressional Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation.

Pure Luck

Pure Luck is a 1991 American comedy film starring Martin Short and Danny Glover. It is remake of the popular French comedy film La Chèvre (1981).

The Great Louse Detective

"The Great Louse Detective" is the sixth episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 15, 2002. In the episode, the Simpson family wins a free spa weekend, and Homer is nearly killed when a mysterious figure locks him in a sauna. Chief Wiggum decides to hire someone who can think like a murderer in order to find the mystery assailant. Bart's mortal enemy Sideshow Bob is sent to live with the Simpsons so he can help find Homer's attempted killer, who turns out to be the son of a man whom Homer drove to insanity. Since airing, the episode has received generally positive reviews from critics, though it has been cited as not being as good as some other Sideshow Bob episodes. The episode's title is a parody of the 1986 Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective.

The Simpsons (season 8)

The Simpsons' eighth season originally aired on the Fox network between October 27, 1996, and May 18, 1997, beginning with "Treehouse of Horror VII". The showrunners for the eighth production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein. The aired season contained two episodes that were hold-over episodes from season seven, which Oakley and Weinstein also ran. It also contained two episodes for which Al Jean and Mike Reiss were the show runners.

Season eight received critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including two Emmy Awards: "Homer's Phobia" won for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour or Less) in 1997, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics" with the song "We Put the Spring in Springfield" from the episode "Bart After Dark". Clausen also received an Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Music Direction" for "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious". "Brother from Another Series" was nominated for the Emmy for "Sound Mixing For a Comedy Series or a Special". For "Homer's Phobia", Mike Anderson won the Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Directing in a TV Production, and the WAC Winner Best Director for Primetime Series at the 1998 World Animation Celebration. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awarded the episode the GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding TV – Individual Episode".The DVD box set was released in Region 1 on August 15, 2006, Region 2 on October 2, 2006, and Region 4 on September 27, 2006. The set was released in two different forms: a Maggie-shaped head to match the Homer and Marge shaped heads of the previous two sets and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the seventh season box set, both versions are available for sale separately.

Two Bad Neighbors

"Two Bad Neighbors" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 14, 1996. In the episode, George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, voiced in the episode by Harry Shearer, moves into the house across the street from the Simpson family.

The episode was written by Ken Keeler and directed by Wes Archer. It was inspired by the animosity towards the show by the Bushes from earlier in the series' run. It features cultural references to the 1959 television series Dennis the Menace and Cheap Trick's 1979 song "Dream Police". Since airing, the episode has received positive reviews from television critics, and Vanity Fair named it the fifth best episode of the show. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 9.9, and was the second highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

Waylon Smithers

Waylon Joseph Smithers Jr., usually referred to as Mr. Smithers or simply Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although his voice could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the consummate executive and personal assistant of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's owner Mr. Burns.

Smithers' loyalty and devotion to Mr. Burns was inspired from how numerous Fox executives and staff members acted towards Barry Diller. The idea for Smithers' ambiguous sexual orientation came from Sam Simon, who proposed that Smithers should be gay, but little attention should be drawn to it. Smithers' first name (Waylon) was derived from that of puppeteer Wayland Flowers.Smithers was colorized in his first appearance as black with blue hair. Matt Groening, in an interview with TMZ, said that this was a mistake but the producers didn't have enough money to correct it.Smithers is the loyal, obedient and sycophantic assistant to Mr. Burns, and the relationship between the two is a frequent running gag on The Simpsons. In many ways, Smithers represents the stereotype of a closeted gay man, and numerous overt allusions and double entendres concerning his homosexuality are made, though some of the show's producers instead interpret him as a "Burns-sexual". In the season 27 (2016) episode "The Burns Cage", he came out as gay.

Whiskey Business

"Whiskey Business" is the nineteenth episode of the 24th season of The Simpsons and the 527th episode overall, its name being a portmanteau of whiskey and Risky Business. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 5, 2013. In its original airing, "Whiskey Business" was delayed 25 minutes in Eastern/Central Time Zones due to the end of a NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway which was delayed more than 3​1⁄2 hours due to rain.

Season 8
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