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Moe Szyslak ( ) is a fictional character in the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". Moe is the proprietor and bartender of Moe's Tavern, a Springfield bar frequented by Homer Simpson, Barney Gumble, Carl Carlson, Lenny Leonard, and others. In episode 310, "Flaming Moe's", he is called by his full first name Morris, by a female bar attendant he hired.

Role in The Simpsons

Personality

Moe is the owner and operator of his bar, called "Moe's Tavern". His most loyal customer is Barney Gumble. Other regulars include Homer Simpson, Lenny Leonard, Carl Carlson, Sam and Larry. He lives at 57 Walnut Street in Springfield.

Moe usually serves Duff beer on tap. He enthusiastically abandons his bar, its regular customers, and his friends when a better opportunity comes along, such as the drink "The Flaming Moe", the opening of his postmodern bar "M", the conversion of his bar into a family-themed restaurant called Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag and a British themed pub with Marge called the Nag and Weasel. Moe is often engaged in shady or illegal activities at his tavern, including smuggling pandas and orcas, hosting Russian roulette games, operating an unlicensed casino, serving liquor without a license (the liquor license he had was from 1973, signed by Moe himself, and only valid in Rhode Islandmarker), running a speakeasy during Springfield's brief flirtation with prohibition, performing unlicensed surgery, and housing Africanized bees.

Moe's temperament is characterized by a short, violent temper, coupled with homicidal and suicidal tendencies (the latter of which has become more apparent in later episodes of the show). He frequently threatens various people with a shotgun and attempts suicide (including an annual attempt on Christmas and in the episodes "Mommie Beerest" after his bar is closed by the health department, Moe calls the suicide hotline only to discover that they’ve blocked his number and "Treehouse of Horror XIV" in demonstration of the absence of Death). He assumes a leading role in many of Springfield's angry mobs (such as a soccer riot in the episode The Cartridge Family), and kidnapping Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne. He has also shot at Carl Carlson, robbed Homer of expensive pants, kept Hans Moleman under his bar's floorboards in a subterranean chamber, perpetrated insurance fraud ("Dumbbell Indemnity"), shot Sam in the back for trying to pay in Sacagawea dollars, and stalked various townspeople. His sociopathic tendencies are made the subject of humour in Burns' Heir, where he can be seen in his own home preparing a dialogue for some kind of confrontation in front of a mirror, and using a home-made sliding action pistol holster (which comically smashes the mirror,) in a parody of the character Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. This behavior is further exhibited in The Simpsons Movie when he becomes the self-proclaimed "Emperor of Springfield" when the town is ruined. His leadership is challenged by Barney Gumble, who throws a Molotov Cocktail at him, which Moe successfully throws back.

Moe has an almost nonexistent love life due to his vulgarity towards women and his ugly appearance. Despite this, Moe has had a number of romantic experiences, including sleeping with his bartender Collette, dating a woman named Renee,
and enjoying the company of many women after he had plastic surgery. He also has a relationship and proposed to Maya, however his jokes about her size caused them to break up. He has long been infatuated with Marge Simpson, whom he mistakenly calls 'Midge', and has on occasion tried to win her away from Homer. He has been romantically involved with Edna Krabappel as well as Marge's sister Selma. Moe's romantic attractions have resulted in run-ins with the law; he has stalked Maude Flanders and other townspeople, he must register as a sex offender, and he has a restraining order placed upon him. At one point he is seen on his way to a "V.D. clinic". Moe has also proposed marriage to a WNBA mascot, even knowing that the character inside the mascot is Gil Gunderson. Despite his creepy approach, Moe has showed to be a caring and devoted lover. While dating Renee (and previously Edna), he wholeheartedly spoiled them with whatever they wanted and vowed to give up his bar and take them away from Springfield forever, even if it means losing his own money and doing illegal acts to make more money. When he thought he finally won Marge's heart, he promised to be a better lover than Homer. He dated Maya, a little person he met on the Internet, and even proposed marriage to her, but she broke up with him because he couldn't get past her height.


Despite his faults, Moe has been shown to express genuine love and sentimentality, which suggests that he may not be as gruff as he appears. He has a cat named Mr. Snookums, of whom he is very fond but will turn hostile if anyone sees him with the cat. Moe is also kind towards the rats that live in his bar. On Wednesday nights, he reads to the homeless in a local soup kitchen and he also reads to sick children at the hospital. He and Lisa are friends. He saves the owner of King Toot's music store and his wife from a flaming car. He saves Maggie Simpson's life and takes efforts to protect her. Moe has demonstrated knowledge of automobiles and dancing.

History

Moe's past is somewhat mysterious as he claimed to be Dutch as well as being born in Indianamarker. The many conflicting stories of Moe's heritage on the show are parodied in The Book of Moe, where Moe is seen in several different foreign outfits and commenting on them (often with puns).

As a child, he played the part of "Smelly", a tough kid, on The Little Rascals until he killed Alfalfa for stealing his bit (looking into a car's exhaust pipe just in time to get a face full of exhaust). At some unspecified time during his childhood, his parents dropped him off at summer camp, never to return. In a flashback, he is revealed to have spoken with an Italian accent as a child, but this is contradicted by other accounts of his childhood. In that same episode, it shows the beginning of Moe becoming a victim of prank calls when young Marge calls the boys' camp and asks to talk to Elvis Jagger Abdul-Jabbar, which is what Homer introduced himself as to her. Moe, thinking that she is trying to trick him, becomes angry and hangs up. Then he turns to the camera and says, "And, uh, that's the origin of that." During the time Homer and Marge were in high school, Moe worked in the school cafeteria, as his first job out of prison. Then school journalists, Marge and her friend, Chloe Talbot, caught the young Moe spitting in the cafeteria soup he was preparing. Exposing this, Moe was taken back to jail, yelling "You ain't tasted the last of my spit!", indicating he might spit into some drinks he serve at his bar, in 'Eternal Moonshine Of The Simpson Mind' knowing that homer will not remember anything he says tells him "Ive spit in every drink I ever served you." before spitting in his drink. Moe was thought to be allergic to pollen; years later, when he found out he wasn't, he made up for lost time by jumping rope. As a young man, Moe became a semi-professional boxer, his ring name constantly changing to suit his deteriorating physical appearance. He started as "Kid Gorgeous" and slowly morphed into "Kid Presentable", "Kid Gruesome", and finally "Kid Moe". Moe blames his boxing career for making him ugly. According to Moe, his boxing career ended because of politics, and because he was knocked out 40 times in a row. Moe's ugliness caused him to audition unsuccessfully for a part in It Never Ends, a soap opera, revealed in "Pygmoelian". His current appearance has been described as consisting of "cauliflower ear, lizard lips, little rat eyes, caveman brow and fish snout" in the same episode. Moe's ugliness has since become a recurring source of humor on the show. For example, in "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind", Moe pauses a video of himself and every frame that is shown reveals a hideous expression on his face (even though he appears normal when the video is playing).

After attending bartending school at Swigmore University (a play on Skidmore Collegemarker), Moe opened up his own drinking establishment, "Moe's Tavern."

Character

Creation

The creator of The Simpsons Matt Groening based Moe on Louis "Red" Deutsch who was made famous when he was repeatedly prank called by two Jersey Citymarker residents. These prank calls were the inspiration for Bart Simpson's repeated prank calls to Moe, and Deutsch's often profane responses inspired Moe's violent temper. Further inspiration was drawn from comedian Rich Hall, an acquaintance of The Simpsons writer George Meyer. Hall considers being the basis for Moe "an honor." Moe's surname "Szyslak" was revealed in "Who Shot Mr. Burns? ". Writers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein found the name in a phonebook and gave it to Moe so that he would have the initials M.S., and hence be a suspect in the Burns shooting. Moe was designed by animator Dan Haskett and his facial appearance was modeled after a gorilla. Animator Mark Kirkland said that he usually lets pass through production off-model drawings of Moe because the character is so ugly that no one will notice.

Voice

Moe was the first voice Hank Azaria performed for the show. During the time of his audition, Azaria was doing a play in which he had the part of a drug dealer, basing his voice on actor Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. He used the same voice in the audition, and was told by Matt Groening and Sam Simon, who were directing him, to make it more gravelly like Deutsch's voice. Groening and Simon thought that it was perfect and took Azaria over to the Fox network recording studio. Before he had even seen a script, Azaria recorded several lines of dialogue as Moe for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening". Moe was originally voiced by actor Christopher Collins. Collins recorded several lines as Moe which never aired.

Reception

In 2001 and 2003, Hank Azaria won Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for voicing Moe and various other characters.

See also



References

  1. Oakley, Bill (2005). Commentary for "Who Shot Mr. Burns? ", in The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  2. Silverman, David (2001). Commentary for "Bart the General", in The Simpsons: The Complete First Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. Reiss, Mike (2004). Commentary for "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. Kirkland, Mark (2004). Commentary for "Bart Sells His Soul", in The Simpsons: The Complete Seventh Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  5. Azaria, Hank; Jean, Al (2004). Commentary for "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", in The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.


External links




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