Do you love your favorite show enough to get its main character tattooed on you? How about getting your favorite shows character tattooed on you 41 times?
Few people on this earth will ever reach the level of dedication New Zealander Lee Weir has for The Simpsons. This fact was made apparent after the 27-year-old got the show’s protagonist, Homer, tattooed on his arm 41 times, a record for getting a single character’s likeness tattooed on the body.
“The only reason I got the tattoos was in tribute to my favorite show,” Weir said. “The plan was to get different cast members tattooed in a sleeve, but I couldn't decide who to include and who to leave out. How do you include Lenny and not Carl for example?”
As the show was obviously a big part of Weir’s life, finally deciding on the proper means of tribute was no easy endeavor, taking 5 years to decide Homer should be the focus of the piece.
“Last year I had a sober year off the booze - gave up drinking for a whole year, and the money that I usually would have spent on booze I saved and got this rad sleeve done!” Weir said.
Weir grew up a lifelong viewer of the show, which entered its first season as a half hour sitcom when he was just two-years-old. And after a quarter century of avid fandom passed, the culmination of Weir’s dreams finally came to fruition June 5, when the sleeve depicting his favorite program was named a world record holder.
"To have a record for something that is not only cool but also very close to me is just brilliant,” Weir was quoted as saying in The Daily Mirror. "It hasn't made me a better person but I definitely think it has made me a slightly cooler one.”
The tattoo took tattooist Ben Jenkins more than 25 hours to complete, an odyssey of ink that became a timeline of different Homers pulled from episodes throughout the series’ storied run. In doing so, his creation became a source of joy for not only Weir but his two-year-old daughter as well, whose favorite tattoo was the one of Homer as a baby.
Even though it was like asking a mother which child is her favorite, we did go ahead and ask which of the 40+ tattoos was his favorite one to look at, thinking that out of all those tattoos, one just had to be a standout.
“My favorite Homer is the big orange guy on my bicep,” Weir said. “It is Homer as the Fantastic Four character ‘The Thing.’ I like it because he's big and orange like me.”
As for his favorite episode? “Homer’s Enemy” from season nine, featuring Simpsons great Frank “Grimey” Grimes.
“The only tattoos that Ben has done was my sleeve,” Weir said. “I had a few different artists do the rest of my tattoos and I love them all but the Homer sleeve was done by Ben.
We have to say, if as a tattoo artist you can create work that appeals to a two-year-old, your subject may have just made the transition from a walk-in to a lifelong client.
“Now that I have found Ben, I won't go anywhere else. Unless it's a spontaneous tat overseas or something - or prison,” Weir joked.
Of course, that may not be entirely true, as Weir has hinted he may be up for having Matt Groening himself ink the 42nd installment of the Homer Simpson tattoo saga. And though his sleeve has been featured on The Simpson’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, he has yet to receive a response.
“I'm definitely on their radar that I exist,” Weir said. “I want to get in touch with Matt and ask him for the biggest favor in the world.”
Weir said some coveted real estate on the sleeve is reserved for the great cartoonist to make his own marks on his skin and hopes he can even procure some artwork from the man himself.
“[I’m] Really hoping that my 42nd homer tattoo will be one that Matt Groening has drawn for me,” Weir said. “I am going to try and get in touch with him any way I can and politely ask him to draw me a one off picture of Homer.”
You certainly can’t knock Weir for a lack of enthusiasm, and with a degree of fandom as deep as his, confidence is justifiably running at an all time high.
“I would be so unbelievably honored and grateful to have Matt draw me as a Simpsons character and to draw my next Homer tattoo,” Weir said. “And ‘ya know what - I reckon he just might!”
After blowing up all over the internet and even landing some television appearances, odds Groening will see him somewhere around are looking pretty good.
It’s always something special to see someone’s passions—in this case tattoos and their favorite show—come together. And the type of commitment compelling someone to permanently etch their allegiances into their skin is really cool, whether it’s a cartoon, a mantra to live by, or something else.
We really have to offer up our respects to people like Weir. While excited he got the record, his sleeve represents a bigger part of his life—something meaningful and sentimental that goes beyond being an entry in the record books. In our book’s entry for Weir, we say true passion like his is a commodity that should never go to waste.
Need more of a Simpsons fix? Check out our two-part gallery of awesome Simpsons tattoos.