Herman's Head: Wikis


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Herman's Head
Herman's Head title card
Genre Sitcom
Starring William Ragsdale
Hank Azaria
Jane Sibbett
Yeardley Smith
Molly Hagan
Ken Hudson Campbell
Rick Lawless
Peter MacKenzie
Jason Bernard
Theme music composer Nick South
Tom Strahle
Composer(s) Rich Eames
George Englund, Jr.
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 72 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David Babcock
Paul Junger Witt
David Landsberg
Tony Thomas
Producer(s) Karl Fink
Bill Freiberger
Joel Madison
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Touchstone Television
Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions
Original channel Fox
Audio format Stereo
Original run September 8, 1991 (1991-09-08) – April 21, 1994 (1994-04-21)
Status Ended

Herman's Head is an American sitcom that aired on the Fox network from 1991 to 1994. The series stars William Ragsdale as the titular character, Herman.



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 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.

  • Angel represented his sensitivity. As the only female character in his brain, Angel also represented his feminine side, or in Jungian terms the anima, and sometimes used this fact to manipulate the male characters.
  • Animal represented his lust or hunger. He was an archetypal fratboy, and possibly derives his name from Animal House. He usually bullies Wimp. In one episode where Herman's personalities are assessing a sleazy man (Ken Hudson Campbell in a dual role) dating Louise, Animal sticks up for him (probably because this man looks exactly like him and shares his traits).
  • Wimp represented his anxiety. He was a paranoid hypochondriac. But since he always expected the worst, he was often the best prepared to handle crises when the others could not decide.
  • Genius represented his intellect and logic and because of this he clashes with the naive nature of Angel and stupidity of Animal. At times he could get overworked, as in one episode where his face is blackened by soot and he exclaims "I think I blew a fuse!", after Herman makes a ridiculous decision.


Herman's fractured psyche


Reception and cancellation

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.

The Simpsons impact

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." [1]

International airings

The show was also shown on Channel 4 in the UK between 1993 and 1994, on channel STS in Russia between 1996 and 1997, and M-Net in South Africa.


  1. ^ The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season, Disc 2 Title 6 Chapter 3, approx 05:00 from the beginning of the title, Audio and/or subtitle track 2

External links


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