Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My 5 Favorite Simpsons Characters

Love it or hate it (there really seem to be no in-between) The Simpsons is an American TV institution and a worldwide phenomenon. While the show’s ability to deliver intelligent, gut busting humor has diminished over its long run, there’s still nothing like the feeling of anticipation I get when seeing a new episode. Maybe it goes back to when I was 9 or 10 and the show really hit its prime, but when an unseen episode comes on I still expect each joke to be the most clever gag I’ve ever seen. While the jokes are what bring me in time and again, the appeal of the characters delivering the jokes can’t be denied. So today I give you my 5 favorite Simpsons characters, in all their glory:

1. Homer-

Too stupid for his own good, Homer’s greatest strength as a humorous character is that writers can make him as dumb and lethargic as needed for any situation, and he still works. While he does have some bit of an “everyman” quality, I like to think we all laugh at him because we know we’ll always be better than him. But he’s not without his charms, as a devoted father and husband, you can’t deny he actually loves his family.

Classic gags/ Lines:
- Homer: "I am so smart, I am so smart, I am so smart, I am so smart, S-M-R-T... I mean S-M-A-R-T."
- "I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes! "
-"'To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key? "
-"How could you?! Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain Whatshisname? We live in a society of laws! Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn’t hear anybody laughing, did you?"

2. Chief Clancy Wiggum-

Cops are fat, lazy, and useless, always taking bribes and bending the rules to suit their favor, right? Well I don’t think so, but Springfield’s Police Chief Wiggum doesn’t do anything to dispel those clichés. As a proponent of looking the other way, taking kickbacks, and doing as little as possible, Wiggum takes unprofessionalism in a position of authority to new heights (or would it be depths?), and it’s hilarious.

Classic Gags/ Lines:- (At a live press conference)“Fat Tony is a cancer on this fair city, and I’m the….hey, what cures cancer anyway?”
-“fingerprints are like snowflakes….They’re both very pretty.”
- (after a successful sting operation catching kids after curfew)"I hope this has taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn. "
- Chief Wiggum: Hey, where's Sideshow Bob, and that guy who eats people and takes their faces?
Prisoner: I'm right here.
Chief Wiggum: Oh, then where's Sideshow Bob?
Eddie: He ran away, Chief.
Chief Wiggum: Great. Well, if anyone asks, I beat him to death, okay?

3. Milhouse-

If Wiggum is the cliché “bumbling cop” Milhouse Van Houten is the quintessential sidekick. As Bart Simpson’s best friend, Milhouse often takes the brunt of the consequences of Bart’s foiled schemes. Seemingly a glutton for punishment, it’s obvious Milhouse will do just about anything to get some attention. While Milhouse himself doesn’t always get the best gags, the fact that he is universally berated makes him a great target.

Classic Gags/ Lines:
-"My mom says I'm cool."

-Milhouse: Is this the untimely end of Milhouse?
Shelbyville kid: But Milhouse is my name!
Milhouse: But I thought I was the only one!?
Shelbyville kid: A pain I know all too well...
Milhouse: So this is what it feels like... when doves cry!

4. Hans Moleman-
Ok, he’s not what would be considered a huge player in the Simpsons universe, but look at him. The fact that he’s killed in new and hilarious ways time and again makes him morbidly compelling.
Classic Deaths:
- Executed in a local jail.
- Dr. Hibbert inadvertently leaves him in an x-ray machine and locks up the clinic for the weekend (“T.G.I.F”).
-His thick eyglasses act as a magnifying glass and the sun catches him on fire.
- Mr. Burns, high on ether fumes, mistakes Moleman for the Lucky Charms Leprechaun and drives a power drill through his skull.

5. Principal Skinner-
As someone who has worked in the school setting before, for me Principal Seymour Skinner’s character rings truer than any other on the show. While everyone can relate to the way the kids thumb their noses at Principal Skinner because he’s an authority figure, I’ve also felt his pain as someone who’s just doing his job, trying to set a good example for youngsters. And of course, there’s the hilarity of Skinner’s relationship with his beloved mother, which draws its inspiration from Norman Bates in "Psycho".

Classic Gags/ Lines:
- (on the first day of school, addressing Kindergartners.) Hello, I’m Principal Sinner…Skinner…I’ve lost them forever.
- (on the school bus) "Hello, Simpson. I'm riding the bus today because Mother hid my car keys to punish me for talking to a woman on the phone. She was right to do it."
-"That's two independent thought alarms in one day. Willie, the children are over-stimulated. Remove all the colored chalk from the classrooms."

I'm sure I'm forgetting the gags and lines that REALLY make me laugh (since I don't have the first few seasons on DVD currently), those are just some examples. I would be interested for others to submit their favorite quotes or characters, since I know we have a few people around here who also like the show. Until next time, Long Live the Legion!


  1. Awesome article Kello, really surprised you didn't mention Moleman in "Man hit by football in Groin" which is one of my favorites. And also this Milhouse gem.

    (Marge, Homer, Bart and Milhouse play the board game "Mystery Date.")
    Marge: (To Bart) You got the dud!
    Homer: (To Milhouse) He looks just like you poindexter!

  2. Lmao, those Homer quotes were priceless. I love Homer.

  3. Yeah, the "football hits groin" thing was almost included, but I have to say I laugh more at the times when Moleman "dies."

  4. Great list! If I were making one I'd probably include Moe and Groundskeeper Willy. The voice acting for those two always cracks me up no matter what they're saying.

  5. Moe is a great character for sure. His appearance on the "Love-Matic Grampa", as well as his failed attempts at suicide, never fail to make me laugh.

  6. You forgot the main stay of Simpsons randomness, Troy McClure "You might recognize me from such movies as Dial M for murdeousness and The Erotic Adventures of Hercules"