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The Simpsons - the TV Series
Homer Simpson is driving along in his car and is singing his own version of the theme song from The Flintstones:
Simpson... Homer Simpson... he's the greatest guy in history... from the town of Springfield... he's about to hit a chestnut tree.
Homer's car hits a tree.
The Simpsons is an animated half-hour comedy that has redefined the term 'cartoon'. The show, at the time of writing, is in its 11th season, and with over 240 episodes it is by far the longest-running prime-time animated TV show1. Well known for its excellent writing and bewildering array of characters, The Simpsons has collected 15 Emmy awards and 33 nominations. This past January the show received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Simpson Family
Meet everyone's favourite yellow-skinned four-fingered family:
Homer J Simpson (Dan Castellaneta - DC) is the husband and father of the family, but those are just two of the things he really isn't any good at. He constantly frustrates the rest of the family with his laziness, insensitivity, and incompetence. Despite this he has survived for many years as the safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Homer is always fighting to keep his weight down, but is hindered by his love of food and beer. He also loves to bowl and watch television, and is bald save for a few strands of hair.
Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner - JK) is Homer's wife and the glue that holds the Simpson household together. She does all the work around the house. She cooks, cleans, and takes care of the kids, while Homer drinks beer and watches television. Although being a housewife takes up all her time, Marge has temporarily held jobs at places like the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and the Springfield Police Department. For some unknown reason she really does love Homer and always forgives his transgressions. Marge has the tallest, bluest hair in town.
Bart Simpson (Nancy Cartwright - NC) is ten years old and a fourth grader who seems unlikely to ever make it to fifth grade, as education is definitely not his strong point. He idolizes Krusty the Clown, loves making prank phone calls to Moe's Tavern, and counts among his favourite possessions his skateboard, his slingshot, and his lucky red hat. Bart is the hellraiser of the family - as Bart's sister Lisa puts it, he is the 'devil's cabana boy'.
Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith - YS) is eight years old and in second grade at Springfield Elementary. She is intelligent, motivated, and compassionate - in other words the direct opposite of Homer and Bart. She is a vegetarian and a talented musician who favours the saxophone. Although Lisa generally acts more responsibly than her father, she does have a weakness for ponies and teen heart-throb Corey.
Maggie Simpson2 is the youngest of the Simpson children, barely a year old. She is usually seen sucking on a red pacifier, although when necessary she has found substitute pacifiers. These have included fried shrimp, a chess piece, a cigarette, a dreidel, and a Christmas cookie. She is able to walk, but tends to fall down a lot.
Life in Hell and The Tracey Ullman Show
The Simpsons is the creation of Matt Groening. Prior to The Simpsons, Groening spent his time working on the syndicated comic strip Life in Hell. Life in Hell was fairly unique in featuring long-eared rabbits and fez-wearing brothers as its main characters. If you watch The Simpsons closely, you might occasionally notice Binky, Sheba, Bongo, Akbar, or Jeff among the regular characters3.
The Simpsons started in 1987 on the Fox Network, as a series of shorts that were aired between sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show. In the late 1980s, the Fox Network was hardly a network, as it was only on television a few nights a week. The Tracey Ullman Show was one of first shows shown on Fox, Married... With Children was the other, and its success also focused attention on the Simpson shorts. As The Tracey Ullman Show finished a four season run in 1990, The Simpsons was reborn as a full-length show, and became the driving force behind Fox's growth into a major network.
How Many Cosby T-shirts Have You Seen?
It didn't take long for The Simpsons to become one of the most talked about shows on television. After one season airing on Sunday nights, Fox moved the show to Thursday, putting it in direct competition with NBC's popular sitcom The Cosby Show. Many fans worried that this move would force The Simpsons into early retirement, but the show became even more popular after the change. As it turned out, The Cosby Show was near the end of the line, and aired its final episode in 1992. The Simpsons continued on Thursdays through its fifth season, at which point Fox moved it back to Sunday.
The popularity of the show is emphasised by the amount of Simpson-related merchandise available. In the early 1990s, it seemed that the Simpson family's faces were everywhere, especially Bart. Bart was the star of the first several seasons, and Bart t-shirts became the must-have item among youngsters. Many of the shirts featured Bart's face with a phrase underneath, such as 'Don't have a cow, man', and 'Underachiever and proud of it'. Some schools ended up banning these shirts, as Bart was considered a hell-raiser and a poor role model for children.
As the years have gone by, Bart's lack of morals seem to have become less shocking, and Homer has become the star of the show.
An Animated Success
The Simpsons has been successful because of quality writing and a talented cast, but the show's longevity is at least partly due to the fact that it's an animated programme. Many shows suffer as the cast ages, but the characters on The Simpsons don't have to worry about that. It's doubtful that the show would be as enjoyable now if Bart and Lisa were grown up and attending college. Well, if Lisa was in college, at any rate.
Animation also allows the writers to introduce a much larger range of characters, which has always been one of The Simpsons' strengths. Of course, it also helps that several cast members can each do dozens of distinct voices.
The Simpsons proved that an animated show could succeed on American television. It is hard to imagine that other successful animated shows such as South Park or Beavis and Butt-Head could have found such a large audience without The Simpsons laying the groundwork. And there are countless other animated shows that owe The Simpsons a debt of gratitude, such as Ren and Stimpy, King of the Hill, Dr Katz, The Critic, Daria, Duckman, Family Guy, and Matt Groening's latest show, Futurama.
Blackboard Quotes and Couch Gags
Unlike most television shows, The Simpsons' opening title/credit sequence changes for nearly every episode. Each opening begins with the words The Simpsons coming at us through the clouds, and ends with the credits being shown on the Simpson family television. But in-between we are treated to the blackboard quotes and couch gags.
After the clouds part, we see Bart in school, writing several sentences on the blackboard as punishment for some unknown offence. Past blackboard quotes include, 'I will not yell 'She's Dead' during roll call', 'Cursive writing does not mean what I think it does', and 'It does not suck to be you'. The writers of The Simpsons have also used the blackboard to respond to real-life events. For example, 'I will not celebrate meaningless milestones', which was used on the 100th episode, and 'I will not demand what I'm worth', which referred to the cast holding out for more money.
The couch gags appear near the end of the opening sequence, right after Marge chases Homer into the house. The family runs into the living room and heads toward the couch, where all kinds of bizarre things happen. Sometimes everybody has the wrong head, the wrong size body, or the wrong limbs. Other times the couch runs away, gallops off like a horse, or turns into a monster and swallows everyone. The family has also been beamed onto the couch (as in Star Trek), crushed under a giant foot (as in Monty Python's Flying Circus), and thrown into a life-sized game of Whack-A-Mole4. Naturally, Homer gets whacked.
The Simpsons has become well-known for its use of catchphrases5. Homer's catchphrases are the best example of this. Even people who are only vaguely familiar with The Simpsons recognise 'D'oh', which is used to express displeasure, 'Mmmmmm', usually used to show appreciation for food, or 'Woo-hoo', used to express excitement or triumph. Other catchphrases include Bart's 'Aye carumba!' and 'Eat my shorts', Marge's groan to indicate displeasure, the noise Maggie makes while sucking on her pacifier, Barney's belches, Nelson's 'Ha-ha', Mr Burns's 'Excellent', and Ned Flanders's various 'didly' phrases.
The notable exception to this is Lisa, who apparently doesn't have a catch-phrase. In the episode 'Bart Gets Famous', Bart becomes a television star by continually saying 'I didn't do it'. Once Bart's 15 minutes of fame are over, Lisa points out why Bart is better off:
Lisa:Now you can go back to just being you, instead of a one-dimensional character with a silly catchphrase.
(Homer accidentally breaks a lamp)
(Marge groans, Maggie sucks her pacifier)
Lisa (Disgusted): ... If anyone wants me, I'll be in my room.
Homer (After a long pause): What kind of catchphrase is that?
Springfield, _________ , USA
Live, from Springfield, the entertainment capital of this state...
The Simpsons live in the city of Springfield, which is located somewhere in the USA. Exactly where in the USA has long been an endless source of debate for Simpsons fans. The show has never revealed what state Springfield is in, and this has become a running joke used in many episodes. For example:
Herb Powell: I want a ticket to Springfield.
Ticket Agent: Springfield, Illinois?
Ticket Agent: Springfield, Massachusetts?
Herb: No, Springfield...
(Herb's answer is obscured by a train whistle)
In truth, Springfield can't be found in any state because it is a fictional city. Matt Groening has stated in the past that he chose the name Springfield because it is one of the more common names for US cities. And if that doesn't convince you, consider that 'Capital City' is the capital of the state that Springfield is in.
The Treehouse of Horror
Every October, the Simpsons serve up a Halloween episode entitled the 'Treehouse of Horror'6. Each treehouse episode is made up of three short, unconnected stories that present classic horror themes from a unique Simpsons perspective. Past themes have included King Kong, Dracula, Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, several Twilight Zone episodes, The Fly, The Shining, Nightmare on Elm Street, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and several stories involving slobbering green aliens with sharp teeth.
Santa's Little Helper, Snowball, and Snowball 2 are the Simpson family pets. Santa's Little Helper is a greyhound that the Simpsons rescued from a dog track. Snowball 2 is the current family cat, as the original Snowball was run over by a car.
Grampa Abraham Simpson (DC) is Homer's father. He lives at the Springfield Retirement Castle, where visitors are thanked for not discussing the outside world. Grampa has a talent for telling long-winded stories that fail to get to the point, usually because he has fallen asleep before finishing. His pals include fellow retiree Jasper and military antique shopowner Herman.
Patty and Selma Bouvier (JK) are Marge's older twin sisters. They both have lots of poofed-up greyish hair, although Selma parts her hair and Patty does not. They love the television show MacGyver and smoking whenever possible. Homer is their least favourite person in the world. Selma has been married briefly to both Sideshow Bob and Troy McClure.
Grandma Jackie Bouvier (JK) is the mother of Marge, Patty, and Selma. She has a tall hairstyle similar to Marge's, although it is greyer and more wrinkled. She was arrested for indecent exposure in the early 1920s, and more recently has dated both Grampa Simpson and Mr Burns.
Herbert Powell (Danny DeVito) is Homer's long-lost half-brother. He looks identical to Homer except he has a lot more hair on his head. Herb once owned an automobile company, but after Homer ruined that he became an inventor. Bart and Lisa call him 'Unky Herb'.
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (Hank Azaria - HA) is a friendly guy from India who runs the local convenience store, the Kwik-E-Mart7. Apu is very enthusiastic about his work, which is a good thing considering he is the only employee at a store open 24 hours a day.
Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon (Jan Hooks) is Apu's wife. They were brought together by an arranged marriage, but found they loved each other very much.
Charles Montgomery 'Mr' Burns (Harry Shearer - HS) is the extremely wealthy and extremely old owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. He is also thoroughly evil. His favourite word is 'excellent', spoken in a particularly evil manner.
Waylon Smithers (HS) is Mr Burns' assistant at the power plant. While he is both competent and friendly, Smithers usually goes along with Mr Burns's evil schemes. This is most likely because Smithers has a huge crush on Mr Burns. He also has the world's largest collection of Malibu Stacy dolls - Springfield's answer to Barbie dolls.
Lenny (HS) and Carl (HA) are Homer's best friends at the power plant. Both enjoy doughnuts and sticking up for Homer when he messes up. Carl is Homer's supervisor.
Troy McClure (Phil Hartman) you might remember from such movies as Dial M for Murderousness, The Boatjacking of Super-Ship '79, and Good Time Slim, Uncle Doobie, and the Great 'Frisco Freak-Out!. In addition to being a top-notch B-movie actor, Troy has played the lead role in numerous educational films, telethons, self-help videos, sitcoms, infomercials, and funeral hostings. He was once married to Selma Bouvier, and is rumored to have an unmentionable fish fetish.
Lionel Hutz (Phil Hartman), attorney and ambulance-chaser, is the least successful lawyer in Springfield. He was named after Sir Lionel Luckhoo, QC, who is listed in The Guinness Book of Records under the category 'most successful lawyer'. He offers his clients dirt-cheap rates and odd trinkets for retaining his services. His law office is named 'I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm'.
Principal Seymour Skinner (HS) is the principal at Springfield Elementary School. Skinner is a stern authority figure and the target of many of the kids' pranks. He is also an ex-Green Beret plagued by the occasional Vietnam flashback. Skinner lives at home and is a serious mama's boy (see below).
Agnes Skinner (Tress MacNeille - TM) is Principal Skinner's mother. She dominates and controls her son, treating him more like a teenager than a grown man.
Mrs Edna Krabappel (Marcia Wallace) is Bart's fourth-grade teacher. Mrs K is divorced and constantly on the prowl for a new man, although recently she has been dating Principal Skinner. She has lost her enthusiasm for teaching, no doubt due to Bart's abilities as class clown.
Miss Elizabeth Hoover (Maggie Roswell - MR) is Lisa's second grade teacher. Miss Hoover has also lost her enthusiasm for teaching, although she does take some pride in Lisa's accomplishments.
Mr Dewey Largo (HS) is Lisa's music teacher. He only allows traditional music to be played in his class and does his best to stifle Lisa's creativity.
Otto (HS) is the bus driver for Springfield Elementary, in addition to several mobile businesses. Otto is most proud of his ability to cause accidents that do not result in fatalities. He also likes to rock out on guitar and calls Bart 'Bart-dude'.
Groundskeeper Willie (DC) is the groundskeeper/janitor at Springfield Elementary. He has a thick Scottish accent, lots of red hair, and wears a shirt-and-overalls outfit that hides a seriously muscular build.
Lunchlady Doris (Doris Grau) is the gravelly-voiced lunchlady at the Spingfield Elementary cafeteria. Lunchlady Doris smokes like crazy, even while preparing and serving meals. She is also quite skilled at stretching the school's limited food budget.
Superintendent Chalmers (HA) is the superintendent for the Springfield school system, and he is Principal Skinner's boss. He considers Skinner to be incompetent, which has not stopped him from dating Skinner's mom.
Milhouse Van Houten (Pamela Hayden - PH) is Bart's best friend. He is somewhat of a pushover, and Bart takes full advantage of this. Milhouse wears large glasses that disguise his tiny eyes.
Martin Prince (Russi Taylor - RT) is the smartest and least-liked kid in Bart's fourth grade class. He is a big-time teacher's pet and lacks basic social skills.
Wendell Borton (RT) is another one of Bart's classmates. Wendell feels nauseous all the time, which makes him an unpopular kid on the school bus.
Sherri and Terri (RT) are identical twin girls with purple hair who are in Bart's class. They live to taunt Bart and get him in trouble.
Nelson Muntz (NC) is bully at Springfield Elementary who is good with his fists. Nelson loves to make fun of people by laughing at them. Usually he says 'ha-ha', but is not afraid to try more complex taunts like 'haw-haw'.
Jimbo 'Corky' Jones (PH), Dolph (TM/PH), and Kearney (NC) are three other bullies at Springfield Elementary that are friends with Nelson and also good with their fists. Jimbo is the tall one with the skull t-shirt and purple cap. Dolph is the short one with long hair. And Kearney is the older one with the shaven head. Two possible indicators of Kearney's age: he owns a car and he has a son.
Uter (RT) is a leiderhosen-clad foreign exchange student from Germany who is in Lisa's class. He is a big fan of all types of candy, especially chocolate.
Janey Powell (PH) would probably have to be considered Lisa's best friend, although Lisa really doesn't pal around with anyone on a consistent basis.
Ralph Wiggum (NC) is another classmate of Lisa. Ralph has trouble learning things in school; he is much better at sleeping and eating things he shouldn't. Some of the items Ralph has eaten include paste, crayons, thumbtacks, and a worm he was supposed to dissect. Miss Hoover has already given up on Ralph and merely tries to keep him from disturbing the other students.
Chief Clancy Wiggum (HA) is Springfield's overweight and underskilled Chief of Police. Chief Wiggum only catches criminals by accident, as he is amazingly incompetent for his position. He loves all types of food, but is most fond of donuts, pastries, and red meat. It's worth noting that Wiggum is a cop who actually looks like a pig8.
Mayor 'Diamond' Joe Quimby (DC) is the corrupt mayor of Springfield. He resembles several of the Kennedy men, such as John F Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, right down to his eastern US accent and his taste in mistresses. Quimby has yet to meet a bribe he won't accept.
Eddie (HS) and Lou (HA) are two of the cops that help Chief Wiggum keep the criminal element of Springfield in line. Unfortunately, Eddie and Lou are better at downing pastries, pretzels, and beer than enforcing the law.
'Bleeding Gums' Murphy (Ron Taylor/Daryl L Coley) is a blues musician who sings and plays saxophone at various locations around Springfield. He released one album, entitled Sax on the Beach, which is rather hard to find. Lisa idolized him as a saxophone player, but he passed away during Season Six.
Jasper (HS) is Grampa's best friend at the Springfield Retirement Castle. Jasper has a long white beard and believes paddling provides the best form of discipline.
Herman (HS) is a war veteran who owns Herman's Military Antiques. He survived the war with all his limbs intact, only to lose an arm by sticking it out of a bus window. Herman's store specializes in military weapons of all shapes and sizes.
Ned Flanders (HS) and his family live next-door to the Simpsons, and they are overwhelmingly cheerful, friendly and religious. Ned finds the bright side to every situation. He also has his own bizarre language, in which 'okay' becomes 'okily-dokily', and 'hi neighbour' becomes 'heydily-ho neighborino'. Ned even has a cousin named Jose Flanders who says things like 'Buenas ding-dong-diddily-dias'.
Maude Flanders (MR), Todd Flanders (NC) and Rod Flanders (PH) constitute the rest of the Flanders flock. Maude is Ned's wife, Rod and Todd are his sons. Maude died at a race track during Season 11.
Hans Moleman (DC) is a short, wrinkled old man with terrible vision. He has managed to survive a number of auto accidents involving either his AMC Gremlin or the various trucks he drives around town, including a sugar truck and a truck carrying the house that Edgar Allan Poe was born in.
Kirk Van Houten (HA) and Luann Van Houten (MR) are the parents of Bart's best friend Milhouse. After their divorce, Kirk was fired from the cracker factory, while Luann began a relationship with an American Gladiator named Chase. Chase's gladiator name is Pyro.
Ruth Powers (Pamela Reed) is a single mother with one teenage daughter and one deadbeat ex-husband. She is a neighbour of the Simpsons and has helped Marge loosen up a little.
Cletus 'The Slack-jawed Yokel' Delroy (HA) is a hillbilly with a severe Southern US accent. Cletus has a wife named Brandine and 26 kids with names like Dermott, Scout, Chloe, Katlin, Sasha, Kira, Q-Bert, and Phil. He's also a little slow.
Jebediah Obadiah Zachariah Jedediah Springfield (HS) is credited with founding the town of Springfield in 1796. Meanwhile, his partner Shelbyville Manhattan founded the neighboring town of Shelbyville to give folks a place to marry their cousins. Although Jebediah is considered a local hero, Lisa discovered that prior to 1796 he was a murderous pirate named Hans Sprungfeld. A statue of Jebediah stands in the town square.
Krusty the Clown, aka Herschel Krustofsky (DC) stars in Bart's and Lisa's favourite television program, The Krusty the Clown Show. Krusty's clown look includes a big red nose, three large tufts of green hair, a pale complexion, and large red shoes. He has sold both his soul and face to the gods of merchandising, as his image appears on nearly every product known to man.
Sideshow Bob Terwilliger (Kelsey Grammer) used to be an accomplished theatre performer and Krusty's sidekick on The Krusty the Clown Show. He was kicked off the show when Bart revealed that he framed Krusty for armed robbery, and from that point on Bart and Bob became enemies. In the short amount of time Bob has spent outside of prison, he has tried to kill Bart several times, married Selma and tried to kill her, became Mayor of Springfield through voter fraud, and attempted to blow up Springfield with a nuclear bomb.
Sideshow Mel (DC) replaced Sideshow Bob on The Krusty the Clown Show. He plays a slide-whistle on the show and wears a bone in his hair at all times. Mel has been on the receiving end of countless pies thrown by Krusty.
Itchy (DC) and Scratchy (HS). Itchy (the mouse) and Scratchy (the cat) are the main characters in The Itchy and Scratchy Show, a cartoon shown on The Krusty the Clown Show. It is easily the most violent cartoon around, and poor Scratchy takes the majority of the damage. The theme song lyrics are as follows:
They fight! And bite!
They fight and bite and fight!
Fight fight fight!
Bite bite bite!
The Itchy and Scratchy Show!
Roger Meyers, Jr (Alex Rocco) runs Itchy and Scratchy International, the corporation responsible for everyone's favourite cat-and-mouse team. He is only interested in financial gain and doesn't worry about the widespread violence in his cartoons.
The Happy Little Elves is another cartoon on local television that teaches friendship and cooperation, in contrast to the violence on The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Maggie is a big fan of the elves, who have names like Yendor, Bubbles, Doofy, Gloomy, and Chilly.
Poochie (DC) is a dog with in-your-face attitude that made a few brief appearances on The Itchy and Scratchy Show. Poochie was meant to boost Itchy and Scratchy's sagging ratings, but never caught on and was soon retired. Poochie's voice was provided by Homer.
Kent Brockman (HS) is the award-winning anchor for Channel 6 news. 'Journalistic integrity' and 'unbiased reporting' are just two of the phrases he is unfamiliar with. Kent also hosts the local news magazines Eye on Springfield and Smartline.
Arnie Pie (DC) provides traffic reports from his helicopter for local radio station KBBL. He refers to himself as 'Arnie Pie in the sky'.
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy (HS) is pastor of the First Church of Springfield. The reverend, being a true man of God, prefers the fire-and-brimstone approach to preaching. He divides the religions of the world into Christian, Jewish, and 'Miscellaneous'.
Helen Lovejoy (MR) is Reverend Lovejoy's wife. Although she is a devout Christian, her true religion is gossip.
The Bumblebee Guy (HA) is a Mexican actor who wears a yellow and black striped shirt, giant wings, and antennae on his head. Bumblebee Guy has a great talent for getting hurt in an entertaining manner. His talent is usually displayed on television but is occasionally displayed in real life.
Moe Szyslak (HA) is the ill-tempered owner/bartender at Moe's Tavern, although calling it a tavern is an extreme exaggeration. Moe's bartending skills are generally limited to serving Duff Beer and the occasional flaming drink. He is happiest when his customers are miserable, since they drink more when they are depressed.
Barney Gumble (DC) has one love in life: alcohol. He'll drink it in any form, even if it's in a used ashtray. Naturally he spends most of his time in Moe's Tavern. Barney also has an obnoxious voice, a general lack of hygiene, and considers belching an acceptable form of communication.
Drederick Tatum (HA) is heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Just like Mike Tyson, Drederick has fearsome fists and a not-so-fearsome voice.
ucius Sweet (Paul Winfield) is the manager and promoter for heavyweight boxing champion Drederick Tatum. He also looks and acts a lot like Don King, including a rather tall hairstyle.
Snake (HA) is probably Springfield's busiest criminal. Robbery is his favourite crime, and the Kwik-E-Mart is his favourite target. In fact, he once made off with the entire store, building and all. Snake's rap sheet is as long as the snake tattoo on his arm, and like all criminals he keeps a pack of cigarettes under his shirtsleeve.
Dr Julius Hibbert (HS) is the Simpsons' family physician. Dr Hibbert is very similar to Cliff Huxtable, Bill Cosby's character on The Cosby Show. He is often seen in a 'Cosby sweater' and laughs after everything he says.
Dr Nick Riviera (HA) is Springfield's low-cost alternative to competent health care and a part-time inventor. Some of his inventions include a candy that cleans and straightens teeth, and the Juice Loosener, which can extract a drop of juice from an entire orange. He greets people with an enthusiastic 'Hi, everybody!' and says goodbye with an equally enthusiastic 'Bye bye, everybody!'
Dr Marvin Monroe (HS) is Springfield's preeminent family psychotherapist. He has also been involved in projects like the Marvin Monroe Take-Home Personality Test and the Marvin Monroe Dog Obedience School. Dr Monroe died sometime after The Simpsons' first few seasons, but the show's writers have never revealed how or when.
Professor John Frink (HA) is a brilliant professor and scientist who is known for his bizarre and less-than-useful inventions. Examples of this include a house with legs that can run from burglars, and a lemon ball so sour that it can only be safely contained in a magnetic field. Frink punctuates his sentences with odd noises.
Akira (George Takei/HA) is a waiter at a Japanese restaurant called the Happy Sumo. He also teaches at the Springfield Martial Arts Academy.
The Comic Book Guy (HA) is an overweight 45 year-old virgin who lives with his parents and owns the Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop. He is deeply sarcastic and insulting, especially when discussing comic books and science fiction.
Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy. Radioactive Man is Bart's favourite comic book superhero. He gained his super powers after taking a direct hit from an atomic bomb. Fallout Boy is his sidekick and looks suspiciously like Robin (Batman's sidekick).
Rainier Wolfcastle (HS) is a movie star who looks, sounds, and acts like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is best known for playing the action hero McBain in numerous shoot-'em-up movies, although he also landed the lead role in the movie Radioactive Man.
Fat Tony (Joe Mantegna) is Springfield's local mobster leader. Fat Tony's hangout is The Legitimate Businessman's Social Club, where he can be found drinking, playing cards, and plotting crimes. He is assisted by his 'associates' - Legs, Louie, and Joey.
Jack Larson (HS) is he President of Laramie Cigarettes. Larson wants kids to start smoking so they can replace the older smokers that die each year.
Captain McCallister (HA), in addition to captaining various sea vessels, owns the seafood restaurant, The Frying Dutchman. Naturally, he uses a lot of sailor language, such as 'arrr', 'harr', 'ahoy', and 'aye'.
Handsome Pete is a short little guy who hangs out with Captain McCallister. He looks a lot like Krusty the Clown, except not quite so handsome. He also plays the concertina and dances for nickels.
Gil (DC) is Springfield's most-travelled and least-successful salesman. In the past Gil has temporarily held jobs as a realtor, shoe salesman, used car salesman, doorbell salesman, Coleco salesman, and telemarketer.
The Capital City Goofball (Tom Poston) is the mascot for the Capital City baseball team. He prefers to be called 'The Goof'.
Artie Ziff (Jon Lovitz/DC) was Marge's senior prom date in high school. His intelligence is surpassed only by his arrogance.
Kang (HS) and Kodos (DC) are slobbering green aliens, each with one large eye, sharp teeth, and slimy tentacles. They have appeared in several of the 'Treehouse of Horror' episodes, where they have delighted in making life difficult for the human race.
Disco Stu (DC) lives for the 1970s, oblivious to the changing music and styles of more recent decades. He is an odd mixture of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, the Fonz from Happy Days, and Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter. Disco Stu likes to refer to Disco Stu in the third person.
1 The Flintstones holds second place with 166 episodes.
2 Maggie generally doesn't speak. However, several people have 'voiced' Maggie in one form or another, including Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Earl Jones.
3 In addition, a recent episode included a brief appearance by Bender, the robot from Matt Groening's new animated series Futurama.
4 Whack-A-Mole is a game most often found in arcades and at carnivals. Mechanical moles pop out of their mole holes at random intervals, and you get points each time you whack one on the head with a mallet.
5 Catchphrases are things that certain characters say with great frequency.
6 Every October except for the first season, that is. Because of this, the Season three episode is called 'Treehouse of Horror II', the Season four episode is called 'Treehouse of Horror III', and so on.
7 The Kwik-E-Mart is a copy of US convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Circle K. The Kwik-E-Mart even has a version of 7-Eleven's Slurpee, called a Squishee.
8 Cops are sometimes derisively called pigs.
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