Comedic Documentary to Honor Classic 'Homer at the Bat' Episode of 'The Simpsons'
Over a quarter-century later, we're still "talkin' softball." Earlier this year, as part of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the "Homer at the Bat" episode of The Simpsons—one of the long-running series' most iconic and beloved installments—Homer Simpson was "inducted" into National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Now, continuing the celebration of that baseball-themed episode, an hourlong comedic and "Simpsonized" documentary from Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, Inside Man series) will air on Fox. The network announced on Wednesday that Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, produced by FOX Sports Originals, will air adjacent to regional NFL broadcasts on Sunday, Oct. 22. The special airs just ahead of Fox's broadcast coverage of the 2017 World Series starting Oct. 24; this is the network's 20th year televising MLB's Fall Classic.
Along with covering Homer's "induction" into the Hall of Fame, Springfield of Dreams celebrates "Homer at the Bat" with an approach from Spurlock that satirizes Ken Burns' beloved documentary Baseball. The special features interviews from eight MLB players who appeared in the original episode, along with baseball historians, sportscasters, and iconic personalities, such as Fox Sports’ Joe Buck (who will be calling the 2017 World Series), sports announcer Bob Costas, author George Will, Dr. Oz, fashion consultant and television personality Tim Gunn, and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Current Yankee slugger and Major League Baseball AL MVP candidate Aaron Judge also appears in the special.
Springfield of Dreams also contains six minutes of never-before-seen original animation from The Simpsons, including character “interviews” from Homer, Moe, Chief Wiggum and Apu, voiced by Dan Castellaneta and Hank Azaria.
“We’re glad Morgan is strange enough to take this on," said James L. Brooks, The Simpsons executive producer, of Spurlock's involvement as director.
"I love The Simpsons so much and am proud to be reunited with them on this incredible special," Spurlock added. "A special so special that it not only celebrates Springfieldian Homer Simpson, but one that reminds us all, that maybe if we tried a little less, great things can happen."
Here's a preview of the documentary, with a scene recalling how Homer made his now-famous "Wonder Bat":
On Sunday, Oct. 22, viewers with an NFL on FOX matchup airing at 1pm ET can watch Springfield of Dreams at 4:30pm ET; viewers with an NFL matchup airing at 4:05pm ET get to watch the documentary at 3pm ET.
Springfield of Dreams also airs Friday, Oct. 20, at 6pm ET on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Simpsons fans will have another treat on Oct. 22, as well—a new installment of the show's annual favorite Treehouse of Horror episodes ("Treehouse of Horror XXVIII") will air that night at 8pm ET.