Culture Magazine

Homer Simpson Stars in…The Day Of The Locust?

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

Man, movie trailers in the 1970s were all kinds of horrible.

They were cheesy, too long, and with terrible music.

Take a look at this official trailer for The Day of the Locust (released in 1975):

Overacting. Melodramatic music. Over-the-top EVERYTHING.

And, yes, that’s right…Donald Sutherland stars as “Homer Simpson.”

When Matt Groening was asked where he got the name Homer Simpson from for The Simpsons, he indeed said this character was the inspiration.

Here’s what Groening said in an interview with The Smithsonian:

Back in high school I wrote a novel about a character named Bart Simpson. I thought it was a very unusual name for a kid at the time. I had this idea of an angry father yelling “Bart,” and Bart sounds kind of like bark—like a barking dog. I thought it would sound funny. In my novel, Bart was the son of Homer Simpson. I took that name from a minor character in the novel The Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West. Since Homer was my father’s name, and I thought Simpson was a funny name in that it had the word “simp” in it, which is short for “simpleton”—I just went with it.

That’s it.

I couldn’t find much else about Groening’s reasoning in naming the character. The Homer Simpson in The Day of the Locust and the Homer Simpson in The Simpsons have little in common. So maybe he really did just like the name.

Just another little factoid about one of these books that you probably didn’t care to know, but I find it interesting.


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