Comic Book Guy: Wikis

  
  

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The Simpsons character
The Simpsons-Jeff Albertson.png
Comic Book Guy (Jeff Albertson)
Gender Male
Job Proprietor of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop
Relatives Unknown
Voice actor Hank Azaria
First appearance
The Simpsons "Three Men and a Comic Book"

Jeff Albertson,[1] commonly known as Comic Book Guy, is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria, and first appeared in the second-season episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", which originally aired on May 9, 1991. He is the proprietor of a comic book store, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop. Comic Book Guy is based on "every comic-bookstore guy in America"[2] and represents a stereotypical middle-aged comic-book collector. He has become well known for his catchphrase, "Worst. (Noun). Ever!"

Contents

Role in The Simpsons

Profile

Comic Book Guy is an obese, nerdy and snobby man best known for his sarcastic quips. He spent the first 40 years of his life in St. Catharines, Ontario, where he was known for criticizing the name of the former New York-Penn League baseball team that the city was once home to. Although he is 45 years old, he is obsessed with collecting comic books and is an avid science fiction buff. He holds a master's degree in folklore and mythology (he translated The Lord of the Rings into Klingon as part of his thesis),[3] has an IQ of 170, and is a member of the Springfield branch of Mensa.[4] He has long hair which he always keeps tied in a ponytail. His catch phrase is the declaration "Worst [subject] ever", sometimes to the point of breaking the fourth wall. For example, in the episode "Saddlesore Galactica", he wears a T-shirt saying "Worst Episode Ever" while criticizing the idea of the Simpson family keeping a horse since it had already been done.[5] Despite his solitary life, in The Simpsons Movie, minutes before his likely death, Comic Book Guy says that his obsessive comic book collecting is a "life well spent". However, in "Treehouse of Horror VIII", when a nuclear missile homes in on him, he says to himself "Ohh, I've wasted my life." In the 19th season finale, "All About Lisa", it is revealed that he has long, beautiful, overflowing hair. Comic Book Guy not only has a heart attack in Season 12 but encounters death twice; once in a French missile strike on Springfield, and also in "Treehouse of Horror XVI", where Comic Book Guy is killed by Mr. Burns for refusing to run for five whole minutes.

Romance

Comic Book Guy was once married in an online role-playing game. He and his Internet wife contemplated having children, but that would have severely drained his "power crystals".[6] He is shown paired with a woman during a mass marriage that occurred when a cult took over Springfield, and presumably the two are wed in the mass ceremony. In Season 16's "There's Something About Marrying", he hopes to wed a Xena: Warrior Princess cardboard figure. While part of an intellectual junta that briefly ran Springfield in the tenth season, he proposes plans to limit breeding to once every seven years (a reference to the Vulcan blood fever of mating, called Pon farr), commenting that this would mean much less breeding for most, but for him, "much, much more".[4] This is not his last foray into attempted leadership of Springfield; in the Season 17 episode "See Homer Run," he is one of over 200 candidates for mayor, reversing his usual catch phrase into "BEST MAYOR EVER." He is a virgin well into his forties,[7] but loses it when he becomes romantically involved with Principal Skinner's mother Agnes. (Chief Wiggum is notably repulsed when he and his officers stumble upon the couple "in the act".)[8] He later dates Edna Krabappel and is shown with the Superman logo tattooed on his upper right buttock.[6]

The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop

The Android's Dungeon

Comic Book Guy is the owner of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, a local comic book store. Many of the comics and toys he sells are of poor quality and often have very high prices (for example, "The Ultimate Pog", $500). His store is his sanctuary, where he holds some level of self-esteem, imperiously lording over pre-teen kids, like Bart Simpson and Milhouse Van Houten, using a heavily sarcastic tone and often banning certain customers for minor infractions. His store contains a lower level full of illegal videos (which include Mr. Rogers drunk, Alien Autopsy, Illegal Alien Autopsy, a "good version" of The Godfather Part III, and Kent Brockman picking his nose).[8]

In "Husbands and Knives", the store was finally closed, and Marge opened "Shapes", a gym for regular women, on its former site. Though having been gone for a few episodes (and thought to have been "retired"), Comic Book Guy made an appearance in an episode that aired later in the season, "Any Given Sundance". He was seen in the audience after Lisa's documentary played, writing a review of it on his blog; uncharacteristically, it was very positive. In "All About Lisa", his store seems to be open again, although nothing is known about his rival store, Coolsville. The store is also seen in the couch gag of "Lisa the Drama Queen", where The Comic Book Guy puts a price tag on (then berates) a Simpsons couch gag toy.

Character

Creation

Although many suggestions state that Comic Book Guy was inspired by Simpsons creator Matt Groening, Comic Book Guy was in fact partly inspired by a clerk at the Los Angeles Amok book shop who often "[sat] on the high stool, kind of lording over the store with that supercilious attitude and eating behind the counter a big Styrofoam container full of fried clams with a lot of tartar sauce.[2]" Groening noted:

I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, 'I know who you based that comic book guy on. It's that comic-book guy right down the block.' And I have to tell them, 'No, it's every comic-bookstore guy in America.'[2]

Azaria based Comic Book Guy's voice on a student who went by the name "F" and lived in the room next door at his college.[9] Azaria "loves that the character is an adult who argues with kids as if they're his peers."[2]

Development

Within the series, the character Comic Book Guy is often used to represent a stereotypical inhabitant of the newsgroup alt.tv.simpsons. The writers of the show are aware of the newsgroup and sometimes make jokes at its expense.[10] The first such instance occurred in the seventh season episode "Radioactive Man," in which Comic Book Guy is logging on to his favorite newsgroup alt.nerd.obsessive.[11] Comic Book Guy's oft-repeated catchphrase, "Worst episode ever," first appeared on alt.tv.simpsons in an episode review[12] and David S. Cohen decided to use this fan response to lampoon the passion and the fickleness of the fans.[13]

The eighth season episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" is largely seen as a satire of the "hardcore fans" that make up the newsgroup, as well as a response to the viewer backlash and obsession with internal consistency those fans commonly express.[8] When Comic Book Guy sees the Poochie episode, he immediately goes on the Internet and writes, “Worst episode ever” on a message board; a commentary on how the active audience nit-picks the episode. The writers respond by using the voice of Bart Simpson:[14]

Comic Book Guy: Last night's Itchy & Scratchy was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.
Bart: Hey, I know it wasn’t great, but what right do you have to complain?
Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.
Bart: For what? They’re giving you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them.
Comic Book Guy: [hesitantly] ...Worst episode ever.

[15]

The catchphrase further appears in the eleventh season episode "Saddlesore Galactica,"[5] and as the title of the twelfth season episode "Worst Episode Ever."[8] The catchphrase can also be used for describing other things by saying, "Worst. (Noun). Ever."[10]

Name

A long-running gag on the show was never to reveal the character's name, with other characters referring to him as "Comic Book Guy". The writers had intended to name the character as early as his first episode, but they could not think of a name for him, and they called him "Comic Book Guy", with the intention of naming the character the next time they used him.[16] However, they kept putting it off.[16] Finally, in the February 6, 2005 episode, "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass," Comic Book Guy nonchalantly tells Ned Flanders: "My name is Jeff Albertson, but everyone calls me 'Comic Book Guy'".[1] Show runner Al Jean remarked: "That was specifically done to make people really mad. We just tried to pick a generic name. It was also the Super Bowl show. We did it so the most people possible would see it." Groening stated that he had originally intended him to be called Louis Lane and be "obsessed and tormented by" Lois Lane, but was out of the room when the writers named him.[17] His name is also mentioned in The Simpsons Game.

Reception

Hank Azaria has won several Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on The Simpsons, winning one in 2001 for voicing Comic Book Guy and various other characters in the episode "Worst Episode Ever".[18][19]

Merchandising

Comic Book Guy is featured on the cover of the twelfth season DVD. Comic Book Guy is also featured in The Simpsons Game, where he explains all the clichés that the player comes across during the game.[20]

The Simpsons Library of Wisdom includes a volume entitled "Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture".

References

  1. ^ a b "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass". Steven Dean Moore, Tim Long. The Simpsons. Fox. No. 8, season 16.
  2. ^ a b c d Joe Rhodes (2000-10-21). "Flash! 24 Simpsons Stars Reveal Themselves". TV Guide.  
  3. ^ "Three Men and a Comic Book"
  4. ^ a b "They Saved Lisa's Brain". Selman, Matt; Michels, Pete. The Simpsons. Fox. No. 22, season 10.
  5. ^ a b "Saddlesore Galactica". Long, Tim; Kramer, Lance. The Simpsons. Fox. February 6, 2000. No. 13, season 11.
  6. ^ a b "My Big Fat Geek Wedding". Curran, Kevin; Kirkland, Mark. The Simpsons. Fox. No. 17, season 15.
  7. ^ "Mayored to the Mob". Hauge, Ron; Scott III, Swinton O.. The Simpsons. Fox. No. 9, season 10.
  8. ^ a b c d "Worst Episode Ever". Doyle, Larry; Nastuk, Matthew. The Simpsons. Fox. 4 February 2001. No. 11, season 12.
  9. ^ Azaria, Hank (2004). Commentary for "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  10. ^ a b Tossell, Ivor (2007-08-02). "Worst. Column. Ever.". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070726.wgtweb27/BNStory/. Retrieved 2009-02-26.  
  11. ^ Turner, p. 282
  12. ^ Donald, John R. (1992-11-04). "I&STM". alt.tv.simpsons. Google Groups. http://groups.google.com/group/alt.tv.simpsons/msg/44d7c1808394313f?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&q=%22worst+episode+ever. Retrieved 2009-02-21.  
  13. ^ Baker, Chris (2007-11-27). "Futurama Is Back! Grab a Can of Slurm and Settle In". WIRED. http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/15-12/ff_futurama?currentPage=2. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  14. ^ Alberti, pp. 147-148
  15. ^ David S. Cohen — The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, The Simpsons
  16. ^ a b Reiss, Mike (2002). Commentary for "Three Men and a Comic Book", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  17. ^ Larry Carroll (2007-07-26). "'Simpsons' Trivia, From Swearing Lisa To 'Burns-Sexual' Smithers". MTV. http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1565538/20070725/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2007-07-29.  
  18. ^ "Primetime Emmy Awards Advanced Search". Emmys.org. http://www.emmys.org/awards/awardsearch.php. Retrieved 0000-00-00.  
  19. ^ Elaine Dutka (2001-08-14). "Morning Report". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2001/aug/14/entertainment/ca-33997. Retrieved 0000-00-00.  
  20. ^ Walk, Gary Eng (2007-11-05). "Work of Bart". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20158366,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-04.  

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to The Simpsons (disambiguation) article)

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