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The Simpsons character
Rainier.jpg
Rainier Wolfcastle
Gender Male
Job Actor
Relatives Ex-Wife: Maria Shriver Kennedy Quimby
Daughter: Greta
Voice actor Harry Shearer
First appearance
The Simpsons "The Way We Was" (as McBain)
"Radio Bart" (as himself)

Rainier Luftwaffe Wolfcastle is a recurring character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. The character is a parody of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Contents

Role in The Simpsons

Wolfcastle is a veteran of many action movies, most notably the McBain series (unrelated to the 1991 action film by the same name). He is a parody of bodybuilder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to various Simpsons episodes, Wolfcastle began his acting career as early as childhood in Austria, appearing on long TV commercials advertising bratwurst. He owns a Ferrari F40 and a Hummer H1. His daughter Greta Wolfcastle (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) used to have a crush on Bart Simpson ("The Bart Wants What It Wants").

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Jobs

Wolfcastle portrays "McBain"

Rainier Wolfcastle has, in different Simpsons episodes, been a presenter at the Academy Awards, a spokesperson for the PowerSauce energy bar, a celebrity judge in radio station KBBL's contest "How Low Will You Go" (along with Krusty the Klown and Madeleine Albright), hosted a short-lived talk show, and appeared on Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton (in which he shoots Lipton after getting into character as McBain). He also was co-owner of a Planet Hollywood spoof, along with "Chuck Norris, Johnny Carson's third wife, and the Russian mafia".

Apart from the McBain series, Wolfcastle also played Radioactive Man in an ill-fated live-action movie version of the comic book series. Wolfcastle has also ventured into comedic roles; in one episode he carries Homer in an oversized Snugli for babies, remarking, "I used it to carry Rob Schneider in the movie My Baby is an Ugly Man." His other films include Help, My Son is a Nerd; Mrs. Mom (movie based on a Marge Simpson script); Frankenberry: The Movie; I Shoot Your Face; I Shoot Your Face Again and McBain: Let's Get Silly!, a 90 minute movie consisting of McBain performing stand-up comedy in character, which was said to have cost 80 million dollars to produce.

Politics

Rainier Wolfcastle appears to have political ambitions, as noted by his candidacy for mayor in the recall election of Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby. He is a member of the inner circle of the Springfield Republican Party, along with Burns, Krusty the Clown, Dr. Hibbert, The Rich Texan, Count Dracula and Bob Dole. Wolfcastle has campaigned as Republican Mayoral candidate and as a supporter of Sideshow Bob for Mayor; However, he disagrees with his party on the issue of stem cell research (Schwarzenegger is noted as more socially liberal than a majority of Republican politicians on such issues).

Nazi

Hints that Wolfcastle may have Neo-Nazi views derives from Schwarzenegger having had to disavow Nazi sympathies due to his father Gustav Schwarzenegger's onetime Nazi Party membership.[1]

His lead-in announcer on "Up Late with McBain" dresses in a full SS uniform, complete with Nazi armband, and introduces himself as an Obergruppenführer, which was a high ranking officer in the SA and later the SS. In the episode "See Homer Run", in a stump speech he refers to himself as being, among other things a "...son of a Nazi...".

Rainier himself may also be homophobic, as evidenced by his accusing the entire audience of the "Up Late with McBain" show of being homosexuals after they booed him for describing his band leader, Scoey, as "dressing like a homosexual". However, his early acting career included starring in gay porn movies.

Character

The writers invented Wolfcastle—as the action hero McBain—for the episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". Because they liked the scene involving the character from that episode, they used him again in "The Way We Was", which was recorded and aired before "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". The McBain films were meant to satirize clichés of action movies.[2]

The character was originally named McBain, after the fictional film franchise. When the movie McBain was released in 1991, the movie's producers refused to allow the show to use the name, so the name "Rainier Wolfcastle", to represent the actor's real name, was created to use instead. Later, the use of the name returned to the show.[3]

Wolfcastle was based on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[4] This basis has been drawn out over the series. Wolfcastle's wife is named Maria à la Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver. In the episode "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", Bart Simpson tells Wolfcastle that his "last movie really sucked" (Along with Chief Wiggum's line of "Magic Ticket, my ass, McBain!"), alluding to Schwarzenegger's film Last Action Hero, which was panned by critics.[5] Wolfcastle owns a restaurant named Planet Springfield, a parody of Planet Hollywood, which Schwarzenegger co-owned with other celebrities.[6] Wolfcastle is Republican like Schwarzenegger. In the reverse case, The Simpsons Movie's portrayal of Schwarzenegger as President of the United States is modeled after and sounds similar to Wolfcastle.

Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, doubles as Wolfcastle when Harry Shearer is absent from table reads. He ad-libbed the line "On closer inspection, these are loafers" in the episode "A Star Is Burns".[4]

References

  1. ^ Tracy Wilkinson and Matt Lait (August 14, 2003). "Austrian Archives Reveal Nazi Military Role of Actor's Father". Los Angeles Times. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0814-07.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-14.  
  2. ^ Groening, Matt; Martin, Jeff; Jean, Al; Reiss, Mike (2002). Commentary for "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. ^ Groening, Matt; Brooks, James L.; Jean, Al; Reiss, Mike; Silverman, David (2002). Commentary for "The Way We Was", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. ^ a b Jean, Al (2005). Commentary for "A Star Is Burns", in The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  5. ^ Mirkin, David (2004). Commentary for "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season [DVD]. Twentieth Century Fox.
  6. ^ (2006). Commentary for "My Sister, My Sitter", in The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season [DVD]. Twentieth Century Fox.

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