In the late 1980s, cartoonist Matt Groening, who at the time was known for his comic series “Life in Hell,” introduced a few of his animated shorts to “The Tracey Ullman Show” where he was a writer. The shorts were about a young family called “The Simpsons.” After the shorts were a major success on “The Tracey Ullman Show,” producers James L. Brooks and Sam Simon worked with Groening to give the Simpsons their own show.
Over 25 years, half a billion dollars in earnings, and 581 episodes later, “The Simpsons” not only revolutionized television, but comedy in general. The characters are both charming, and relatable to the audience. Though many fans feel that “The Simpsons” is a mere shadow of its former self, new episodes are attracting a new audiences as the show continues to make money, and make people laugh.
After battling cancer for the last few years, producer Sam Simon tragically passed away at his home in Los Angeles. He was 59-year-olds. In order to pay homage to Simon, us here at The Latest Pull thought that we would take a look at “The Simpsons” to honor his legacy. However, there is nothing that can be said about “The Simpsons” that hasn’t been said before. Their crass nature, but lovable personalities are so embedded in hearts of fans that mere words cannot do anything. With that being said, we thought it best to look at the non-members of the main Simpson family. Like the Simpsons, the supporting cast have their own personalities and quirks that bury into the hearts of the fans who love them.
Making this list was not an easy task. When I started writing it, I thought I would begin by jotting down just a few of my favorite characters. Twenty characters later, I found myself having difficulty scratching beloved characters off the list. If you felt one of your favorite characters was snubbed from the list, please comment below!
Before he had episodes devoted to him in the future, Gill’s main purpose was to be the lovable loser who never got a break. Whether he was being weaseled out of a deal by a competing car salesman, or talking to his wife on the phone as she cheats on him, Gill gets a huge laugh every time he is on screen.
9) Abraham (Grandpa) Simpson
Grandpa Simpson is the embodiment of all grandfathers. His senility, as well as his classic old man stories that are in no way true, leave audience members on the floor laughing hysterically. In the beginning, Grandpa Simpson was a punching bag for Bart and Lisa while he babysat them. However, as the show progressed, more episodes were devoted to his escapades, and relationships with other characters. Some of Homer Simpson’s funniest moments, are when he is alongside his father.
8) Ralph Wiggum
Although his wonderful father did not make this list, the younger Wiggum would have been to great an omission. The best way to describe Ralph Wiggum would be “that one kid in your elementary school.” Ralph Wiggum is not a nerd who gets bullied. He is not a shy kid who cannot talk to girls. Ralph is a moronic child, who we can’t help but love. Ralph commands every scene that he is in, and gets a roaring laugh along the way.
7) Sideshow Bob
Granted, Sideshow Bob was at his best when he was a rare occurrence in the series, rather a character we can expect once a season. Formerly the sideshow act on the Krusty the Clown Show, Bob one day snaps and frames Krusty for a robbery. After Bart Simpson discovers that Bob is the culprit, Bob swears vengeance on Bart. Although Bob has been in many classic episodes including one hilarious episode where he attempts to eradicate television and one where he marries Aunt Selma, Sideshow Bob’s best episode will always be “Cape Feare.” Many fans of “The Simpsons” regard “Cape Feare” as one of the best episodes in the series’ history, if not the best, and Sideshow Bob was the essential character that made that episode memorable.
6) Milhouse Van Houten
Milhouse Van Houten is the kid who always wanted to be cool, but never quite got the hang of it. Milhouse spends the series as Bart’s roadie who follows along with all of Bart’s antics. This leaves Milhouse, beaten, broken, and funnier than ever. Furthermore, Milhouse also has a growing love-interest for Lisa that causes him to do all her bidding. Milhouse is the faithful friend that we either all had, or that we all wanted.
5) Principal Seymore Skinner
What happens when you make a Vietnam veteran who suffers from frequent flashbacks the principal of an elementary school? Comedic gold. Serving as Bart’s enemy for the bulk of the series, Principal Skinner is constantly foiled by Bart due to his naivety, and his sheer bad luck. Skinner is constantly defeated by the students at the school, and often in front of his supervisor, Superintendent Chalmers. Simply put, “The Simpsons” would not be “The Simpsons” if not for Principal Skinner.
4) Krusty the Clown
Being Bart’s role model and the role model of children across Springfield, Krusty the Clown is everything that parents do not want their children to be. Despite being saved by Bart countless times, Krusty does not ever remember the name of his biggest fan. However, Krusty’s funniest moments come from when he intentionally says or does something inappropriate in front of the children in his live audience, or watching from home.
3) Moe Szyslak
Move over Daffy Duck, there is a new king of the despicable. Moe is known for being an ugly, dirty, and creepy rat of a human being who owns a shoddy bar in Springfield where he enables and exploits the alcoholics in Springfield. As the show progressed, Barney Gumble, Moe’s most frequent customer at his bar, gets clean and sober. While trying to get sober, Moe tempts him with beer the entire time. After remaining sober for a few seasons, Moe finally gets Barney back on the wagon, and proudly boasts about this achievement. Moe is more than deserving of the number 3 spot.
2) Charles Montgomery Burns
C. Montgomery Burns is the main antagonist of the series. Burns is a billionaire, and the owner of the nuclear power plant where Homer works. Burns is the stereotypical Scrooge-like character who risks the lives of the entire people of Springfield, just to save a few dollars. He was once famously shot for literally trying to steal candy from a baby.
1) Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders is everything that makes a perfect neighbor. He lets Homer borrow everything he owns, and very rarely asks for it back. He is the first offer help to his friends, although nobody accepts anything from him solely because they find him annoying. Much of this is due to Flanders’s most dominant characteristic. His hardcore Christian faith. Flanders’s faith gets a view notable laughs like in the science versus religion episode, “Lisa the Skeptic.” However, a lot of what makes Ned a great character is how he keeps getting back up despite being mercilessly beaten. In the series, Ned has lost his business, his home, and even his wife. However, he holds onto his faith and beliefs because of his morals, rather than the show making a joke about a hopelessly devout Christian. Flanders is the best supporting character on the show not only because he is a strong character to have an episode solely about him, but also because he is the best supporting for the main cast to bounce off.