LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As the animated bumbling patriarch of Fox’s hit TV comedy “The Simpsons,” Homer Simpson has won a Grammy, journeyed to space, been a baseball mascot, bowled a perfect game and nearly destroyed and saved Springfield on more than one occasion.
After 25 years and 552 episodes, Homer and his family are gearing up for Season 26, which kicks off on Sunday with the death of a Springfield resident. It will be followed by the season premiere of Seth MacFarlane’s animated Fox show “Family Guy,” where the Griffins visit the Simpsons in Springfield.
Created by Matt Groening, “The Simpsons” premiered on Fox in 1989 and is the longest-running animated series in the history of U.S. television. It is the world’s most-watched U.S. TV show, syndicated across more than 100 countries with 150 million viewers a week.
The tales of donut-loving Homer, housewife Marge, rebellious Bart, prodigy Lisa and baby Maggie from the fictitious American town of Springfield, have tapped into the shifting American zeitgeist and become embedded in pop culture.
Season 26 will also see Marge delving into the sandwich business, Mr. Burns finding a girlfriend and losing his money to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and Bart exacting revenge on a new teacher. Guest voices will include Musk, Jane Fonda, Nick Offerman and Willem Dafoe.
Ahead of Sunday’s premiere, Homer waxed lyrical with Reuters (through the collective of writers at “The Simpsons”) on family goals, newfound friendships and nuclear energy.
Q: After 552 adventures, what’s next for you and the family?
A: My dream is to put one of my kids (through) college. The other two are on their own.
Q: Any place you’d like to go that you haven’t been yet?
A: I’d just like to go to Brazil one time without everyone trying to kill me.
Q: Which celebrity would you like to come visit Springfield?
A: I would love a visit from the Donut Fairy, if indeed there is such a deity.
Q: I hear you had a recent encounter with the Griffins of “Family Guy.” Is this the beginning of a new friendship?
A: Yes we have great new friends we will never ever see again.
Q: Your kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie have achieved a fair amount of notable moments, from being a member of Mensa to destroying Springfield Elementary and attempted murder. What do you hope they each become in the future?
A: I hope when the boy goes to jail, as he certainly will, it’s for a misdemeanor. I deeply hope and pray Maggie learns how to talk. And Lisa would love to be president. I would love to live in the White House where the chef has to make you pork chops whenever you want!
Q: Just between us, which kid is really your favorite?
A: First you tell me which Fox animated show is your favorite.
Q: If Chief Wiggum held a gun to your head - a frightening prospect given his incompetence - and made you choose between donuts and your kids, what would you do?
A: I wouldn’t worry because he’d forget to load it. By the way, do police chiefs do that where YOU come from?
Q: You’ve spent many years working in Sector 7G of Springfield’s nuclear power plant. What are your thoughts on nuclear energy? Would you eat sushi from Lake Springfield?
A: Nuclear energy has given me a healthy green glow, even at night. I would not eat sushi from anywhere, after nearly being killed by fugu (Japanese blowfish).
Q: I’d love to come have dinner with you and Marge. What are the directions to Springfield again?
A: Turn left at Ogdenville then go 2 miles past Shelbyville.
Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker