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HOMER SIMPSON DOESN’T MIND SHARING NAME WITH A CARTOON

SHARE HOMER SIMPSON DOESN’T MIND SHARING NAME WITH A CARTOON

Homer Simpson is no longer bothered by the question: "What's in a name?"

"It's a big joke," the 36-year-old bar owner said. "When I try to order a pizza, cash a check, use a credit card, all kinds of things, I usually get laughs."The Madison man is the unlucky inheritor of one of the country's most talked about names, shared with the patriarch of television's "The Simpsons."

Things haven't been the same for Simpson since the animated series began on the Fox network.

Simpson said he was teased as a child because his name was Homer, but he thought those days were over.

"The name was unusual - kids looked for something to poke fun at and there it was, but it blew over when I was 16 or 17," Simpson said. "Then when the show came on, I said, `Oh no, here it goes all over again.' "

He has been featured in Time magazine, newspapers and on television, and he gets a lot of telephone calls.

"At home, I get a lot of prank calls, usually from little kids," Simpson said. "I usually talk to them and tell them Bart's outside playing around."

He's kidding. He really doesn't have a son name Bart like the television Homer. His son's name is Chris.

Simpson said he shares traits with his TV namesake, including the nickname Moe. Both enjoy betting on football and go to dog tracks.

"I started watching the show's credits because I thought it had to be somebody I grew up with," he said. "It was too strange."

Simpson said having a suddenly famous name has not been too great a burden.

"It's been fun and there's been no harm done by it," he said. "I've put up with being Homer Simpson all my life, so it really doesn't bother me anymore."