Herman's Head title card
Ken Hudson Campbell
|Theme music composer||Nick South
George Englund, Jr.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||72 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David Babcock
Paul Junger Witt
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Touchstone Television
|Original run||September 8, 1991– April 21, 1994|
As Fox was a relatively young network, they were able to experiment with the show's format, allowing for a unique device: whenever Herman Brooks, the main character, had an important decision to make, the TV audience would be shown a "Greek chorus" style dramatization of his thought process featuring four actors representing differing aspects of his psyche.
The characters acting out Herman's emotions each represented a different aspect of his personality. As they were supposed to be one-sided, they often were lacking in other areas of their character, which led to frequent squabbles among the individual aspects. The characters would also be shown copying everything that happens in Herman's body, such as them having to sneeze when Herman sneezes, or all four of them crying out in pain when Herman was once punched in the stomach. The concept of inner conflict within a person is a common psychological concept; it is explored in Sigmund Freud's concepts of Ego, Superego and Id, and Eric Berne's transactional analysis.
The show suffered from poor ratings and was canceled after three seasons.
In the final episode of the series, William Ragsdale appeared as a head character, this one being Herman's "Heart". The "Heart" was trying to keep the primary head characters alive, as the Herman character was hit by a car at the beginning of the episode.
Both Hank Azaria and Yeardley Smith are cast members of The Simpsons, which debuted on Fox two seasons earlier. One episode had Yeardley Smith's character, Louise, saying to an anonymous caller that "I do not sound like that Lisa Simpson character on TV!" The Simpsons also referenced Herman's Head when Lisa (voiced by Smith) is asked what she is laughing at in the episode "Duffless." Her response is that she has just remembered "A joke she saw on Herman's Head". In an episode years later, when Marge Simpson asks him to sign a petition, Comic Book Guy (voiced by Azaria) explains that he only signs petitions to bring back television shows, exclaiming "America needs the wisdom of Herman's Head now more than ever." Further, Lisa is revealed to have a Herman's Head-like Chorus of her own, seen when she's processing feelings of jealousy over Marge's publishing a novel. When asked about Herman's Head on a Simpsons commentary, Hank Azaria said people were discussing shows that actors would rather forget, stating that he "always had that. I didn't love Herman's Head really."