Comic Book Guy is the common, popular name for Jeff Albertson, a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the second-season episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", which originally aired on May 9, 1991. Comic Book Guy is the proprietor of a comic book store, The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop. He is based on "every comic book store guy in America" and represents a stereotypical middle-aged comic-book collector. He is well known for his distinctive accent, disagreeable personality and his catchphrase, "Worst [blank] ever!"
|Comic Book Guy|
|The Simpsons character|
|First appearance||"Three Men and a Comic Book" (1991)|
|Created by||Jeff Martin (writer)|
Matt Groening (designer)
|Voiced by||Hank Azaria|
|Occupation||Proprietor of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop|
|Spouse||Kumiko Nakamura (wife)|
|Relatives||Comic Book Gay (cousin)|
Graphic Novel Kid (cousin)
Comic Book Guy (who states Jeff Albertson to be his real name in the episode "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass") is a nerdy, snobby and quarrelsome man best known for his eloquence and crabby, sarcastic quips. He is obsessed with collecting comic books and is an avid science fiction buff. He holds a master's degree in folklore and mythology (having translated The Lord of the Rings into Klingon as part of his thesis), as well as a degree in chemical engineering, has an IQ of 170, and is a member of the Springfield branch of Mensa. He is morbidly obese and has long hair, which he always keeps tied in a ponytail.
His catchphrase is the declaration "worst/best [subject] ever", sometimes to the point of breaking the fourth wall. For example, in the episode "Saddlesore Galactica", he wears a T-shirt saying "Worst Episode Ever" and criticizes the idea of the Simpson family keeping a horse since that was the subject of a previous episode. Another example of breaking the fourth wall occurs in an episode when Comic Book Guy's chair collapses, and he sarcastically says "Ooh, a fat man falls. Real original." Despite his solitary life, in The Simpsons Movie, minutes before his likely death, Comic Book Guy says that his obsessive comic book collecting has been a "life well spent". However, in "Treehouse of Horror VIII", when a nuclear missile homes in on him, he says to himself, "Oh, I've wasted my life.", although the Treehouse of Horror episodes are not part of the normal Simpsons canon. In the 2008 episode "Any Given Sundance" it was revealed that he is also a writer and posts to his own site called "Ain't I Fat News", a take on the real-life movie review website Ain't It Cool News.
Comic Book Guy was once married in an online role-playing game. He and his Internet wife contemplated having children, but that would have severely drained his "power crystals". In Season 16's "There's Something About Marrying", he hopes to wed a Xena: Warrior Princess cardboard figure. While part of an intellectual junta that briefly ran Springfield in "They Saved Lisa's Brain", he proposes plans to limit breeding to once every seven years (a reference to the Vulcan blood fever of mating, called Pon farr), commenting that this would mean much less breeding for most, but for him, "much, much more". He is a virgin well into his forties, but becomes sexually and romantically involved with Principal Skinner's mother Agnes. He later dates Edna Krabappel after she leaves Skinner at the altar. They are nearly married at a science fiction convention with Skinner trying to stop the wedding, but Edna changes her mind, preferring not to be tied down to a relationship. Comic Book Guy is not particularly surprised by this, saying, "There are a million valid reasons, but which one did you pick?" When Edna gently explains "It's like I'm DC Comics, and you're Marvel", he accepts the comparison without any rancor. In "Married to the Blob" Comic Book Guy marries Kumiko Nakamura, a Japanese manga artist.
Comic Book Guy is the owner of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop, a local comic book store. The comics, collectibles, and toys he sells are of wildly varying quality and often have very high prices. His store is his sanctuary, where he holds some level of self-esteem, imperiously lording over pre-teen kids, like Bart Simpson and Milhouse Van Houten, using a heavily sarcastic tone and often banning certain customers for minor infractions. His store contains a lower level full of illegal videos (which include Mr. Rogers drunk, Alien autopsy, Illegal Alien Autopsy, a "good version" of The Godfather Part III, and Kent Brockman picking his nose).
In "Husbands and Knives", the store was closed due to bankruptcy when a rival comic book shop opened across the road, run by an owner with significantly better customer service and social skills. Although his old store was bought by Marge Simpson in the same episode and not returned, Comic Book Guy continues running his store in future episodes and the rival store is usually not mentioned, though it was referred to again when its owner showed up in "Married to the Blob".
Comic Book Guy was partly inspired by a clerk at the Los Angeles Amok book shop who often "[sat] on the high stool, kind of lording over the store with that supercilious attitude and eating behind the counter a big Styrofoam container full of fried clams with a lot of tartar sauce." Groening noted:
Azaria based Comic Book Guy's voice on a college contemporary named Mark who went by the nickname "F", short for "Flounder" from the movie National Lampoon's Animal House, and lived in the room next door to him at Tufts University. Hank Azaria further explained that "F" would listen to the song "867-5309" all day long and that Mark would keep a list of top five and bottom five people who he liked and hated in the dorm and post it hourly. Azaria stated that he himself was always on the bottom five of the list because he complained about the playing of the music. Azaria "loves that the character is an adult who argues with kids as if they're his peers."
Within the series, the character Comic Book Guy is often used to represent a stereotypical inhabitant of the newsgroup alt.tv.simpsons. The first such instance occurred in the seventh-season episode "Radioactive Man", in which Comic Book Guy is logging on to his favorite newsgroup alt.nerd.obsessive. David X. Cohen often read alt.tv.simpsons to gauge audience response to episodes. He decided to lampoon the passion and the fickleness of the fans.
In the eighth-season episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" after Comic Book Guy views the Itchy & Scratchy episode featuring Poochie, he immediately goes on the Internet and writes, "Worst episode ever" on a message board; a commentary on how the active audience nitpicks the episode. The writers respond by using the voice of Bart Simpson:
Bart: Hey, I know it wasn't great, but what right do you have to complain?
Comic Book Guy: As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me.
Bart: What? They've given you thousands of hours of entertainment for free. What could they possibly owe you? If anything, you owe them.
Comic Book Guy: ...Worst episode ever.
The catchphrase further appears on his T-shirt in the eleventh season episode "Saddlesore Galactica", and as the title of the twelfth season episode "Worst Episode Ever". The catchphrase can also be used for describing other things by saying, "Worst. (Noun). Ever."
A long-running gag on the show was never to reveal the character's name, with other characters referring to him as "Comic Book Guy". The writers had intended to name the character as early as his first episode, but they could not think of a name for him, and they called him "Comic Book Guy", with the intention of naming the character the next time they used him. However, they continually procrastinated. Finally, in the February 6, 2005 episode, "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass", Comic Book Guy nonchalantly tells Ned Flanders: "My name is Jeff Albertson, but everyone calls me 'Comic Book Guy'". Showrunner Al Jean remarked: "That was specifically done to make people really mad. We just tried to pick a generic name. It was also the Super Bowl show. We did it so the most people possible would see it." Groening stated that he had originally intended him to be called Louis Lane and be "obsessed and tormented by" Lois Lane, but Groening was not present when the writers chose the name. His name is also mentioned in The Simpsons Game.
Hank Azaria has won several Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work on The Simpsons, winning one in 2001 for voicing Comic Book Guy and various other characters in the episode "Worst Episode Ever".
Comic Book Guy is featured on the cover of the twelfth season DVD. He appears on other media as well, including T-shirts and drinking glasses.
In The Simpsons Game, he explains all the clichés that the player comes across during the game. Comic Book Guy has appeared in his own five-part comic book, in which his death influenced a nerd and geek gang war. The Simpsons Library of Wisdom includes a volume entitled "Comic Book Guy's Book of Pop Culture".
Comic Book Guy appears in Hit and Run as a drivable character, the host for bonus mission level four and host for a level seven mission. He is also a passenger in Road Rage.
"101 Mitigations" is the 15th episode of the thirtieth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 654th episode overall. It aired in the United States on Fox on March 3, 2019.Alt.tv.simpsons
alt.tv.simpsons (called "a.t.s." by regular readers) is a usenet newsgroup dedicated to discussing the American television program The Simpsons. Created in 1990, the newsgroup became a popular community in the early 1990s, and continues to exist as of 2019. It is known for reviewing episodes and nitpicking minor details on the show.
The writers of The Simpsons know about the forum and have on several occasions read the comments made on it. The character Comic Book Guy is often used in the show to lampoon and respond to the newsgroup's fans. In interviews some writers have admitted that they do not like being scrutinized, but other writers have participated in the discussions on the forum. Independent commentators call the forum an example of an "active audience" and have claimed The Simpsons is tailor-made for such a forum.Gone Maggie Gone
"Gone Maggie Gone" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' twentieth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 15, 2009. The episode was written by both Billy Kimball and longtime Simpsons writer Ian Maxtone-Graham, and directed by Chris Clements. In the episode, Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, but when she disappears, Lisa goes undercover as a nun to solve the mystery and find her. Meanwhile, Homer tries to keep Maggie's disappearance a secret from Marge, who was temporarily blinded while watching a solar eclipse.Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass
"Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass" is the eighth episode of season 16 of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 6, 2005. It is a Super Bowl-themed episode that was broadcast after Super Bowl XXXIX.
This is the first episode in which Comic Book Guy's real name, Jeff Albertson, is revealed to the audience.Homer the Whopper
"Homer the Whopper" is the season premiere of The Simpsons' twenty-first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 27, 2009. In the episode, Comic Book Guy creates a new superhero called Everyman who takes powers from other superheroes. Homer is cast as the lead in the film adaptation. To get Homer into shape, the movie studio hires a celebrity fitness trainer, Lyle McCarthy, to help him. Homer gets into great shape and is really excited, but when McCarthy leaves to train another client, he starts over-eating again and ultimately this leads to the film's failure.
The episode was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who are "obsessed" fans of the show, and directed by Lance Kramer. "Homer The Whopper" was intended to be a commentary on how Hollywood treats superhero films. Rogen also guest stars in the episode as the character Lyle McCarthy, making him the second guest star to both write an episode and appear in it; Ricky Gervais was the first.
"Homer the Whopper" has received mixed reviews from television critics and acquired a Nielsen rating of 4.3 in its original broadcast.Husbands and Knives
"Husbands & Knives" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' nineteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 18, 2007. It features guest appearances from Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, and Dan Clowes as themselves and Jack Black as Milo. It was written by Matt Selman and directed by Nancy Kruse. The title is a reference to the Woody Allen film Husbands and Wives.List of The Simpsons comics
The following is a list of comic book series based on the animated TV show The Simpsons and published by Bongo Comics in the United States. The first comic strips based on The Simpsons appeared in 1991 in the magazine Simpsons Illustrated (not to be confused with the comic publications from 2012 bearing the same name), which was a companion magazine to the show. The comic strips were popular and a one-shot comic book entitled Simpsons Comics and Stories, containing three different stories, was released in 1993 for the fans. The book was a success and due to this, the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, and his companions Bill Morrison, Mike Rote, Steve Vance and Cindy Vance created the publishing company Bongo Comics. By the end of 1993, Bongo was publishing four titles: Simpsons Comics, Bartman, Radioactive Man and Itchy & Scratchy Comics. Since then, many more titles have been published, out of which Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson, Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, Simpsons Super Spectacular, Simpsons Summer Shindig, and Simpsons Winter Wingding.Simpsons Comics and Bart Simpson comics are reprinted in the United Kingdom by the publishing company Titan Magazines, under the same titles. Various stories from other Bongo publications released in the United States, are also reprinted in the UK Simpsons Comics. The same titles are published in Australia by Otter Press. Issues of Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Bart Simpson have been collected and reprinted in trade paperbacks in the United States by HarperCollins.List of World of Springfield figures and playsets
List of World of Springfield figures and playsets is a compilation of action figures and other items related to the animated sitcom The Simpsons and provided in the World of Springfield play toy line released by Playmates Toys in December 1999. After the last of the toy line was released in December 2004, the fictional toy world eventually encompassed over 200 different figures and characters from the series, 40 interactive playsets (toy re-creations of Simpson's interior settings and town location settings within Springfield), and three non-interactive diorama town settings.Married to the Blob
"Married to the Blob" is the tenth episode of the 25th season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 540th episode of the series. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on January 12, 2014. The episode was written by Tim Long and directed by Chris Clements.The episode received positive reviews from critics and was watched by 4.83 million viewers and an 18-49 rating of 2.2. Coincidentally, the title for this episode has been previously used in a segment for "Treehouse of Horror XVII".My Big Fat Geek Wedding
"My Big Fat Geek Wedding" is the 17th episode of The Simpsons' fifteenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 18, 2004. The episode was originally planned to air on April 4, 2004, but due to the voice actors going on strike, Fox aired a rerun instead.
The story is a follow-up to the episode "Special Edna".Planet Simpson
Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation, also abbreviated to Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation, is a non-fiction book about The Simpsons, written by Chris Turner and originally published on October 12, 2004 by Random House. The book is partly a memoir and an exploration of the impact The Simpsons has had on popular culture.Rory Root
Rory D. Root (November 8, 1957 – May 19, 2008) was the owner of Comic Relief, an influential comic book retailer in Berkeley, California.
Comic Relief was one of the first stores to stock graphic novels, presaging their popularity by many years. Root also made a point of supporting self-publishers and minicomics artists. In 1993, Root was awarded the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award in honor of his exemplary work in promoting the genre.He influenced many in the comics field, including Eric Reynolds of Fantagraphics.Saddlesore Galactica
"Saddlesore Galactica" is the thirteenth episode of the eleventh season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 6, 2000. In the episode, the Simpson family rescues a diving horse named Duncan from the abuse of his owner and keeps him as a pet. When the cost of keeping Duncan rises, Homer and Bart train him to be a racehorse. Duncan wins several races and, as a result, Homer is threatened with death by a group of jockeys. Meanwhile, Lisa is upset over her school unfairly losing the musical band competition at a state fair and writes a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton in protest.
The episode features several guest appearances; horse race caller Trevor Denman stars as himself, commentating the races in the episode, and voice artist Jim Cummings provides the animal sounds made by Duncan. Randy Bachman and Fred Turner appear as themselves as their rock band Bachman–Turner Overdrive performs at the state fair. "Saddlesore Galactica" was written by Tim Long and directed by Lance Kramer. A number of meta-references are included in the episode, such as the character Comic Book Guy telling the Simpsons that they have owned a horse before in the episode "Lisa's Pony".
Around 9.6 million American homes tuned in to watch the episode during its original airing. In 2008, it was released on DVD, along with the rest of the episodes of the eleventh season. "Saddlesore Galactica" is despised by many television critics and fans according to Long. It has been described by About.com's Nancy Basile as one of the season's worst episodes, by Marco Ursi of Maclean's as the worst episode of the series, and has frequently been cited by fans as an example of the show jumping the shark. Criticism has been directed at its outlandish plot, which, among other things, features elf-like jockeys who lure Homer into their secret lair where they threaten him to stop Duncan from winning.Simple Simpson
"Simple Simpson" is the nineteenth episode of The Simpsons' fifteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 2, 2004.T. M. Maple
T.M. Maple (c. 1956–1994) was the pseudonym of Jim Burke, a Canadian who wrote more than 3,000 letters to comic book letter columns between 1977 and 1994.Burke's letters were quite popular among readers as well as editors, and he wrote prolifically to a diverse number of comic publishing companies and titles. Burke originally signed his letters as "The Mad Maple," but Marvel Comics editor Tom DeFalco abbreviated it to "T.M. Maple" to make it sound like a real name (thus circumventing a new policy at the company to stop printing letters submitted under pseudonyms). Burke took a liking to the new name and began using it exclusively (including variations like "Theodore Maddox Maplehurst") until 1988, when in Scott McCloud's Zot! #21 he revealed his real name. At around the same time, he also revealed his real name in a letter to Action Comics Weekly #615.
Starting in 1986, Burke wrote a column called "The Canuck Stops Here" in the fanzine It's a Fanzine.
With artist/publisher Allen Freeman, Burke co-created the superhero Captain Optimist and wrote five issues of the series.Some believe that the Simpsons' character the Comic Book Guy was based on Maple. Simpsons creator Matt Groening, however, has repeatedly stated that the Comic Book Guy was based on "... every comic-bookstore guy in America".After Burke died of a heart attack in 1994, he was eulogized in a number of letter columns published by DC Comics, the company he probably wrote to most prolifically.The Simpsons (season 12)
The Simpsons' twelfth season originally aired between November 2000 and May 2001. It began on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 with "Treehouse of Horror XI". The season contains four hold-over episodes from the season 11 (BABF) production line. The showrunner for the twelfth production season was Mike Scully. The season won and was nominated for numerous awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards wins and an Annie Award. Season 12 was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 18, 2009, Region 2 on September 28, 2009, and Region 4 on September 2, 2009.Three Men and a Comic Book
"Three Men and a Comic Book" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 9, 1991. In the episode, Bart catches a glimpse of the original issue of Radioactive Man for sale at a comic book convention, so he, Martin, and Milhouse combine their money to buy the valuable comic book, only to lose it due to their selfishness and inability to share. It also marks the first appearance of the Android's Dungeon and its owner, the Comic Book Guy.
The episode was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Wes Archer. It features cultural references to comic book characters such as Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Several new characters make their first appearance on the show in the episode, including Comic Book Guy, Radioactive Man, and Mrs. Glick.
Since airing, the episode has received generally positive reviews from television critics for its use of parodies and cultural references. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 12.9, and was the highest-rated show on Fox the week it aired.Treehouse of Horror X
"Treehouse of Horror X" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season, and the tenth annual Treehouse of Horror episode, consisting of three self-contained segments. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on Halloween 1999. In "I Know What You Diddily-Iddily-Did", the Simpsons cover up a murder and are haunted by an unseen witness. In "Desperately Xeeking Xena", Bart and Lisa gain superpowers and must rescue Xena star Lucy Lawless from the Comic Book Guy's alter ego The Collector, and in "Life's a Glitch, Then You Die", Homer causes worldwide destruction thanks to the Y2K bug.
"Treehouse of Horror X" was directed by Pete Michels and written by Ron Hauge, Donick Cary and Tim Long. The episode contains numerous parodies and references to horror and science fiction works, including Doctor Who, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Battlestar Galactica. It also features actress Lucy Lawless and actors Tom Arnold, and Dick Clark as themselves. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.7 million viewers, finishing in 34th place in the ratings the week it aired. Since its airing, the episode received positive reviews from critics.Worst Episode Ever
"Worst Episode Ever" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 4, 2001. In the episode, Bart and Milhouse are banned from The Android's Dungeon after stopping Comic Book Guy from buying a box of priceless Star Wars memorabilia for $5. However, when Comic Book Guy suffers a massive heart attack after Tom Savini's show, he hires Bart and Milhouse as his replacements while he leaves his job to make friends.
"Worst Episode Ever" was written by Larry Doyle and directed by Matthew Nastuk. The series' staff found it hard to make Comic Book Guy seem likable, since he is usually portrayed as sarcastic and unfriendly. The episode features actor and makeup artist Tom Savini as himself. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 10 million viewers, finishing in 27th place in the ratings the week it aired. Since its broadcast, the episode received positive reviews from critics, and Hank Azaria won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his performance as Comic Book Guy in the episode.