It has to be one of the most recognizable catch phrases on television today. that is of course Homer Simpsons D’oh! It’s use has transcended most of modern day pop culture, and is often used as an expression of frustration or annoyance. But have you ever put much thought into where the Homer Simpson D’oh origin came from? I mean, it wasn’t exactly a common word when the popular cartoon series first aired several decades ago.
Here’s the thing. The D’oh has been used in entertainment before, and by a relatively famous star. Homer Simpson’s D’oh grunt was actually inspired from Jimmy Finlayson from the Laurel and Hardy movies. Dan Castellaneta, who provides the voice for Homer, has revealed that it was Finlayson’s extended D’ooooooh that was the inspiration for Homer’s famous grunt. But you will notice that Finlayson’s version is spelled much longer than Homers one, and for good reason. His was a much longer, drawn out expression. So why was it shortened by Castellaneta?
The decision wasn’t Castellaneta’s. The Simpson’s creator, Matt Groening, thought that a shorter D’oh made for better pacing, which on reflection, and viewing experience proves was and is correct. The short and quick expression of frustration fits perfectly for the famous yellow character.
What’s also surprising about the Homer Simpson D’oh origin is what was initially in the script. It basically wasn’t. A careful and avid fan of the show will notice that most characters will provide an annoyed grunt or groan. Every single other character mumbles under their breath just like normal people do when annoyed or frustrated with something. That’s what was initially written into the script for Homer, “annoyed grunt.” Like a real pro,Castellaneta improvised and decided to throw a D’oh in, and it has since become a trademark calling.
Would we accept anything less?