Prolific producer and director James L. Brooks is one of the most consistently honored people working in Hollywood. He’s won Oscars, Golden Globes, and numerous other plaudits from organizations spanning the globe. Just counting Primetime Emmy Awards, Brooks has something like 18 of the things, including 10 just from his work on The Simpsons, where he’s served as an executive producer ever since his instrumental role in the show’s creation more than 25 years ago.
Now, one of Brooks’ most famous co-creations, Homer Simpson, has taken to the stage to sing the producer’s praises as well. Voiced as always by Dan Castellaneta, Homer appeared in a clip put together for the Television Critics Association to present Brooks with a Career Achievement Award. And while there might have been a time when The Simpsons would have taken this opportunity to fire a few shots at an award show giving an award to a highly awarded man to acknowledge all the awards he’s been awarded, the presentation is mostly just kind of sweet, with Homer name-checking Brooks shows like Taxi and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which helped to revolutionize the TV landscape in the 1970s and ’80s.
Still, it wouldn’t be The Simpsons without a little bit of an edge, so Homer’s also careful to name-drop one-season flops like The Associates and Friends & Lovers, as well as the beloved but ratings-poor The Critic. (Presumably, the mention of the latter show means Matt Groening is going to retroactively take his name off this clip.)
Meanwhile, Brooks’ contribution to The Simpsons itself is confined to a winking mention of The Tracey Ullman Show, since Homer Simpson’s acknowledgement of his own status as a fictional character would be the kind of fourth-wall breaking nonsense that might damage the hallowed sanctity of the long-running show.