Barney Gumble

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Barney Gumble
The Simpsons character
Barney Gumble.png
First appearance"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989)
Created by Jay Kogen
Wallace Wolodarsky
Voiced by Dan Castellaneta
Information
GenderMale
OccupationBarney's Bowl-A-Rama (ex-owner) helicopter pilot, snowplow driver, astronaut, military service (unknown occupation and branch served in)
FamilyArnie Gumble (deceased father)
Mrs. Gumble (mother)
Al Gumble (uncle)

Barnard Arnold "Barney" Gumble [1] is a recurring character in the American animated TV series The Simpsons . He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".

An animated series is a set of animated works with a common series title, usually related to one another. These episodes should typically share the same main characters, some different secondary characters and a basic theme. Series can have either a finite number of episodes like a miniseries, a definite end, or be open-ended, without a predetermined number of episodes. They can be broadcast on television, shown in movie theatres, released direct-to-video or on the internet. Like animated films, animated series can be of a wide variety of genres and can also have different target audiences, from children to adults.

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

Voice acting act of doubling a character in an animated movie or to voice-over

Voice acting is the art of performing voice-overs or providing voices to represent a character or to provide information to an audience or user. Examples include animated, off-stage, off-screen or non-visible characters in various works, including feature films, dubbed foreign language films, animated short films, television programs, commercials, radio or audio dramas, comedy, video games, puppet shows, amusement rides, audiobooks and documentaries. Voice acting is also done for small handheld audio games.

Contents

Barney is the town drunk of Springfield and Homer Simpson's best friend. His desperation for alcohol is a frequent butt of jokes on the show, though Barney sobered up in the Season 11 episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses". Barney was inspired by the cartoon character Barney Rubble from The Flintstones and by several barflies from other television programs. In 2004, Castellaneta won an Emmy Award for voicing various characters, including Barney.

Town drunk stock character; male in a small town who is drunk more often than sober

The town drunk is a stock character, almost always male, who is drunk more often than sober.

Springfield (<i>The Simpsons</i>) Fictional city in the United States from the Simpsons universe

Springfield is a fictional town in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, which serves as its main setting. A mid-sized town in an undetermined state of the United States, Springfield acts as a complete universe in which characters can explore the issues faced by modern society. The geography of the town and its surroundings are flexible, changing to address whatever an episode's plot calls for.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

Barney can be seen in The Simpsons opening credits since 2009, passed out under a pile of leaves (but still holding his beloved bottle of Duff Beer) and being awoken by Bart Simpson skateboarding over his stomach, causing him to let out his trademark burp.

Duff Beer is a brand of beer that originated as a fictional beverage on the animated series The Simpsons. Beers using the Duff branding have been brewed in a number of countries, resulting in legal battles with varying results. An official version of the beer is sold in three variations near the Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios. In 2015, 20th Century Fox, producer of The Simpsons, began selling licensed Duff beer in Chile, with a view to driving out brandjacking.

Bart Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip, Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Role in The Simpsons

Barney's father, Arnie Gumble, was a World War II veteran who died in 1979 in a parade float accident. [2] Little is known about his mother, except that she lives in Norway [3] and that she served in the United States Navy, including duty on a submarine. She is seen in the season nine episode "Simpson Tide". In Treehouse of Horror XVII, Barney stated that he was Polish, after mistakenly saying he was Irish in a drunken stupor. Barney was born on April 20 (which Homer remembers is also Hitler's birthday in "Viva Ned Flanders" and Barney's entry into the Springfield Film Festival in "A Star Is Burns" where Barney states that he is 40 years old). In the episode "$pringfield", he claims that he studied dance for several years, including modern and tap.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.

"Simpson Tide" is the nineteenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 29, 1998. After being fired from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer decides to join the United States Navy Reserve. The episode was the second and last to be written by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia and was the final episode directed by Milton Gray.

Two episodes give different reasons for his alcoholism. "Mr. Plow" suggests that Barney was a dedicated student looking forward to a bright future. He had his mind set on going to Harvard University, until Homer introduced him to beer the day before the SATs. [4] Season 16's "She Used to Be My Girl" attributes his drinking to his high school girlfriend Chloe Talbot leaving Springfield to pursue a journalism career. [5]

Mr. Plow 9th episode of the fourth season of The Simpsons

"Mr. Plow" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 19, 1992. In the episode, Homer buys a snow plow and starts a business plowing driveways. It is a huge success, and inspired by this, Barney Gumble starts a rival company and quickly puts Homer out of business. The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Jim Reardon. The episode was well received, with some critics calling it one of the best in the show's history. In 1993, Dan Castellaneta won his second Emmy Award for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for this episode. The episode was also submitted in the "Outstanding Comedy Series" category although ultimately it was not nominated.

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has often been cited as the world's top university by most publishers.

The SAT is a standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States. Since it was debuted by the College Board in 1926, its name and scoring have changed several times; originally called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, it was later called the Scholastic Assessment Test, then the SAT I: Reasoning Test, then the SAT Reasoning Test, then simply the SAT.

In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", Barney formed a barbershop quartet with Homer, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Seymour Skinner called the Be Sharps. Barney was asked to join when the other members heard him singing in a beautiful tenor voice in the restroom of Moe's Tavern, replacing the group's original fourth member, Chief Wiggum, who was kicked out. In 1986, the Be Sharps won a Grammy Award for Outstanding Soul, Spoken Word, or Barbershop Album of the Year. Soon, creative disputes arose, and Barney left the group in all but name when he began dating a Japanese conceptual artist. The group realized that they were no longer popular and split up. [6]

Homers Barbershop Quartet 1st episode of the fifth season of The Simpsons

"Homer's Barbershop Quartet" is the first episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 30, 1993. The episode was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Mark Kirkland. It features the Be Sharps, a barbershop quartet founded by Homer Simpson. The band's story roughly parallels that of The Beatles. George Harrison and David Crosby guest star as themselves, and The Dapper Dans provide the singing voices of the Be Sharps.

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon character from The Simpsons

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a recurring character in the animated TV series The Simpsons. He is an Indian immigrant proprietor who runs the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and is best known for his catchphrase, "Thank you, come again." He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".

Principal Skinner Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Principal W. Seymour Skinner is a recurring fictional character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the principal of Springfield Elementary School, which he struggles to control, and is constantly engaged in a battle against its inadequate resources, apathetic and bitter teachers, and often rowdy and unenthusiastic students, Bart Simpson being a standout example.

Barney was rescued from a tar pit by Bart's pet elephant Stampy in "Bart Gets an Elephant" and he also started a snowplowing business rivaling Homer's in "Mr. Plow". Barney's commercial defamed Homer, causing Homer to lose his customers. As revenge, Homer fooled Barney into plowing a driveway on Widow's Peak, a treacherous mountain just outside Springfield. When Homer saw a news report showing that Barney had become trapped in an avalanche, Homer immediately drove to the mountain and rescued Barney. The friends resolved their differences and agreed to work together. However, a heat wave hit Springfield at that exact moment, driving them both out of business. [4] However, in the episodes "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?" and "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" it is shown that Barney still drives his Plow King truck.

After being forced to spend a sober night at Moe's Tavern serving as designated driver, Barney left town in Homer Simpson's car to, among other things, give a guest lecture at Villanova (although, by his own admission, the guest lecture could just have likely occurred on a street corner). A gag in "Selma's Choice" suggests that Barney is the father of many local babies born through (presumably, paid) donation of semen and the resulting artificial insemination.

Barney made a documentary film about his life as an alcoholic, titled Pukahontas. It won the top prize at the Springfield Film Festival. He was ready to quit drinking after winning the Festival, but unfortunately, the prize he received was a lifetime supply of Duff Beer. [1] In "Deep Space Homer", Barney trained to become an astronaut for NASA. Under their alcohol-ban, he quickly regained his balance and diction and was quite appropriately selected to fly with Buzz Aldrin. However, he reverted to his old ways when he was presented with a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne. [7] Barney served in the United States Navy Reserve as a submariner on the USS Jebediah, alongside his mother, in "Simpson Tide". [8]

In "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", after watching a video of his drunken antics at his birthday party, Barney resolves to get sober. He attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, cleans up his appearance, and attends helicopter-flying lessons. [9] It was revealed in the fourteenth season episode "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can" that he had relapsed.

Character

Creation

Barney was inspired by Barney Rubble, Fred Flintstone's best friend and next-door neighbor from the animated series The Flintstones . [10] The writers originally wanted the character to be Homer Simpson's sidekick and next-door neighbor, but instead, while still portraying him as Homer's best friend, they decided to make him an alcoholic. Ned Flanders would become the next-door neighbor instead. [10] "Barney was taking the standard sitcom sidekick and just making him as pathetic as possible," said Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons. [11] The writers drew further inspiration from Crazy Guggenheim, a character played by comedian Frank Fontaine on The Jackie Gleason Show . [11] Part of the reason the writers went in that direction, according to Groening, was because of "a sort of unspoken rule about not having drinking on television as a source of comedy. So, of course, we went right for it." [11] The writers also patterned the character after Norm Peterson (George Wendt), a character from the sitcom Cheers . [12]

In some early first season episodes, Barney had yellow hair. Later in the production of that season, the producers had it changed to brown, because they thought that his hair looked like his skin; [13] as well, during an artistic convention of the show, Groening stated that he wanted only the Simpsons to have yellow hair. [10] Animation director Rich Moore modeled Barney's apartment on one he and several other animators who worked on the show shared, particularly the Farrah Fawcett poster and the cable spool table. [14] The writers originally intended for the character to be the owner of Barney's Bowl-A-Rama. [15] However, after making him "pathetic", they could not regard him as a business owner any longer, and it was explained seasons later in "And Maggie Makes Three" that his Uncle Al owns the alley and named it after him. [15] [16]

Voice

Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Barney. Dan Castellaneta 2.jpg
Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Barney.

Barney Gumble is voiced by Dan Castellaneta. [17] Early on the show, Castellaneta discovered that it was not easy for him to do Barney's trademark belch every time a script called for it, so he identified his best belch and told the producers to make that the standard. [18] Castellaneta has voiced Barney every time he has appeared in the series, with the exception of the episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", in which some of Barney's singing is provided by a member of The Dapper Dans, who recorded lines for all four members of the Be Sharps. [19] Their recordings were intermixed with the cast's, often with a cast member singing the melody and the Dapper Dans providing backup. [19]

Sobriety

Castellaneta thought of the idea of Barney sobering up early in the series. He wrote a script together with his wife Deb Lacusta. They offered their script to showrunner Al Jean. Jean liked the story, but felt that it was too similar to a script the writers were already working on, "Duffless", so he turned it down. Castellaneta and Lacusta waited several years and offered their script, which they updated, to then-show runner Mike Scully, who liked it and had them make a few changes. [20] Their script became the eleventh season episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", which first aired April 9, 2000. [21] The episode was directed by Neil Affleck, who said that he had "a vested interest in getting Barney sober." [20] However, some of the writing staff was opposed to the episode as they felt Barney sober would not be funny. [11] Castellaneta commented, "He's still a goofy man-child...he's still got 15 years of booze left in his veins." [11]

After a long discussion about how the episode should end, the writers decided that they did not want Barney to return to being drunk at the end of the episode. Barney stayed sober for several seasons. The animators modified the appearance of the character, straightening his hair, among other things, to indicate his sobriety. Castellaneta altered his voice for the character by no longer slurring. [20] Barney was still seen at Moe's Tavern, but only drinking lattes. [22] The character's new addiction to coffee was suggested by writer-producer David Mirkin, who has friends who stopped drinking alcohol and became addicted to coffee. [20]

Reception

Filmcritic.com ranked Barney 18th on their 2008 list of "The 21 Best Movie Alcoholics of All Time". Recognizing the character for his appearance in The Simpsons Movie , Filmcritic called him "the most awesomely funny town drunk in pop culture". [23] IGN ranked Barney fifth on their list of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters" in 2006, stating that, "he's been a dependable source of humor through his many drunken asides, burps included...Occasionally he's sobered up...But let's face it, for comedy's sake, The Simpsons is better off with a drunken Barney mouthing off at Moe's." [24] Author Chris Turner ( Planet Simpson ) said, "Making [Barney] sober falls into the trap of all the stuff The Simpsons satirizes, all those simple sitcom narratives where everything is wrapped up in half an hour and everyone learns a lesson in the end." [25]

Britain's The Guardian said that Barney "should be hailed for making compulsive drinking a source of comedy on US TV, a hitherto impossible dream." [26] Entertainment Weekly placed "Mr. Plow" sixth on their list of the best 25 Simpsons episodes in 2003. [27] In 2004, Dan Castellaneta won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for voicing several characters, including Barney, in the episode "Today I Am a Clown". [28] "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses" was nominated for a PRISM Award in 2001. [29]

Merchandising

Playmates Toys created three Barney Gumble action figures as part of the World of Springfield toy line. [30] The first one, released in August 2000, depicts Barney in his usual appearance. The second, Barney in his Plow King jacket from "Mr. Plow", was released in January 2003. [31] The third, a Toys "R" Us retail exclusive, was released in July 2003 as part of a Be Sharps play set. [32] The song "A Boozehound named Barney" from the episode "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious" was included on the Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons album. [33] Barney plays a role in The Simpsons Ride, launched in 2008 at Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood. [34]

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References

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