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‘The Simpsons’ Top 10 Supporting Cast Members

22 Jul, 2010 By: John Latchem

Sure, everybody loves Homer Simpson. He did, after all, top Entertainment Weekly’s list of the top characters of the past two decades. And Bart, Lisa, Marge and Maggie all have their time to shine on a weekly basis. But “The Simpsons” is nothing without its huge cast of great secondary characters. During the course of the show’s 21 seasons, some of members of this supporting cast have become almost as iconic as the family itself. Here’s our list of the top 10 “Simpsons” supporting characters whose contributions to our weekly dose of laughter cannot be overlooked.

1. C. Montgomery Burns

Voiced by: Harry Shearer
Centenarian owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, and Homer’s boss, Mr. Burns is not only one of the most enduring villains of the series, but also the perfect symbol of corporate excess and apathy. Equal parts Charles Foster Kane and Howard Hughes, Burns enlivens any scene with his trademark distaste for the common man.
Key Episodes: “Homer at the Bat” — Season 3, Episode 17
“Rosebud” — Season 5, Episode 4
“Who Shot Mr. Burns” — Season 6, Episode 25

2. Moe Szyslak

Voiced by: Hank Azaria
Owner of Moe’s Tavern, where Duff beer flows like honey, Moe the bartender is often associated with the vices that plague Springfield. He will sell out anybody when it suits him, lacks basic social skills and is considered repulsive by most respectable citizens, especially woman. That only makes Moe all the more pitiable, and thus endearing. Never count out Moe for a catchy one-liner to set the comedy tone.
Key Episode: “Flaming Moe’s” — Season 3, Episode 10


3. Krusty the Clown

Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta
Herschel Krustofski epitomizes all that is wrong with show business. A self-centered, burnt out performer who makes his living entertaining children as a television clown, Krusty is perhaps the last person you’d want around your kids. He nonetheless controls a huge marketing empire based on slapping his image on countless cheap products. His antics are legendary, including betting on the Washington Generals to defeat the Harlem Globetrotters because he thought they were due.
Key Episodes: “Kamp Krusty” — Season 4, Episode 1
“Krusty Gets Kancelled” — Season 4, Episode 22
“Homie the Clown” — Season 6, Episode 15

4. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Ph.D.

Voiced by: Hank Azaria
Apu is the proprietor of the Springfield Kwik-E-Mart, where he is safe to embody every foreign stereotype known to man (he is not, however, safe from criminals, having been shot numerous times during robbery attempts). Still, no matter the circumstance, Apu is always ready to deliver a “Thank you, come again” to his customers, even as he gouges them out of their money with high prices and expired food.
Key Episode: “Homer and Apu” — Season 5, Episode 13


5. Comic Book Guy

Voiced by: Hank Azaria
Jeff Albertson, otherwise known as the Comic Book Guy, is the acerbic owner of the Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop and is best known for his catch-phrase, “Worst episode ever!” The character lets the show’s creators take subtle jabs at their own obsessive fans who sometimes take things a bit too seriously.
Key Episode: “Worst Episode Ever” — Season 12, Episode 11


6. Sideshow Bob

Voiced by: Kelsey Grammer
Robert Underdunk Terwilliger, better known as Krusty’s former sidekick Sideshow Bob, is typical of highbrow elitists who see the world as beneath them. He has sworn to kill Bart Simpsons for always meddling in his schemes, which include framing Krusty for robbery to take over his show, and rigging an election to become mayor of Springfield. Bob is proof that a well-timed rake to the face is always good for a cheap laugh.
Key Episode: “Cape Feare” — Season 5, Episode 2

7. Seymour Skinner

Voiced by: Harry Shearer
The principal of Springfield Elementary school was born Armin Tamzarian but assumed the identity of an old Army buddy he believed had died in Vietnam. He is known for rigid discipline, frugalness and mangling classic Abbott and Costello routines. His tendency to take jokes literally has proved an endless source of laughs over the years, even as he pathetically attempts to curb Bart’s wicked ways.
Key Episodes: “Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song” — Season 5, Episode 19
“The Principal and the Pauper” — Season 9, Episode 2

8. Waylon Smithers

Voiced by: Harry Shearer
Smithers is the ultimate whipping boy sidekick. As Mr. Burns’ personal assistant, he keeps the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant running smoothly, from melting down, mostly operational. His unrequited puppy love for Mr. Burns is at once cute and sad. Smithers’ hobbies include collecting Malibu Stacy dolls and staying in the closet.
Key Episodes: “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy” — Season 5, Episode 14
“Homer the Smithers” — Season 7, Episode 17

9. Troy McClure

Voiced by: Phil Hartman
You may remember Troy McClure from such parodies as Planet of the Apes: The Musical and The Muppets Go Medieval (what the hell is a Muppet?). Springfield’s hardest-working actor was perfectly embodied with charm and bavura by the late Phil Hartman, who also distinguished himself as blowhard incompetent attorney Lionel Hutz. No list would be complete without at least one of his characters.
Key Episode: “A Fish Called Selma” — Season 7, Episode 19


10. Itchy & Scratchy

Voiced by: Dan Castellaneta and Harry Shearer
They fight and fight so we laugh and laugh. This ultra-violent send-up of Tom & Jerry consists of a homicidal mouse named Itchy and his elaborate skills to butcher an unsuspecting cat named Scratchy — a relentless assault on the senses from which we don’t want to recover. Their antics and complicated backstory have since provided the perfect template to skewer all things Disney or set the stage for a quick spoof, adding yet another layer to a show so rich in detail there’s no way to absorb it all.
Key Episodes: “Itchy & Scratchy Land” — Season 6, Episode 4
“The Day the Violence Died” Season 7, Episode 18
“The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” — Season 8, Episode 14

The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season will be available Aug. 24 on DVD (four-disc set $49.98) and Blu-ray (three-disc set $59.99) from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Fans at Comic-Con can buy the set a month early and will receive an exclusive lithograph at the Fox booth (4313).



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