Funny 1969 short film by Matt Groening's father Homer

Amy Crehore alerted me to this funny short film by Homer Groening, "Basic Brown, Basic Blue" (1969).

Ever wonder how Matt Groening of The Simpsons got his quirky sense of humor? Probably from his filmmaker dad, Homer Groening, who passed away in 1996. Although known for his documentaries, Homer Groening directed and narrated this film, ostensibly about color, but filled with an ongoing series of bikini-clad bathing beauties. The film is perhaps best viewed as a graphic artifact that will interest media historians seeking additional insight into the elements that influenced the cartoonist.
Basic Brown, Basic Blue (1969)


  1. Wow. Paramount in 1969. After Easy Rider, the studios would put their name on anything at all that might appeal to those wacky kids.

    Thumbs up to them for that.

    1. Hmmmm….that is an example from life: that desperation and exigency may sometimes lead to the discovery of virtues and talents which otherwise would have remained hidden.

      1. Yep. Might be the last time their instincts were right. At least from my perspective.

        The studio mindset that brought us Stephen Sommers and Michael Bay turned out to be hugely profitable, which after all was the virtue they were looking for all along.

  2. Aw, you made it sound like there would be more bikinis.

    So, all that talk about color and no mention of the filmmaker’s freakishly yellow skin?

  3. Homer also did some clay animation things. The one I saw looked a bit like the “Penny” segments that ran on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

  4. Homer wrote and directed ads for Jantzen swimsuits so he probably shot this footage when he was
    working for Jantzen on location. That’s why you see the “Bikinis” Homer taught a summer course on film making in 1974 with Matt as his assistant. He was mean to Matt. I always think about that when I watch the “Simpsons”

    1. Interesting information. Where are Jantzen bikinis today? The ones in the film were quite cute (the models help of course) :)

  5. Anyone else notice the bubble sounds (around 6min30s) are the same as those used at the end of Futurama?

  6. Lol i’m splitting my sides looking at this, such good lyricism in words and pictures alike! Top feelgood-material, i’m saving this for future use on a lousy day :)

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