After dinner with my friend Angie tonight, we sat down to watch some TV. And naturally enough, we switched away from current affairs to an episode of The Simpsons neither of us had seen before.
That itself is a miracle as I thought I had seen EVERY episode at least 10 times. But it made for even happier times as a new episode meant new opening credits, which I loved. Although disturbingly, they involved a naked Homer.
Anyway, with that mental picture locked firmly in my head (and probably yours now too, sorry!), the episode, called Eeny Teeny Maya Moe, focused mainly on Moe. More specifically, his search for love online.
In an unexpected twist the boxer turned barman managed to meet and then hook up with a gorgeous woman, even after she had seen his real photo. But naturally, there was a twist. Her height. Or lack thereof, given she was only about half as tall as he was.
Even though he loved Maya in spite of her small stature, she wanted someone who didn’t even notice it and called things off. This left Moe back where he belongs – alone behind the counter of a bar that is so filthy it would probably survive a nuclear explosion.
Anyway, as the episode came to a close, I once again thought what a great actor Hank Azaria is, especially as he voices not only Moe but also my absolute favourite Springfield resident – Comic Book Guy. So I decided I should find out what other characters he does. And it turns out there’s more than 30.
Here’s a selection …
* Chief Clancy Wiggum
* Frank Grimes
* Dr Nick Riviera
* Disco Stu
* Captain McCallister
* Superintendent Chalmers
* Professor Frink
* Bumblebee Man
* Kirk Van Houten
* Dredrick Tatum
All have helped Hank to populate some truly hilarious episodes of the show. But I wondered what his favourite was. And the answer was easy to find as the series has just hit the big 500 and Entertainment Weekly put the question to him.
The answer is (drum roll please) Cape Feare in Season 5 where Sideshow Bob tries to kill Bart when he is sprung from prison in an hilarious homage to the movie Cape Fear.
“I laughed at that the hardest,” Hank says. “It just destroyed me from beginning to end. The rake thing is the hardest I ever laughed at a gag on The Simpsons. I love that humor where you just repeat something beyond all reason.” And if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. So let’s end with that clip.