Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and father of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father Homer Groening. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.
Homer is the boorish father of the Simpson family. With his wife, Marge, he has three children: Bart, Lisa and Maggie. As the family's provider, he works at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Homer embodies several American working class stereotypes: he is crude, overweight, incompetent, clumsy, and lazy; however, he is also fiercely devoted to his family. Despite the suburban blue-collar routine of his life, he has had a number of remarkable experiences.
In the shorts and earlier episodes, Castellaneta voiced Homer with a loose impression of Walter Matthau; however, during the second and third seasons of the half-hour show, Homer's voice evolved to become more robust, to allow the expression of a fuller range of emotions. He has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons – including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials and comic books – and inspired an entire line of merchandise. His catchphrase, the annoyed grunt "d'oh!", has been included in The New Oxford Dictionary of English since 1998 and the Oxford English Dictionary since 2001.
Homer is one of the most influential fictional characters on television, having been described by the British newspaper The Sunday Times as "the greatest comic creation of [modern] time". He was ranked the second greatest cartoon character by TV Guide and was voted the greatest television character of all-time by Channel 4 viewers. Castellaneta has earned three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and a special achievement Annie Award for voicing Homer. In 2000, Homer, along with the rest of his family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.