Homer Simpson's Outsized Impact on American Life

Introducing the greatest character of the last 20 years

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For its 20th anniversary, Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of the 100 greatest characters of the past 20 years. The eclectic collection includes the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Roseanne Barr, Ron Burgundy, and Rachel from Friends. The top spot in survey results went to America's favorite nuclear power plant worker from sector 7-G: Homer Simpson. Here is EW's top 10 list followed by praise for Homer and the Simpsons franchise:
  • He's the Quintessential Everyman, writes Robert Paul Reyes at News Blaze: "Homer frequently chokes Bart almost to death, he can't understand his precocious daughter Lisa, he ignores his baby Maggie, and he doesn't appreciate his long-suffering wife. But when the chips are on the line, Homer will do anything to protect his family. Homer ain't no Bill Cosby kind of dad, he's a dysfunctional human being who represents all of us. In spite of his many imperfections Homer's family loves him. They can tolerate his marble-sized brain, because of his big heart. I may never achieve the heroic accomplishments of some of the famous characters of film, TV, and literature. But if at the end of the day my friends and family love me for who I am, I'll be just fine."
  • A No-Brainer, writes the B2C Marketing Insider: "This should come as no surprise as since The Simpsons debuted on Fox in 1989, the show has generated over $2.5 billion in revenue making it one of the top TV brands of all-time. The Simpsons has been merchandized on everything from clothing to video games to even toothpaste yet their popularity has not suffered from overexposure. Not only has The Simpsons been entertaining fans for over 20 years but it has also changed our culture. In 2001, 'Doh' which was made famous by Homer Simpson, was added to the dictionary. In 2007, the Simpsons clan made their big screen debut with 'The Simpsons Movie', which drew in over $527 million in box office receipts worldwide. In 2008, Universal Studios Theme Parks opened a new 3D attraction based on the loveable family from Springfield."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.