The No Homers Club is a website and community devoted to the television show The Simpsons. Founded in 2001, the website contains many features typical to Simpsons fan sites, including an episode guide, games, and images. However, its primary draw is its message board, which currently has over 46,000 members and 3.2 million posts.
The community has been mentioned on numerous DVD and Blu-ray audio episode commentaries and other media by multiple members of the The Simpsons staff, including creator Matt Groening and current show runner Al Jean. The site has also held several Q&As with staff members of the show and Bongo Comics. Praised by the show's staff and by multiple online and in-print publications, the community is known by fans of the series as the most popular web-based Simpsons forum of all time.
Following the success of the World Wide Web, popular Usenet newsgroups such as alt.tv.simpsons were steadily declining in activity during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Due to the lack of an active forum to intelligently discuss the series, the No Homers Club forum (aka the NHC was created in August 2001 by Eric Wirtanen, Jonah Flynn, and Tino Persico. It was originally a part of the "Evergreen Terrace" Simpsons fan site, which was online from February 1998 to August 2002. After a 2002 cease and desist order from 20th Century Fox resulted in the demise of this website, the No Homers Club became mostly independent, developed a large community, and took the NoHomers.net domain. The community's members have been considered to be some of the most devoted fans of the show. After a brief stint as a general discussion message board, in August 2011 the NHC re-dedicated itself to The Simpsons. NoHomers.net's off topic community subsequently divided from the NHC and moved to BoardsandRec.com. A large contributing factor to the general discussion community's move from the NHC was the division in opinion on the quality of the show as well as a shift in interest away from The Simpsons as noted by the website's co-owner Jacob Burch, whose administrative team began to allow "the more passionate fans moderate the chats about current episodes."
As of 2013, the message board runs on the vBulletin 4.20 platform. The current administrators of the NHC include Amber Dowland, James Tyner, Ryan O'Reilly, Adam Jameson, and Stephen Schrider, in addition to co-owners Wirtanen and Burch.
Simpsons Episode Reviews
The NHC lets users critique individual episodes of The Simpsons. Users can rate, review, and discuss each episode. Criticism ranges from the harsh to the approving. One constant debate concerns the difference in quality between old and new episodes. The rating system, which includes top 100 Simpsons episode lists, is arguably the fan site's most well-known feature.
Simpsons Staff Involvement
The staff of The Simpsons, including creator Matt Groening and current show runner Al Jean, has acknowledged the community several times on some of the DVD and Blu-ray audio commentaries. Groening and David Mirkin, a former show runner, discuss the website for over a minute in the episode commentary for "Homer the Great," with Groening stating that he loves the fan site since "the people who write for it obviously care." The producers of The Simpsons do read the website often. On the aforementioned commentary, Mirkin joked that it should be renamed "the worst show ever weekly" forum. On one of the DVD commentaries, Mike Scully sarcastically refers to himself as an "idol of NoHomers.net," a reference to the fact that many fans on the website blame Scully for the show's decline in quality. In addition, in the DVD commentary for The Simpsons Movie during a conversation regarding how die-hard fans of the series would be upset about Moe's Tavern being located adjacent to the First Church of Springfield in the film, Jean remarked "This is for you, No Homers."
Groening also mentioned the website in the June 2007 issue of Playboy Magazine, stating that NoHomers.net "has the most vocal fans [of The Simpsons]. They often act like spurned lovers if they don't like something."
The staff of the show has also been in direct contact with some site administrators. Jean once posted a message to fans about some comments voice actor Harry Shearer had made about the show. Moreover, the website has hosted question-and-answer sessions with three former executive producers. In early 2002, Al Jean answered questions for fans, and in late 2005, Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein answered questions in the first of two moderated sessions, coinciding with the release of the seventh season on DVD. They also took questions in January 2006 for the commentaries for the eighth season on DVD, which they would be soon recording. Both Oakley and Weinstein have also occasionally contributed to other threads on the forum.
In addition, other staff such as show animators Jen Kamerman and Sarge Morton, former layout artist Mark Colangelo, and Bongo Comics writers/artists Bill Morrison, Ian Boothby, Chris Ungar, Gail Simone, and Jesse McCann have dropped by the site to interact with users and answer any questions about some of the less-frequently addressed aspects of the show. McCann took part in a Q&A session in late 2006 and early 2007, and in 2012 Colangelo identified scenes he had worked on.
In the Simpsons episode, "Sleeping with the Enemy", from the show's sixteenth season, director Lauren MacMullan confirmed that the staff added a sign in the bowling alley to pay homage to the website. The sign said "N.H.C. Champs! 15 Seasons" and can be seen for about a second.
Origin of No Homers Club
The website took its title from an episode of The Simpsons, "Homer the Great", written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Jim Reardon. In the episode, Homer laments that years ago his peers started a "No Homers Club" and excluded him from the group, even though they let in a boy by the name of Homer Glumplich. (This is explained by the fact that it's the No Homers (plural) Club, and they're "allowed to have one.")
Boy: Hey Billy! Hey Joey! Come on in. There's plenty of room. Sorry, not you, Homer.
Homer: Why not!?
- [boy points to sign, "No Homers Club"]
Homer: But you let in Homer Glumplich!
Homer Glumplich: [pops head out window] Hyuck hyuck!
Boy: It says no Homers. We're allowed to have one.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Castellaneta, Dan; Groening, Matt; Mirkin, David; Smith, Yeardley (2005). The Simpsons Season 6 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer the Great" (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox. "Homer the Great" DVD Audio Commentary
- ↑ 25 Essential Fansites. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Has Your Local 7-11 Become a Kwik-E-Mart??. Rotten Tomatoes (July 3, 2007). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Ortved, John (2010). The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History. Faber & Faber. Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ The Simpsons Archive: About the Archive. The Simpsons Archive (October 15, 2013). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History.
- ↑ R.I.P Usenet: 1980-2008. PCMag.com (July 31, 2008). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Locals look into doggie door of our souls: 'The Simpsons'. U-T San Diego (July 27, 2007). Retrieved on November 29, 2013.
- ↑ Is it time for 'The Simpsons' to 'g'oh'?. CNN.com (December 14, 2009). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ What Is Zombie Simpsons?. Dead Homer Society. Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ The Simpsons: Springfield's Best. Vanity Fair (July 5, 2007). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Oakley, Bill; Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons Season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror VII" (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox. "Treehouse of Horror VII" DVD Audio Commentary
- ↑ Groening, Bill; Oakley, Bill; Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons Season 8 DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Enemy" (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox. "Homer's Enemy" DVD Audio Commentary
- ↑ The Simpsons Archive: The Springfield Times - News Archive. The Simpsons Archive (August 12, 2007). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Scully, Mike (2007). The Simpsons Season 10 DVD commentary for the episode "When You Dish Upon A Star" (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Jean, Al (2007). The Simpsons Movie DVD and Blu-ray commentary (DVD and Blu-ray). 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ NoHomers Rises for Battle - The Playboy Blog. Playboy (May 17, 2007). Retrieved on November 28, 2013.
- ↑ Sheff, David (2007, June). The Playboy Interview - Matt Groening. Playboy p. 60.
- ↑ "Homer the Great". Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
- No Homers Club
- No Homers Club - "A Message from Al Jean Regarding Harry Shearer"
- No Homers Club - "Rate & Review: "Sleeping With the Enemy" (FABF19)"
- No Homers Club - "Ask Bill and Josh Q&A Thread"
- No Homers Club - "Ask Bill and Josh 2 Q&A Thread"
- No Homers Club - "Jesse McCann Q&A"
- No Homers Club - "Former Simpsons artist identifies his scenes"
- No Homers Club - "NHC Interview #3 - Bill Oakley"