The Real-life Inspiration Behind 13 of Your Favorite Simpsons Characters

by Ivana Hamilton March 11, 2019

The Real-life Inspiration Behind 13 of Your Favorite Simpsons Characters

Have you ever watched some of the Simpsons characters thinking “Who does he remind me of?”  Most of these popular TV show characters are actually inspired by real people and some of them by other fictional characters. Even their names are inspired by real-life people! For instance, the creator Matt Groening's parents' names are Homer and Marge (her maiden name was Wiggum), and his sisters' names are Lisa and Maggie. We unveil you the inspiration behind every of your favorite Simpsons’ character.

1. Homer - Walter Matthau's Voice

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Homer Simpson

The actor Dan Castellaneta who borrows his voice to Homer Simpson shared that his inspiration for the voice was character actor Walter Matthau.

2. Moe - Comic Rich Hall

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Moe

Stand-up comic Rich Hall confirmed that he was the inspiration behind Moe: "I suspected that Moe was based on me because I used to write with George Meyer back when he was one of the original writers on the show. Matt Groening was a fan of my stuff. Other people said, 'You look and sound just like Moe.' Then Matt confirmed it."

3. Mr. Burns - Two Business Tycoons

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has confirmed that the richest man in Springfield was based on the world's richest man, John D Rockefeller. Animator David Silverman, on the other hand, claims that Burns's is a combination of a praying mantis and Barry Diller, the former head of Fox broadcasting.

4. Apu - Peter Sellers in The Party

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Apu

Hank Azaria the voice of the Indian character Apu has said that he based his voice on another white actor who pretends to be Indian: Peter Sellers 's character Hrundi V Bakshi in the movie "The Party". However, the fact that white actor voices an Indian character in the show still sparks controversy.

5. Barney - a 1950s Comedy Character

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Barney

Homer's drinking pal is based on The Jackie Gleason Show’s character Crazy Guggenheim (played by Frankie Fontaine).

6. Frank Grimes - Michael Douglas in Falling Down

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Frank Grimes

The similarity is obvious - Frank Grimes is Michael Douglas’s virtual twin!

7. Troy McClure - Two B Movie Icons

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Troy Mclure

The Simpsons B-movie star, Troy McClure, is a fun blend of two real-life B-movie actors: Troy Donahue and Doug McClure. Doug’s daughter shared that his father wasn't offended at all. In fact, he was a big fan of the show and his children would even call him Troy as a joke.

8. Chief Wiggum - Actor Edward G. Robinson

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Chief Wiggum

In 2008's “Treehouse of Horror XIX'” Wiggum and Robinson's ghost accuse each other of being rip-offs, and they were actually right! Hank Azaria himself confirmed that Chief Wiggum is inspired by the Hollywood actor Edward G. Robinson.

9. Mayor Quimby - JFK

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Mayor Quimbu

Springfield's womanizing Mayor was inspired by none other than the American President John F Kennedy. Can you spot the connection?

10. Rainier Wolfcastle - Arnold Schwarzenegger

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Rainier Wolfcastle

No need to further explain.

11. Dr. Nick - Elvis's Controversial Doctor

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Dr Nick

Dr. Nick is an impression of Elvis Presley's controversial longtime doctor George Nichopoulos, who received major backlash when the legendary singer fatally used medications in a dose no reasonable doctor would have prescripted.

12. Bumblebee Man - Mexican TV star

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Bumblebee man

Bumblebee Man is a lookalike to a real-life Mexican TV superhero known as El Chapulin Colorado, aka “The Red Grasshopper”  played by Roberto Gómez Bolaños. The show was very popular in Mexico.

13. Krusty the Clown - Real-life Clown

The real-life inspiration behind 13 of your favorite Simpsons characters Krusty The Clown

Springfield's biggest star is inspired by a real-life clown Rusty Nail (aka James Allen) that Matt Groening used to watch as a child. Additionally, Krusty's backstory takes inspiration from the US comic Jackie Mason.

Also in Infos