Malibu Seen

Tom Arnold gets down with his Homie at the Wonderful World of Art Gallery in Culver City. Photo by WireImage


Sure, there are lots of A-list affairs offering Dom Perignon and smoked salmon canapés, but when was the last time you hit a bash where they were dishing out d’oh nuts and downing Duff Beer?

Fans of TV’s first family of dysfunction were happier than Ned Flanders on Easter Sunday when a little piece of Springfield came to Culver City. That’s where the Wonderful World of Art Gallery hosted a Simpsons-themed shindig called “Get Inked with Homer.”

We found famous fans like Tom Arnold, Fred Willard and Joe Mantegna making the rounds checking out animation art and Simpsons memorabilia. And just who is Tom’s favorite character? Due to the actor’s spiky do, I was betting on Bart. But my instincts in this instance proved wrong. “Oh it’s definitely Homer,” TA told Malibu Seen. “You gotta love those parenting skills.” Tom and the boys also had a chance to “get inked” with any number of henna tattoos.

Determined to get in the spirit, I selected an edgy AC/DC offering. “Why not go with Homer?” a fellow tattoo candidate queried. I explained that before I fulfilled my Simpsons fantasy, I wanted to realize my Beavis and Butthead fantasy. And AC/DC might just do the trick. “Which one are you?” he quizzed. “You mean AC or DC?” I asked. “No, Beavis or Butthead?” Hmmm. Good point.

As others got inked, I went on to admire larger-than-life statues of Marge, Homer, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, as well a fine collection of Itchy and Scratchy dolls and Apu action figures.

Between the long-running television series, merchandising and the new blockbuster film, “The Simpsons” is clearly a global sensation. “You look at other animated shows like ‘Sponge Bob’ and they are mostly shows for kids,” said gallery owner Debbie Weiss. “‘The Simpsons’ appeals to both children and adults. It’s popular all over the world. Everyone thinks they know someone like Homer.”

Few people know Homer better than animator Stephen Reis, who labored nearly non stop on the new “Simpsons” movie. “I worked on Homer for the past 18 months,” he said. “He’s been like 80 percent of my life.” As for Reis’ favorite character, his lips are sealed. “They are like family,” he said. “How can you distinguish a favorite?” Oddly enough that’s just what Robert Altman told me about his movies.

Reis is especially proud of the Simpsons’ amazing popu larity and staying power. “Very few shows resonate with society like this,” he noted. When ‘do’h’ ends up in the dictionary, you know you have a phenomenon. ‘The Simpsons’ has become a part of pop culture, the sky’s the limit and it just keeps growing.”

The same might be said of Homer’s box office mojo. The animated TV-show-made-into-a-movie-flick has already grossed $400 million. And that’s a lot of d’oh!