Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and father of the eponymous family. 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 Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father Homer Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
Homer is the boorish father of the Simpson family. With his wife, Marge, he has three children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. As the family's provider, he works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Homer embodies several American working class stereotypes: he is crude, overweight, incompetent, clumsy, lazy and ignorant; however, he is also fiercely devoted to his family. Despite the suburban blue-collar routine of his life, he has had a number of remarkable experiences.
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 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 fictional characters on television, having been described by the British newspaper The Sunday Times as "the greatest comic creation of [modern] time". He was ranked the second greatest cartoon character by TV Guide and was voted the greatest television character of all-time by Channel 4 viewers. Castellaneta has earned three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and a special achievement Annie Award for voicing Homer. In 2000, Homer, along with the rest of his family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Simpsons uses a floating timeline in which the characters do not physically age, and as such the show is generally assumed to be set in the current year. In several episodes, events have been linked to specific time periods, although this timeline has been contradicted in subsequent episodes. Homer Simpson is the bumbling husband of Marge and father of Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson. He was raised by his parents, Mona and Abraham Simpson; in the episode "Mother Simpson", (season seven, 1995) it is revealed that Mona went into hiding in the mid-1960s following a run-in with the law. Homer attended Springfield High School, and in his final year fell in love with Marge Bouvier. Marge later discovered she was pregnant with Bart, and the two were married in a small wedding chapel across the state line. Subsequently, Homer was hired to work at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Bart was born soon after, and the couple bought their first house. The episode "That 90's Show" (season 19, 2008) contradicted much of the established backstory; for example, it was revealed that Homer and Marge were childless in the early 1990s although past episodes had suggested Bart and Lisa were born in the 1980s.
Homer's age has increased as the series developed; he was 36 in the early episodes, 38 and 39 in season eight, and 40 in the eighteenth season, although even in those seasons his age is inconsistent. During Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein's period as showrunners, they found that as they aged, Homer seemed to become older too, so they increased his age to 38.
Homer has held many different jobs, over 188 in the first 400 episodes. In most episodes, he works as the Nuclear Safety Inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position he has held since "Homer's Odyssey", the third episode of the series. At the plant, Homer is often ignored and completely forgotten by his boss Mr. Burns, and constantly falls asleep and neglects his duties. Matt Groening has stated that he decided to have Homer work at the power plant because of the potential for Homer to create havoc. The rest of his jobs have lasted only one episode. In the first half of the series, the writers developed an explanation of how he got fired from the plant and then rehired in every episode; in later episodes he often began a new job on impulse, without any mention of his regular employment.
One of the very few aspects of The Simpsons which has managed to stay consistently funny. Homer is more or less a composite of Warner Brothers cartoons because he's the most slapstick-based, non-sequiter character from the show, which these days makes him about the only character still worth watching.
Everyone knows Homer Simpson. If I have to tell you about who he is you obviously weren't much of a Simpsons fan. I had to write a huge review explaining why Lisa is such a great asset to the show. I don't really have to do that for Homer. He has had an array of personalities. He's the main character of the series and often gets the most episodes (though in certain seasons Bart has been known to garner the most). … more