The World-Record Holder for Most Homer Simpson Tattoos Shares the Stories Behind His Comedic Ink
Gather ‘round, ye fans of The Simpsons, tattoos, and Simpsons characters as tattoos, for I was able to speak to the man who holds the Guinness World Record for the most tattoos of a single cartoon character. That's right, Lee Weir received this distinguished designation for the 55 Homer Simpson faces inked all over his body — which is way cooler than the usual news involving "homers," "needles," and "record books."
A New Zealander, Weir works as a DJ at the country’s biggest rock station (“The Rock”) and also officiates weddings where every other person probably asks him about his love for Homer Simpson. “When I was studying radio in 2007, I got a Homer Simpson tattoo on my left shoulder,” Weir tells me. “The plan was to get a whole bunch of different cast members done up in a sleeve, but I honestly couldn’t choose who to put on and who to leave off. I mean, seriously, how do you choose? How do I include Moe but not Sideshow Bob? Lenny or Carl? Frank Grimes or Ol’ Gil?”
After making about five different lists over a couple of years, reality hit Weir: These were “not the problems of normal people.” So he chilled out for a while until, one day, inspiration struck while watching the Simpsons episode “Smoke on the Daughter,” the one with the raccoons. “There was a family of raccoons living in a tree in Homer’s backyard, and they were the Simpsons, but as raccoons. I had a total lightbulb moment and thought, ‘What if I just got a whole bunch of different Homer Simpson tattoos instead of different cast members?’ So, that’s what I did. I called my tattooer and told him my idea, to which he replied, ‘Fuck yes, let's do it.’”
Weir has always been a big Simpsons fan, and watching the animated sitcom has developed into a family affair in Weir’s household: “My wife Nikita and I have been fans of the show since we were high school sweethearts back in 2003. Now we’ve been together for 20 years, have three awesome kids — no, not named Bart, Lisa and Maggie — and we enjoy watching the show with them. We love seeing them get the same laughs out of the show that we did all those years ago.”
Of course, not everyone wakes up one day and thinks, “I’m going to go out and get a couple of dozen Homer Simpson tattoos for the heck of it.” Weir admits that he likes doing recklessly impulsive things — “responsibly, of course” — but he’s proud that none of his tattoos are offensive, and he likes the compliments people throw his way. “It’s funny watching people double-take when they see them,” he explains. “Or when people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I bet you don’t have this Homer,’ and then make some obscure reference to an episode that only a superfan would know, to which I reply, ‘You mean this one?’ Watching their reaction to that is awesome because in that moment, two complete strangers — sometimes from opposite ends of the world — are brought together by a randomly placed Homer Simpson tattoo on someone’s elbow.”
With such an impressive canvas of cartoon comedy, we figured we’d let Weir show off and rank some of his favorite Homer ink.
“I can relate,” Weir tells me. “Still, I always like to say, ‘You’re only hungover if you’ve got nothing to do.’ If you have time to sit and wallow about the fact that you’re hungover, then yes, you’re hungover. But if you get up and get on with it, no matter how crappy you feel, you’re not hungover.”
“A tribute to my beautiful wife, Nikita, who I have been with since we were innocent 14-year-olds roaming the school corridors at Waitakere College in West Auckland. Let me tell you: She’s a good sport for sticking around! I had to have a Homer that was representative of my wife.”
“Anyone who is disrespectful to dirt is okay with me,” Weir jokes.
Chili Spoon Homer
“In the episode ‘The Mysterious Voyage of Homer,’ Homer goes to a chili cook-off and pulls out this spoon from a pouch around his neck. Everyone goes quiet, and only Lenny is heard whispering, ‘They say he carved it himself… from a bigger spoon,’” Weir says. “I love cooking chili, and when my brother was visiting India in 2009, he bought me a massive spoon from the markets for the sole purpose of carving a smaller chili spoon out of it, like Homer does. Which I totally did. When my mum passed away from cancer in 2010, I spent two whole days sitting on her front porch, drinking Jack Daniels and whittling this spoon down. It kept me busy, and really helped ease the grieving process for me.”
Puffy Pink Cloud Homer
“Because we’ve all got hammered and fell into a candy floss machine, right?"
“Anyone who knows me knows that I bloody love wearing a dress — mainly to music festivals and concerts. There’s nothing sexual about it; it’s just something I like to do so that when people see me at a gig, they think, ‘Holy fuck, there’s a big ol’ dude in a dress!’ It’s just like the one Homer wore in ‘King-Size Homer.’”
The Thing Homer
“I like this one because he’s just like me — big and orange."
“The classic Meme. Don’t need to say anymore, do I?”
“My tribute to grunge music and the ‘Seattle sound,’ if you will,” Weir tells me. “Some of my favorite bands are Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, etc., and the fact that The Simpsons paid homage to the Grunge era in an episode made me incredibly happy.”
“When I was getting this sleeve done, my firstborn Lucy was 18-months-old and loved pointing to that one and saying, ‘Baby Lucy Homer,’” Weir explains. “When it was just an outline, she would color in my tattoos like I was a human coloring book. I know, what a big softie I am. Don’t let the belly, the beard and tattoos fool you.”