I may possibly have tipped off the more observant of you that I am a massive Simpsons fan (fortunately, my love of Batman remains known to no one but me and my life sized Adam West cardboard cut up). So I decided to take a break from the Disney canon and look at the other towering achievement of American animation. So here is a list of my top ten favourite One Shot Simpsons Characters. What’s a One Shot? Well, here are the rules. A One Shot character:
a) Appears in only one episode.
b) May only appear in one scene for the purpose of one joke (with possibly a second for a call back).
c) Is not integral to the plot.
d) Is not voiced by a celebrity (or at least, not a celebrity who is a regular cast member.)
So, here we go.
Name: Homer Glumplich
Appeared: “Homer the Great” Episode 12, Season 6
Homer Simpson has lived his whole life on the outside looking in. It seems like wherever he goes there’s a big sign saying NO HOMERS. The final insult? It’s always NO HOMERS. Plural. Homer Glumplich is Homer Simpson’s Dostoyevskian double, always just one step ahead and taunting him with a single, dastardly “hyuck!”
Name: Joey Jo Jo Jnr Shabadoo
Appeared: “The Last Temptation of Homer” Episode 9, Season 5
So many questions are raised by this character. What were his parents thinking? What’s with the bow tie? Why hasn’t he made peace with his name after thirty plus year or just changed it by deed poll? What makes the gag though is Barney’s anguished pleading “Wait! Joey Jo Jo!” as he runs weeping from Moe’s. Hey, lighten up JJJJS. You may have the worst name in the world. But you have people who care about you.
Name: Doctor Colossus
Appeared: “Who Shot Mr Burns? Part 2” Episode 1, Season 7
Man, fuck the posers. Just because you’re rich and evil enough to buy a sun blocking machine to cast the entire city into perpetual night does not make you a super villain. My boy Doctor Colossus here is the real deal. Mr Burns and his ilk? Bah! Rank amateurs!
Name: Unnamed Mob Member
Appeared: “Marge In Chains” Episode 21 Season 4
Number 7 on this list doesn’t have a name. We don’t even see the guy. But he’s on here because only he had the courage to say what we’ve all been thinking: That 39th US president Jimmy Carter is indeed, History’s Greatest Monster.
Look at him. Bastard.
Name: Señor Spielbergo
Appeared: “A Star is Burns” Episode 18, Season 6
Everyone has a double in the Simpsons universe (Homer has, like, six). Stephen Spielberg’s is apparently the polite, softly spoken, Señor Spielbergo, his non-union Latin American equivalent. I like the idea that everyone has a non-union Latin American equivalent somewhere. It makes me feel…I dunno…less alone.
¿Has estado en Bahia, mi amigo?
Name: Handsome Pete
Appeared: “Bart the Fink” Episode 15, Season 7
That’s Handsome Pete. He dances for nickels. In your nightmares. For all eternity.
Appeared: “And Maggie Makes Three” Episode 13, Season 6
Homer’s finally gotten his dream job, minimum-wage slavery in the local bowling alley. Eh. To each their own. But when Marge gets pregnant again, Homer has no choice but to return to the hell of the nuclear power plant, toiling for the rest of his days beneath the haggard glare of C. Montgomery Burns. Homer says goodbye to his friends at the bowling alley, including Joey. Why does a bowling alley employ a Depression era shoe-shine boy with an indomitable gleam of hope in his eye and two lungs packed with TB? What were he and Homer going to do when they got to California? We’ll never know. He’s almost certainly dead now.
Name: Guy Incognito
Appeared: “Fear of Flying” Episode 11, Season 6
As I’ve already mentioned, Homer’s got a lot of doubles. Like a lot. There’s German Homer, Japanese Corporate Mascot Homer, Shelbyville Homer, Lady Homer, Tartar Control Homer…but the greatest of all is Guy Incognito. What’s with the top hat? Why does he talk like an American doing a bad British accent? We shall never know. But the greatest mystery of all, why would a man with such an impeccably groomed moustache still have Homer’s trademark stubble?
Name: Hugh Jass
Appeared: “Flaming Moe’s” Episode 10, Season 3
For one brief, shining moment, Moe Szyslak had it all. After he steals Homer’s recipe for a new drink, his business takes off and suddenly he’s got a hot girlfriend and is hanging out with Aerosmith in a period of history where that’s actually something to brag about. Even his arch-enemy, Bart Simpson, can’t touch him. When Bart calls to make one of his trademark crack calls, he makes Moe ask for a “Hugh Jass”. But for once, the universe has Moe’s back. There really is a Hugh Jass. And he is wonderful. Seriously, he only appears for less than a minute and he is probably the most fundamentally decent human being ever depicted in fiction. Hugh Jass makes me want to be a better person. Where someone like Joey Jo Jo Jnr Shabadoo lets the pain of having a ridiculous name crush him into emotional wreckage, Hugh Jass is a center of warm benevolence radiating out into the universe. What does he do when he finds out that Bart has been using his name for crude buttock-themed japery? He wishes him better look next time, hangs up and says “What a nice young man.”
I love Hugh Jass. And I cannot lie.
The Sugar Thief
Appeared: “Lisa’s Rival” Episode 2, Season 6
There is nothing, nothing I say, funnier than when Homer Simpson is right. When the universe reveals itself to be so batshit insane that Homer Simpson’s worldview is actually correct, it’s always comedy gold. Homer “acquires” a massive mound of sugar and takes to guarding it night and day, terrified that someone will steal it. Marge thinks he’s descended into paranoid lunacy…and maybe he has. But the point is, he’s right! And to prove it he reaches into the mound of sugar and pulls out one of my personal favourite things ever: The Sugar Thief. The Sugar Thief is the Anti-Hugh Jass. Where Hugh is the exemplar of everything good in mankind, the Sugar Thief is pure, motiveless evil. When Homer angrily demands to know where he got the sugar for the tea he’s just casually toting around the Thief calmly replies: “I nicked it. In the split second when you let your guard down. And I’d do it again.”
That, my friends, is evil that cannot be reasoned with.
Well that’s the list. If you’re wondering why there are no characters on here from any season past Season 10, I don’t have those episodes. See, I got all my Simpsons DVD’s during my time in the Bluthiverse, where the show ended gracefully after the creative team decided it should go out on a high. Also cancer was cured and there was no war. God I miss that place.
It was like being inside joy.
See you on the nineteenth for the Tarzan review.