D’oh not underestimate Homer

We’ve seen him on television nearly every Sunday since 1987. His five o’clock shadow, beer belly and catchphrase “D’oh” have turned him into an animated celebrity.Homer Jay Simpson has become the TV dad that, despite his downfalls, zany schemes and shortcomings, has shown a love for his family that is missed by some modern animated TV parents.

Of course, animated fathers such as Peter Griffin of Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy,” Stan Smith of “American Dad” (also by MacFarlane) and Hank Hill of Mike Judge’s “King of the Hill,” also face family situations.

But more often than not these shows miss the point that Matt Groening’s creative mind and team of writers managed to nail home.

On occasion, the doting wives in these shows help out, but only Homer has managed to keep showing affection toward his wife and kids – even sacrificing his body and temporary sanity to gain family approval at 742 Evergreen Terrace.

To exemplify his offbeat methods of family care, Homer even registered for divorce during a 1996 episode titled “A Milhouse Divided.”

His logic was that because his and Marge’s shotgun wedding was nothing more than a nuptial at a chapel outside a casino he needed a chance to re-marry his high school sweetheart. Sure, the first wedding was capped off with a cake that said “to a whale of a wife,” but the second wedding showed Homer going the extra mile for someone other than himself.

When it came to looking after his children, he opted to undergo surgery to have a crayon removed from his brain cavity so he would be smarter.

The quick backstory was that when he was a child, he shoved 15 crayons in his head and only sneezed out 14. The damage to his cerebellum made his IQ 40 points lower. The removal operation made Homer’s IQ 115 – high enough to effectively communicate with his daughter Lisa.

The connections he made with Lisa brought wonderful memories, but he knew Lisa’s love was only with the new, intelligent version of himself. However, before he reinserted the crayon and returned to a life of buffoonery, he left Lisa a note saying the times spent with her were some of the finest memories he had ever had. She may have loved the new Homer, but the old Homer was who she came to know as “Dad.”

Countless fist fights and beatings for the sake of his family shows, in a satirical way, a man who goes out of his way to preserve the ties to the loved ones in the household.

Sure, he may have been called a “boob” in three or four episodes and shows signs of alcoholism, but everyone makes stupid mistakes. I am sure most All-American dads have failed miserably at masonry, foundation repair and being in charge of labor unions.

This is the one television family that showed me a parent’s love was not on ABC, TGIF or even on Hallmark. The Simpsons were a family I could watch alongside my parents and know that there are other people out there we could relate to.

My dad may not be an obese nuclear technician, but he is a phenomenal chemical engineer and a hell of a parent.

Associate editor Marcus Murphree is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Beaumont.