A Brief Conversation with Rick Miller
Where did Machomer come from?
In the summer of 1995, I had a very small part (Murderer #2, to be exact) in a touring production of Macbeth with Montreal's Repercussion Theatre. Somehow, a tragedy always seems funnier backstage than onstage, and I spent many hours concocting this strange little joke for the cast party: what if the Simpsons were to parody Macbeth? That same joke has grown into something much larger, but the conceit remains the same: one dysfunctional family does another.
Wherefore the Simpsons? Wherefore Macbeth?
The initial ‘casting’ decision was entirely subjective, based on which voices I could imitate best and which play I was performing in at the time. Despite countless suggestions since then, I still haven’t found a better fit. I find it somewhat poetic that in Homer’s hands, Macbeth’s vaulting ambition ranges from wanting the throne to wanting a doughnut. There is also something vaguely tragic about the residents of Springfield: flawed, vulnerable, but ultimately noble in their own pathetic way.
Is Shakespeare rolling in his grave?
I wouldn’t think so. It may not be ‘Art’, but ‘The Simpsons’ TV show is extremely artistic, holding a satirical mirror up to present-day society much like Shakespeare’s plays did to Elizabethan England. I think Ol’ Bill would prefer watching MacHomer over some badly acted production of Macbeth.
How would you classify ”Machomer”?
MacHomer has been called many things but, essentially, it’s a tribute to the creative vision of Matt Groening and to the genius of William Shakespeare. Thank you for indulging my silliness.