Morgan Spurlock’s Final Film Was a Mockumentary About Homer Simpson

‘Springfield of Dreams’ turned Homer into a baseball hero
Morgan Spurlock’s Final Film Was a Mockumentary About Homer Simpson

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock just passed away at the age of 53. Spurlock is, of course, best remembered for 2004’s Super Size Me, in which he exclusively ate at McDonald’s for 30 days, and conclusively proved that ingesting garbage food sold by a scary clown isn’t good for the human body. 

Impressively, Spurlock’s movie actually influenced McDonald’s policy, prompting the fast-food giant to scrap the “Super Size” option, which had been introduced 11 years earlier as a promotional tie-in with Jurassic Park.

In recent years, Spurlock’s documentary career seemed all but over after it was revealed in 2017 that he had “a history of sexual misconduct, including an allegation of rape,” which Spurlock admitted to in a blog post, noting that he was “part of the problem.” As a result, his belated sequel to Super Size Me was dropped by YouTube Red. 

YouTube’s now defunct subscription service had acquired Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! for a whopping $3.5 million after it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The doc was eventually released in 2019, with some noting that it felt like “a bizarre attempt at brand rehabilitation for Morgan Spurlock in the post-#MeToo era.”

But Spurlock’s final directorial effort, according to IMDb, was, oddly enough, a mockumentary about Homer Simpson. 

Just months before the allegations against him were reported, Spurlock co-wrote and directed Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, which chronicled the events of the classic episode “Homer at the Bat” as if they were 100 percent real. The mockumentary, which is more than twice as long as the original episode itself, was produced by FOX Sports to coincide with Homer’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

And it’s actually quite funny, even going so far as to delve into Springfield’s past as if Jebediah Springfield were a genuine historical figure. Springfield of Dreams features interviews with Simpsons characters such as Moe, Chief Wiggum and Carl, and also real-world celebrities, including sportscaster Bob Costas who recalls, “The Springfield Power Plant team is heading to the city championship. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and I didn’t even have pink eye at that time.” 

The special also boasts interviews with the players who voiced themselves in the original episode. And they recount the events of the cartoon as if they were real moments from their lives. 

Don Mattingly describes his sideburns ordeal (from an episode he never actually saw), and the show even pauses to give us a brief lesson on the history of sideburns. Wage Boggs doubles down on his drunken argument with Barney Gumble, stating, “Pitt the Elder was a brilliant orator. A man of the people, and vehemently anti-corruption. Lord Palmerston was a hack who bought the press and stoked nationalist fears to consolidate support among the uneducated masses.”

Ozzie Smith, who fell into a gravity-defying tourist trap, earnestly confesses to the camera, “Many times I feel like I’m still in the Mystery Spot.”

And we haven’t even mentioned that Nick Offerman briefly plays George W. Bush, who apparently tried to recruit Homer to the Texas Rangers with a blank check, which he then used “as a napkin.” 

At the very least, Springfield of Dreams is the best ever prolonged examination of an entirely fictional softball game.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


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