September 4, 2014

Homer Simpson is Thomas Pynchon’s role model


Thomas Pynchon would like to give you his autograph.

Thomas Pynchon would like to give you his autograph.

Though not known for making public appearances, Thomas Pynchon is not necessarily reclusive—he lives in New York City, not New Hampshire, after all. In 2004, the author made not one but two appearances as himself on the greatest television show of all time, The Simpsons. Pynchon poked fun at himself in both—he wears a bag over his head in both episodes and in “Diatribe of a Mad Housewife” he shouts at passing motorists, saying “Hey, over here, have your picture taken with a reclusive author! Today only, we’ll throw in a free autograph. But, wait! There’s more!”

Pynchon, apparently a fan of the show, also apparently contributed to at least one of the episodes, “All’s Fair in Oven War.” Shortly before FXX’s 512 episode Simpsons marathon came to an end, Matt Selman, one of the show’s Executive Producers, posted notes Thomas Pynchon made on the episode’s script on Twitter: Pynchon added Pynchon-y puns like “The Frying of Latke 49” and, perhaps most notably, refused to poke fun at Homer’s weight, writing “Sorry, guys. Homer’s my role model and I refuse to speak ill of him.” The full page is posted below.



Alex Shephard is the director of digital media for Melville House, and a former bookseller.