Homer and HurtubiseFriday, November 21, 2003 by: Baytoday.ca
Troy Hurtubise can’t wait to see what Homer Simpson looks like in a bear suit.
He’ll know Nov. 30, when a new episode of The Simpsons parodies Project Grizzly, the National Film Board of Canada documentary about Hurtubise and his Ursus Mark VII bear suit.
“I got a call from the film board and they told me what The Simpsons are going to be doing,” Hurtubise, above, told baytoday.ca.
“Apparently Homer is going into the wilderness going after grizzly bears. What the hell Homer is doing going after Grizzly bears, I don’t know.”
The Simpsons episode is called The Fat and the Furriest, and is summed up by the show this way:
"After another failed Mother's day gift, Homer takes the kids to Sprawl-Mart and ends up buying a Kitchen Carnival for Marge. Homer uses the Carnival to create an edible candy man, but Marge finally forces him to take it to the Springfield Dump - where he's promptly attacked by a bear. When he's labelled a coward by the media, Homer builds a bear-fighting suit, and after some Jackass style testing antics sets out to confront the bear, parodying the little-known Canadian documentary Project Grizzly."
More than great
Hurtubise said The Simpsons producers didn't approach him about the program.
Not that he minds, though.
“The Simpsons is probably the most watched program in the world and to have me associated with that is great,” Hurtubise said.
And it will probably be more than great for the NFB, he adds.
“They’ll sell another 50,000 copies of Project Grizzly,” Hurtubise said.
“I thought it was dead in the water, because that was done almost 10 years ago and it’s still going. Holy jumping, yeah…so…but that’s good.”
Pantheon of pop culture
NFB spokesman David Miller called the lampoon “a compliment.”
“When The Simpsons parodies something you’ve done it’s an added bonus,” Miller said.
Project Grizzly director Peter Lynch was pleased about The Simpsons episode.
"The program is kind of like the pantheon of pop culture and it's nice to see Project Grizzly, which has already achieved cult status, enter the larger popular cultural arena," Lynch said.
"Being part of The Simpsons will give Projet Grizzly more of a mythic status while also giving it currency."
Lynch said Canadians are “passive consumers” of American culture and of myths that “glorify” American heroes and values.
"Troy and his men aren't simply watching Robocop or the Terminator trilogy; they're attempting to live it. The Simpsons has its finger on the pulse of zeitgeist pop culture. And it takes a classic like Project Grizzly and transforms it even further through mainstream mythic consciousness," Lynch said.
Hurtubise has one other connection to The Simpsons beyond the Nov. 30 episode. Two weeks ago Dudley Herschbach, a Nobel Prize winner who handed Troy his Ig Nobel Prize, also appeared on the program.
The Simpsons airs in Canada on Global TV, which also airs Open Mike with Mike Bullard.
Hurtubise said he’s been booked onto the Bullard show Dec. 1 in conjunction with The Simpsons episode.