Homer to the Max
| "Homer to the Max"
| Episode Information
"Homer to the Max" is the thirteenth episode of season 10 of The Simpsons and the two-hundred and sixteenth episode overall. It originally aired on February 7, 1999. The episode was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Pete Michels. It guest stars Ed Begley, Jr. as himself.
- "When the new television show, Police Cops, premiers with a savvy character holding Homer's full name, the real-life Homer enjoys mock-stardom en masse. But when the show is retooled to give the character a Gomer Pyle-like facade, Homer changes his name to Max Power to escape the laughing and taunts of fellow townspeople."
The Simpson family surfs through new Midseason TV shows, such as "America's Funniest Tornadoes", "All in the Family 1999", "Admiral Baby", notice that they are all pretty awful, and finally decide to settle on "Police Cops". The show has a suave detective and his partner, who manage to knock off all the villains, without breaking a sweat. Homer finds the show very interesting and gets even more interested when he finds that the suave detective (who gets the girls and is rich as a king, including his own castle) is named... Homer Simpson.
Homer is excited knowing that a cool guy (on TV) is named "like his name" and that his "personality has been captured perfectly". Marge and Lisa tell him that it is just a coincidence that they share the same name, but Homer is not convinced. That night, he gets many congratulatory phone calls from people, including one from the Homecoming Queen at his high school (although Marge forbids him from dating her). He starts wearing a scarf like his namesake does on TV, occasionally tossing it back over his shoulder, and adopting his "That's the end of that chapter" catchphrase. Carl even asks Homer for his autograph, although he only gets his own name written on a piece of paper.
At Moe's, the barflies get ready to watch the new episode of "Police Cops". The episode now features Homer Simpson as a fat, bumbling, Chris Farley-esque detective, who destroys the Police Chief's insulin, mistaking it for drugs. Detective Homer's new catchphrase is "Uh Oh Spaghetti-O". Homer is mortified to see that his namesake is now no longer handsome and cool, however, the barflies are enjoying every moment of it and poke fun at Homer, asking him to do something dumb. Homer unwittingly and unwillingly obliges, as he throws back his scarf over his shoulder right into the blades of the overhead fan and gets whirled around the room, much to the amusement of the onlookers. He is thrown outside and is hit by a car. Moe laughs at his pain wittingly.
Homer dejectedly wonders why the character was changed. Lisa tells him that the first episode was just a pilot, which the producers have fiddled with and changed (possibly to increase the show's ratings). At work, all his colleagues prepare to watch him do something stupid and he does not disappoint, by spilling a fondue pot all over the control panel, shorting out the circuitry, and blacking out Albany. At the mall, people laugh at him and tease him as he walks by, even Wiggum (who's cleaning out his ears with his gun). To escape from all the humiliation, he tries hiding in the attic.
Later, he makes an impassioned plea to the producers of "Police Cops" to change the character's personality or his name. After getting a satisfactory response, he steps into a cactus on his way out. The next episode has "Homer Simpson" making the same impassioned plea to the Chief (while hanging from a flagpole). It ends with him dropping down crotch-first into a cactus. Homer tries to sue the producers, but the case is immediately dismissed. So, as a back-up plan, Homer decides to change his name. After reading through a list of ridiculous names Homer gave him, including "Rembrandt Q. Einstein", "Handsome B. Wonderful", and "Hercules Rockefeller", the judge allows him to change his name to "Max Power" (which Homer got off a hair dryer and was the only name he spelled correctly). The family is surprised to learn of his name-change, but "Max" starts speaking of his new personality — dynamic, decisive, uncompromising and rude.
At work, Mr. Burns is impressed by the name and compliments Max, who decides to shop at Costingtons to further improve his image. There, he meets Trent Steel and after a small chat, they go out to lunch, where Trent invites Max and family to a garden party. Despite Marge's reservations, the two of them go to the party, where they meet a lot of famous people, like Woody Harrelson (who wears pants made entirely out of hemp), Bill Clinton (who attempts to seduce Marge), Lorne Michaels (whom the Simpsons pointedly ignore), and Ed Begley, Jr.. Lindsey Naegle also makes an appearance here, albeit with red colored hair. Max finds out that the garden party is nothing more than an excuse to save a redwood forest from wanton destruction, much to Max's horror (who then develops qualms about being a Srpingfield big shot). All the guests (pushing a reluctant Max and Marge) board a "protest bus" and leave for the forest; Ed Begley Jr. however outraces them in a vehicle powered by his own "sense of self-satisfaction."
In the forest, Max, Marge, and the rest of the party-goers are chained to trees, to prevent the bulldozers from going to work on them. Chief Wiggum arrives and decides to get rough with this bunch of tree-huggers. The cops start chasing Max around his tree, trying to "swab" him with mace. However, as he runs round and round the tree, the chain around him starts cutting into the tree and finally, the huge redwood falls, knocking down the other redwoods. Max, happy at being free, tosses his chain in the air, knocking a bald eagle out of the sky.
After the dust clears up, Springfield's elite angrily ditch Mr. Power and his wife. That night at home, Marge is happy that Max has changed his name back to Homer Simpson. However, he informs Marge that, while at the courthouse, he changed her name to "Chesty La Rue". If she does not like it, she can change it to "Busty St. Claire" or "Hootie McBoob".