Mr. Burns

Charles Montgomery "Monty" Burns, usually referred to simply as Mr. Burns, is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer. He is the evil, devious, greedy and wealthy owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and, by extension, Homer Simpson's boss. He is assisted at almost all times by Smithers, his loyal and sycophantic aide, adviser, confidant, and secret admirer.

Although originally conceived as a one-dimensional, recurring villain who might occasionally enter the Simpsons' lives and wreak some sort of havoc, Mr. Burns' popularity has led to his repeated inclusion in episodes. He is a stereotype of corporate America in his unquenchable desire to increase his own wealth and power, inability to remember his employees' names (including Homer's, despite frequent interactions – which has become a recurrent joke) and lack of concern for their safety and well-being. Reflecting his advanced age, Mr. Burns is given to expressing dated humor, making references to Jazz Age popular culture, and aspiring to apply obsolete technology to everyday life. Conan O'Brien has called Mr. Burns his favorite character to write for, due to his arbitrarily old age and extreme wealth.

Mr. Burns' trademark expression is the word "Excellent", muttered slowly in a low, sinister voice while steepling his fingertips. He occasionally orders Smithers to "release the hounds", so as to let his vicious guard dogs attack any intruders, enemies or even invited guests. Mr. Burns is Springfield's richest and most powerful citizen (and also the richest person in Springfield's state; his current net worth has been given as $7.3 billion[1] by Forbes, though it fluctuates wildly depending on the episode). He uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for consequences and without interference from the authorities. These qualities led Wizard Magazine to rate him the 45th greatest villain of all time. TV Guide named him #2 in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.[2] In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked him #8 of their "40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time".[3]

Mr. Burns
The Simpsons character
Mr Burns
First appearance"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989)
Created byMatt Groening
Voiced byChristopher Collins (Latta) (1989–90)
Harry Shearer (1990–present)
Information
GenderMale
OccupationOwner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant
FamilyColonel Clifford Burns (father)
Daphne Charles (mother)
George Burns (brother)
ChildrenLarry Burns (son)

Role in The Simpsons

As the primary antagonist, Mr. Burns spends his time in his office at the nuclear plant, monitoring his workers via closed-circuit cameras planted throughout the plant. At an early age, Mr. Burns left his family to live with a twisted and heartless billionaire who owned an "atom mill" in Shelbyville.[4] He lived a life of privilege and would amuse himself by injuring immigrant laborers.[5] Mr. Burns later attended Yale University, where he studied science and business, joined Skull and Bones, competed in the "etherweight" wrestling class, and graduated in the class of 1914. At his 25-year college reunion, he became romantically involved with the daughter of an old flame. She would later bear his child, Larry Burns, who was given up for adoption and would later enter Mr. Burns' life briefly.[6] Mr. Burns has been engaged at least three times: to a woman named Gertrude who died of loneliness and rabies,[7] to Marge Simpson's mother Jacqueline Bouvier,[8] and to a meter maid named Gloria.[9]

Mr. Burns enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, and served as a member of Springfield's Flying Hellfish squad under Master Sergeant Abraham Simpson and saw action in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge.[10] Later on he was shipped to the Pacific Theater and was a co-pilot along with Abe Simpson and his brother, Cyrus. Mr. Burns and Abe were shot down by a kamikaze and stuck on an island. At the end of World War II he was personally hired by President Harry S. Truman to transport a specially-printed trillion dollar bill to Europe as the United States' contribution to the reconstruction of Europe. As the United States' richest citizen, Mr. Burns was thought to be the most trustworthy. Mr. Burns absconded with the bill and kept it in his possession for many years until it was lost to Fidel Castro in "The Trouble with Trillions". In "Homer the Smithers", it is revealed that Mr. Burns' mother is still alive at the age of 122 years, although Mr. Burns dislikes speaking to her, because she had an affair with President William Howard Taft and she refers to him as an "improvident lackwit". Furthermore, because she is so old, the only things she can do (according to Smithers) are pick up the phone, dial and yell.

Mr. Burns resides in a vast, ornate mansion on an immense estate called Burns Manor, on the corner of Mammon and Croesus Streets. It is protected by a high wall, an electrified fence, and a pack of vicious attack dogs known as "The Hounds". Mr. Burns routinely subjects Springfield and its residents to his abuse and there is a general dislike of him throughout the town. Mr. Burns has blackmailed and bribed various officials in Springfield, including Mayor Quimby and its nuclear safety inspectors. He employed his wealth to make an ultimately unsuccessful run for governor, only to be denied his chance to be Governor by Marge Simpson. He once blocked out the sun to force Springfield residents to increase their use of electricity produced by his nuclear plant and was subsequently shot by Maggie when he tried to steal candy from her.[11]

Mr. Burns' extreme old age is a frequent source of humor on the show. He is occasionally referred to as "Springfield's oldest resident"; in Season 2's "Simpson and Delilah", he told Homer that he is 81, although, in several other episodes, he is shown to be 104.[12] When Smithers informs him that Mr. Burns' credit card PIN is his age, he types four digits in his answer. When Lisa Simpson is researching her ancestors from the American Civil War, she comes across a Colonel Burns in the journal, presumably one of Mr. Burns' earlier ancestors. However, when Lisa mentions him, Mr. Burns replies by saying that he hasn't heard his father's name in years. In other episodes, his birthplace is apparently Pangea, his national anthem implies he originates from Austria-Hungary, and he mentions the possibility of an update on the Siege of Khartoum, implying that he was aware of current events as early as 1884. In other episodes, he has instructed a postal clerk to send a telegram to the Prussian consulate in Siam via autogyro, and believes a nickel will buy "a steak and kidney pie, a cup of coffee, a slice of cheesecake and a newsreel, with enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the Polo Grounds.”[13]

Mr. Burns' state of mind is the subject of frequent jokes on the show. At times, he appears to be completely removed from reality and modern conventions. He continually fails to recognize Homer Simpson or remember his name, even though many of the recent major events in Mr. Burns' life have involved Homer in some way. Mr. Burns is, for the most part, unaware of the townspeople's general dislike of him. He also displays mannerisms which are considered outdated, such as practicing phrenology, writing with a quill pen, and using an antique view camera to take photographs. He is also angered when Springfield Elementary children mock his dated car, saying it was "the first car to outrun a man!" Mr. Burns refers to many celebrities of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the present tense, assuming they are still alive. In "Homer at the Bat", Mr. Burns instructs Smithers to recruit dead-ball era players, such as Honus Wagner and Cap Anson for the plant's softball team, and has to be told that all of them died long ago. He also once rewarded Homer for being the first to arrive at work with a ticket to the 1939 World's Fair. However, despite his obvious senility and social ineptitude, Mr. Burns is an extraordinarily clever businessman, as he has lost his fortune several times, only to regain it a very brief time later. In the episode "The Old Man and Lisa", Mr. Burns loses his fortune and regains it by opening a recycling plant, which allows him to regain his nuclear power plant. Additionally, in the episode "The Seemingly Never-Ending Story", Mr. Burns loses both his fortune and nuclear power plant to the Rich Texan after losing a scavenger hunt, but eventually gains both back after a series of events that includes him briefly working at Moe's Tavern.

Mr. Burns is physically weak and often shown to have little more strength than an infant. In the intro of "The Simpsons Movie", Mr. Burns is seen in his bathroom trying to brush his teeth. After Smithers applies the toothpaste onto his brush, he falls over. In "Rosebud" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", he needed a great deal of effort to wrench items from Maggie. He has difficulty performing such simple actions as giving a thumbs-up, and crushing an insect by stepping on it, or using a door-knocker. In one instance, when he is told to jump out of his burning mansion onto a life net, he drops at the speed of a feather and floats onto some power lines and is electrified. He pitched the opening baseball at a game in "Dancin' Homer", but was only able to throw it a small distance, which drew mocking laughter from the crowd. When Mr. Burns joined Homer's bowling team in "Team Homer", he was barely able to roll the ball down the lane. In season five's "Burns' Heir", Smithers puts a sponge on Mr. Burns' head before leaving the bathroom, causing him to nearly drown in the tub from its weight. In "Lady Bouvier's Lover" however, he shows himself as a lively, excellent dancer.

Mr. Burns also had a teddy bear named "Bobo" that he loved as a child, revealed in the episode "Rosebud". The stuffed animal was lost and eventually, the stuffed bear became a toy for Maggie. In "American History X-cellent", Mr. Burns gets sent to jail because he is in possession of stolen paintings. In the same episode, it is implied that he was once in the SS. Another episode has him exclaim that though he and Oskar Schindler had much in common: "We both made shells for the Nazis, but mine worked, damn it!"

The $2,000 "First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence", as a way to convince Homer not to file a lawsuit for nuclear-plant-induced infertility, was featured in the unofficial third-season finale, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?"

Character

Creation

Barry Diller,Web 2.0 Conference 2005
David Silverman based the appearance of Mr. Burns on Fox founder Barry Diller (pictured)[14]

Mr. Burns' character, appearance, and mannerisms are based on several different people. The show's creator Matt Groening principally based Mr. Burns on his high school teacher Mr. Bailey.[15] Drawing further inspiration from oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, Groening made Mr. Burns the "embodiment of corporate greed".[14] Animator David Silverman parodied Mr. Burns' appearance on Fox founder Barry Diller, and modeled his body on a praying mantis.[14] The idea of Mr. Burns reading employee names off cards in "There's No Disgrace Like Home" came from an article about Ronald Reagan that writer Al Jean had read.[16] In some episodes, parallels have been drawn between Mr. Burns and moguls such as Howard Hughes and, more frequently, fictional character Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane.[17] Writer George Meyer lifted Mr. Burns' "Excellent!" hand gesture from his former Saturday Night Live colleague Jim Downey.[18] While perhaps not intentional, Mr. Burns' physical characteristics and mannerisms are cited as a modern example of the Commedia dell'arte character Pantalone.[19][20]

Matt Groening got Mr. Burns' middle name from a Montgomery Ward department store in Portland, Oregon's Northwest Industrial district[21] and his surname from Burnside Street, a main thoroughfare in Portland.[14] Mr. Burns' first name being Charles is a reference to Charles Foster Kane.[14] In the script for "There's No Disgrace Like Home", Al Jean and Mike Reiss referred to him as "Mr. Meanie".[16] In the second season, the writers started to enjoy writing about Smithers and Mr. Burns' relationship, and they often pitched episodes with them as the focus, but many never came to fruition.[22]

Voice

Harryshearer
Harry Shearer modeled his voice for Mr. Burns on Lionel Barrymore and Ronald Reagan.[23]

Mr. Burns was originally voiced by actor Christopher Collins in the episodes "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", "Homer's Odyssey", There's No Disgrace Like Home and "The Telltale Head".[24] He was soon replaced by Harry Shearer because Sam Simon found Collins "difficult to work with". Shearer has voiced the character ever since. He modeled the voice on Lionel Barrymore and Ronald Reagan.[23] Shearer is also the voice of Smithers and is able to perform dialogue between the two characters in one take.[25] Shearer said that Mr. Burns is the most difficult character for him to voice because it is rough on his vocal cords and he often needs to drink tea and honey to soothe his voice.[26] He describes Mr. Burns as his favorite character, saying he "like[s] Mr. Burns because he is pure evil. A lot of evil people make the mistake of diluting it. Never adulterate your evil."[27]

In 2014, Shearer won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his performance on "Four Regrettings and a Funeral" for voicing Mr. Burns.[28]

Reception

In 2006, Wizard magazine rated Mr. Burns the 45th greatest villain of all time.[29] They also described Smithers and Mr. Burns as being "TV's most functional dysfunctional couple".[30] In a 2003 article, EW also named "Last Exit to Springfield" the greatest episode of The Simpsons. Other episodes which feature Mr. Burns placed on the list, including "Rosebud", at number two, and the "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" two-part episode, at number 25.[30] Vanity Fair placed "Rosebud" first on their list of the top 25 The Simpsons episodes.[31]

Forbes estimates Mr. Burns' net worth at $1.3 billion, placing 12th on the 2008 Forbes Fictional 15 list.[32] Mr. Burns has been on the list since 1989 and has previously placed fifth in 2005,[33] second in 2006[34] and sixth in 2007 when he was estimated to be worth $16.8 billion.[35] Mr. Burns' evil has made him a popular example of terrible television bosses. In 2006, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas released a report saying that Mr. Burns was one of the eight worst bosses on television.[36] The News & Observer named Mr. Burns the third worst boss, calling him "heartless, greedy and exceptionally ugly, Mr. Burns makes Ebenezer Scrooge seem downright lovely."[37]

In the run-up to the New York City's 2009 mayoral election, several posters appeared throughout the city, showing Mr. Burns and accompanied by the words "No Third Terms, Vote for Burns" – a reference to Mayor Michael Bloomberg's run for a third term that year—in the style of Shepard Fairey's Obama poster. The city's Board of Elections announced that December that Mr. Burns had received 27 write-in votes out of 299 write-in votes cast.[38] As the chief of "Springfield Republican Party" Mr. Burns endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 US Presidential Election.[39] The IG Group, a financial corporation in the City of London, use a recording of Mr. Burns' catchphrase "Excellent" as an alert that an order has been completed.[40]

References

  1. ^ "In Pictures: The Forbes Fictional 15". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17.
  2. ^ Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 nastiest villains of all time". TV Guide. pp. 14 – 15.
  3. ^ Collins, Sean T. (February 9, 2016). "40 Greatest TV Villains of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  4. ^ Swartzwelder, John; Archer, Wes (1993-10-21). "Rosebud". The Simpsons. Season 05. Episode 04. Fox.
  5. ^ Oakley, Bill; Weinstein, Josh; Archer, Wes (1993-12-16). "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)". The Simpsons. Season 05. Episode 10. Fox.
  6. ^ Maxtone-Graham, Ian; Reardon, Jim (1996-11-17). "Burns, Baby Burns". The Simpsons. Season 08. Episode 04. Fox.
  7. ^ Gould, Dana; Anderson, Mike B. (2003-03-16). "C.E. D'oh". The Simpsons. Season 14. Episode 15. Fox.
  8. ^ Oakley, Bill; Weinstein, Josh; Archer, Wes (1994-05-12). "Lady Bouvier's Lover". The Simpsons. Season 05. Episode 21. Fox.
  9. ^ Swartzwelder, John; Kramer, Lance (2001-12-02). "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love". The Simpsons. Season 09. Episode 08. Fox.
  10. ^ Collier, Jonathan; Lynch, Jeffrey (1996-04-28). "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in 'The Curse of the Flying Hellfish'". The Simpsons. Season 07. Episode 22. Fox.
  11. ^ Oakley, Bill; Weinstein, Josh (1995-05-21). "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". The Simpsons. Season 06. Episode 25. Fox.
  12. ^ Swartzwelder, John; Polcino, Michael (2000-01-23). "The Mansion Family". The Simpsons. Season 11. Episode 12. Fox.
  13. ^ Swartzwelder, John; Kirkland, Mark (1997-04-20). "The Old Man and the Lisa". The Simpsons. Season 08. Episode 21. Fox.
  14. ^ a b c d e Joe Rhodes (2000-10-21). "Flash! 24 Simpsons Stars Reveal Themselves". TV Guide.
  15. ^ Paterson, Billy (2006-08-20). "Exclusive: I Was Monty's Double". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  16. ^ a b Reiss, Mike (2001). Commentary for "There's No Disgrace Like Home", in The Simpsons: The Complete First Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  17. ^ Turner 2004, pp. 160–164.
  18. ^ Meyer, George (2001). Commentary for "The Crepes of Wrath", in The Simpsons: The Complete First Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-10-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-10-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Places of character". The Portland Tribune. 2002-07-19. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  22. ^ Vitti, Jon (2002). Commentary for "Simpson and Delilah", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  23. ^ a b Keith Marder (1994-04-28). "Real People are Models for 'Simpsons' Voices". Times Union. p. C4.
  24. ^ "Chris Latta". IMDb. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  25. ^ Jean, Al (2002). Commentary for "Blood Feud", in The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  26. ^ Earl Dittman (July 2007). "Burns, Baby, Burns". Cineplex. Archived from the original on 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  27. ^ Round, Simon (2008-10-10). "Interview: Harry Shearer". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  28. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin, "Harry Shearer becomes final 'Simpsons' main cast member to win Emmy", Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2014.
  29. ^ McCallum, Pat (July 2006). "100 Greatest Villains Ever". Wizard (177).
  30. ^ a b "The Family Dynamic". Entertainment Weekly. 2003-01-29. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  31. ^ John Orvted (2007-07-05). "Springfield's Best". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  32. ^ Noer, Michael; Ewalt, David M (2008-12-18). "No. 13 Burns, C. Montgomery". Forbes Fictional 15. Archived from the original on 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2008-12-21.
  33. ^ Ewalt, David M. (2005). "The Forbes Fictional 15". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  34. ^ Ewalt, David M. (2006-11-20). "The Forbes Fictional 15". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  35. ^ Ewalt, David M.; Michael Noer (2007-11-12). "The Forbes Fictional 15". Forbes. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  36. ^ "Worst bosses ever ... on TV". CNN. 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  37. ^ "Worst bosses ever ... on TV". The News & Observer. McClatchy Newspapers. 2008-10-12. Archived from the original on October 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  38. ^ de Sola, David (2009-12-05). "Simpsons billionaire gets most write-in votes in NYC mayor race". CNN. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  39. ^ Day, Patrick Kevin (2012-11-01). ""The Simpsons" Mr. Burns endorses Mitt Romney". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  40. ^ "City firm follows Budget with a little help from The Simpsons". BBC. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-03-19.

Bibliography

External links

Bart Gets Hit by a Car

"Bart Gets Hit by a Car" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1991. At the start of the episode, Bart is hit by Mr. Burns' car. Prompted by ambulance-chasing lawyer Lionel Hutz and quack doctor Dr. Nick Riviera, the Simpsons sue Mr. Burns, seeking extensive damages for Bart's injuries. Hutz and Dr. Nick exaggerate Bart's injuries so they can gain sympathy at the trial. Marge is against the whole thing and grows concerned with the fact that Homer is asking Bart to lie.

"Bart Gets Hit by a Car" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Mark Kirkland. The episode's plot was based on Billy Wilder's 1966 film The Fortune Cookie. Much of the ending of the show was pitched by executive producer James L. Brooks, who felt the episode needed a more emotional ending. The episode includes the debuts of three recurring characters, Lionel Hutz, Dr. Nick and the Blue-Haired Lawyer. The Devil also appears on the show for the first time. Recurring guest star Phil Hartman makes his first appearance as Hutz. The show's then-script supervisor Doris Grau also voices a character in the show for the first time.

In its original broadcast, "Bart Gets Hit by a Car" received a Nielsen rating of 14.5, finishing the week ranked 32nd. The episode received generally positive reviews.

Blood Feud (The Simpsons)

"Blood Feud" is the twenty-second and final episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on July 11, 1991. In the episode, Mr. Burns falls ill and desperately needs a blood transfusion. Homer discovers Bart has Burns' rare blood type and urges his son to donate, promising they will be handsomely rewarded. However, after receiving the blood, all Burns does is send the family a card. Enraged, Homer writes an insulting reply, but Marge convinces him at the last minute not to send it; Bart mails it anyway.

The episode was written by George Meyer and directed by David Silverman. Executive producer Sam Simon and writers Al Jean and Mike Reiss came up with the idea for the episode. A co-worker had recently needed a blood transfusion, and the writers thought it would be funny if Mr. Burns had one. Although Meyer was credited with writing the episode, Jean and Reiss re-wrote and polished the script. The episode includes the debut of the Olmec head Xtapolapocetl, which would become a common background prop in the Simpson home.

"Blood Feud" was part of the season two production run, but was completed behind schedule. It was originally broadcast on July 11, 1991, as part of "premiere week", the Fox Network's attempt to expand the typical 30-week prime time season and gain new viewers for the fall. In its original broadcast, the episode finished 24th in ratings for the week with a Nielsen rating of 10.8.

Burns' Heir

"Burns' Heir" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 14, 1994. In the episode, Mr. Burns has a near-death experience that prompts him to find an heir to inherit his wealth after he dies. Although Bart is initially rejected, Burns soon decides to choose him after seeing him as "a creature of pure malevolence". Marge convinces Bart to go spend some time with Burns, and soon becomes more disruptive than normal to his own family and decides to go live with Mr. Burns.

"Burns' Heir" was written by Jace Richdale, his only writing credit. David Silverman was originally going to direct the episode, but he was so swamped with his work as supervising director that it was reassigned to Mark Kirkland. While the Simpsons are at a movie, there is a parody of the THX sound Deep Note. The THX executives liked the parody so much that the scene was made into an actual THX movie trailer, with the scene being redone for the widescreen aspect ratio. A deleted scene from the episode sees Mr. Burns have Smithers release a "Robotic Richard Simmons" as a way of getting rid of Homer. The scene was cut, but later included in the season seven clip show "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular".

Burns, Baby Burns

"Burns, Baby Burns" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 17, 1996. In the episode, Mr. Burns reunites with his long lost son named Larry. They at first get along well, but Mr. Burns sees that his son had turned out to be an oaf. It was directed by Jim Reardon and was the first episode written by Ian Maxtone-Graham. It guest starred Rodney Dangerfield as Larry Burns.

Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk

"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" (German pronunciation: [bœːɐ̯ns fɛɐ̯ˈkaʊ̯fn̩ deːɐ̯ ˈkʁaftvɛʁk]) is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' third season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 5, 1991. In the episode, Mr. Burns wishes to pursue other interests and therefore decides to sell his power plant to two German investors for $100 million. Safety inspector Homer is immediately fired by the Germans because of his incompetence. Later, Burns realizes he has lost all his respectability because he can no longer control anyone.

The episode was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Mark Kirkland. Originally, the writers wanted to have Burns sell the plant to the Japanese, but they decided it would have been too clichéd; the plot, however, remained the same with the Germans. The title is an inaccurate German translation of "Burns sells the power plant", the correct version being Burns verkauft das Kraftwerk.

In its original airing on the Fox network, the episode had a 12.6 Nielsen rating, finishing the week ranked 38th.

"Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" received generally positive reviews from critics and was praised for several scenes, particularly the "Land of Chocolate" sequence in which Homer dances around in an imaginary land made entirely out of chocolate. The sequence was also remade in cutscenes from the episode in The Simpsons Game.

Homer at the Bat

"Homer at the Bat" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 20, 1992. The episode follows the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team, led by Homer, having a winning season and making the championship game. Mr. Burns makes a large bet that the team will win and brings in nine ringers from the "big leagues" to ensure his success. It was written by John Swartzwelder, who is a big baseball fan, and directed by Jim Reardon.

Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia all guest starred as themselves, playing the ringers hired by Mr. Burns. Terry Cashman sang a song over the end credits. The guest stars were recorded over several months, with differing degrees of cooperation.

The episode is often named among the show's best, and was the first to beat The Cosby Show in the ratings on its original airing. In 2014, showrunner Al Jean selected it as one of five essential episodes in the show's history.

Lady Bouvier's Lover

"Lady Bouvier's Lover" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 12, 1994. In the episode, Abe Simpson falls in love with Marge's mother, Jacqueline Bouvier, and they start dating. However, on a night out in town, she is charmed by Mr. Burns. Abe is broken hearted when he learns that Jackie is going to marry Mr. Burns.

The episode was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein, and directed by Wes Archer. It was recorded in October 1993 at the Darryl F. Zanuck Building on the 20th Century Fox lot in West Los Angeles. The episode features cultural references to films such as The Gold Rush and The Graduate, and songs such as "Moonlight Serenade" and "Sing, Sing, Sing". Since airing, the episode has received mixed reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 10.0, and was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

Last Exit to Springfield

"Last Exit to Springfield" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 11, 1993. The plot revolves around Homer Simpson becoming president of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's trade union and leading the workers of the plant in a strike in order to get their dental plan back so that he does not have to buy braces for Lisa."Last Exit to Springfield" was directed by Mark Kirkland and was the last episode written by Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. The episode contains several cultural references and Dr. Joyce Brothers guest stars as herself. "Last Exit to Springfield" received widespread acclaim from both fans and critics and has frequently been cited as one of the best episodes of the entire series.

Marge Gets a Job

"Marge Gets a Job" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 5, 1992. In this episode, Marge gets a job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to pay for foundation repair at the Simpson house. Mr. Burns develops a crush on Marge after seeing her at work and attempts to woo her. A subplot with Bart also takes place, paralleling the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It was written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein and directed by Jeffrey Lynch.

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play

Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play (officially stylized Mr. Burns, a post-electric play) is an American dark comedy play written by Anne Washburn and featuring music by Michael Friedman. It premiered in May 2012 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., and then ran from August through October 2013 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Mr. Burns tells the story of a group of survivors recalling and retelling "Cape Feare", an episode of the TV show The Simpsons, shortly after a global catastrophe, then examines the way the story has changed seven years after that, and finally, 75 years later. It received polarized reviews and was nominated for a 2014 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.

Rosebud (The Simpsons)

"Rosebud" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 21, 1993. The episode begins by showing how on the eve of his birthday, Mr. Burns starts to miss his childhood teddy bear Bobo. The bear ends up in the hands of Maggie Simpson and Burns does everything in his power to get Bobo returned to him.

"Rosebud" was written by John Swartzwelder and was the first episode to be executive produced by David Mirkin, who was the show runner for the fifth and sixth seasons of the show. Directed by Wes Archer, supervising director David Silverman describes the episode as "one of the more challenging ones" to direct. The Ramones (Joey Ramone, Johnny Ramone, C. J. Ramone and Marky Ramone) guest star in the episode as themselves. The episode is largely a parody of the 1941 film Citizen Kane and the title references Charles Foster Kane's dying word "Rosebud". The episode also contains references to The Wizard of Oz, Planet of the Apes, George Burns, Charles Lindbergh, The Rolling Stones and Adolf Hitler.

Critical reaction to "Rosebud" was largely positive and in 2003 Entertainment Weekly placed the episode in fourth place on their list of the 25 best episodes of The Simpsons.

The Great Phatsby

"The Great Phatsby" is the twelfth and thirteenth episode of the twenty-eighth season of the animated television series The Simpsons, and the 608th and 609th episode of the series overall. The episode aired in the United States on Fox on January 15, 2017. It marks the first hour-long episode of the series.

The episode is a spoof of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Baz Luhrmann's film version of the novel, and the Fox program Empire.

The Old Man and the Lisa

"The Old Man and the Lisa" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 20, 1997. In the episode, Mr. Burns becomes bankrupt and asks Lisa to help him become rich again. She helps him on the condition that he will lose his evil manners, and the two start making money recycling cans. After a while, Mr. Burns has made enough money to start his own recycling plant. However, his true colors are revealed when Mr. Burns shows that, inside the plant, he makes a multi-purpose edible compound made of squished sea life. He then sells the plant for US$120 million and offers Lisa 10% of his profits, but she declines.

The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by John Swartzwelder. The writing staff had thought about an episode in which Mr. Burns would lose his money and would have to interact with the outside world. In DVD commentary, the writers explained that while Mr. Burns tried to change, he "couldn't help being himself". Professional wrestler Bret Hart made a cameo as himself, animated in his pink wrestling outfit. "The Old Man and the Lisa" contains cultural references to the television series That Girl and the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was positively received by critics and won the Environmental Media Award for "TV Episodic Comedy".

The Simpsons (season 28)

The twenty-eighth season of the animated television series The Simpsons began airing on Fox in the United States on September 25, 2016, and ended on May 21, 2017. On May 4, 2015, Fox announced that The Simpsons had been renewed for season 28.This season includes the 600th episode of the show, "Treehouse of Horror XXVII". On August 31, 2016, it was announced that an episode titled "The Caper Chase", inspired by Trump University, would air sometime in 2017; the episode aired on April 2.This season also includes the show's first hour-long episode, "The Great Phatsby", a parody of The Great Gatsby. Other noteworthy events and gags include a Pokémon Go-themed episode ("Looking for Mr. Goodbart"), couch gags spoofing Robot Chicken and Adventure Time, an episode that shows how Homer learned to feel better with food ("Fatzcarraldo"), Mr. Burns hiring all of the Simpsons (except Homer) to become his "pretend" family ("Friends and Family"), and Glenn Close returning as Mona ("Fatzcarraldo").This was the final season scored by longtime Simpsons composer Alf Clausen. This also marked the first season where former recurring guest star Kevin Michael Richardson joined the regular supporting cast, starting with the episode "The Last Traction Hero".

The Simpsons (season 7)

The Simpsons' seventh season originally aired on the Fox network between September 17, 1995 and May 19, 1996. The show runners for the seventh production season were Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein who would executive produce 21 episodes this season. David Mirkin executive produced the remaining four, including two hold overs that were produced for the previous season. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Program and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Program. The DVD box set was released in Region 1 December 13, 2005, Region 2 January 30, 2006 and Region 4 on March 22, 2006. The set was released in two different forms: a Marge-shaped box and also a standard rectangular-shaped box in which the theme is a movie premiere.

Treehouse of Horror IV

"Treehouse of Horror IV" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season and the fourth episode in the Treehouse of Horror series of Halloween specials. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 28, 1993, and features three short stories called "The Devil and Homer Simpson", "Terror at ​5 1⁄2 Feet", and "Bart Simpson's Dracula". The episode was directed by David Silverman and co-written by Conan O'Brien, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, Greg Daniels, Dan McGrath, and Bill Canterbury.

In "The Devil and Homer Simpson", Homer Simpson announces he would sell his soul for a doughnut, and the Devil appears to make a deal with Homer. Homer tries to outsmart the Devil by not finishing the doughnut but eventually eats it and is sent to Hell. A trial is held between Homer and the Devil to determine the rightful owner of Homer's soul. In "Terror at ​5 1⁄2 Feet", while riding the bus to school, Bart Simpson thinks he sees a gremlin disassembling the bus piece by piece. Nobody sees it except for Bart, so he tries to remove it by himself. In "Bart Simpson's Dracula", Mr. Burns is a vampire and Bart falls victim to his bite. Lisa and the rest of the family go to Burns' castle to kill Burns so Bart can return to normal.

As with the rest of the Halloween specials, the episode is considered non-canon and falls outside the show's regular continuity. The episode makes cultural references to television series such as The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and Peanuts. References are also made to films such as Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Lost Boys. Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 14.5, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

Two Dozen and One Greyhounds

"Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" is the 20th episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 9, 1995. The episode was written by Mike Scully and directed by Bob Anderson. Frank Welker guest stars as Santa's Little Helper and various other dogs. In the episode, Santa's Little Helper has puppies with a dog that he met at the greyhound racetrack.

The episode is inspired by Walt Disney Pictures' 1961 animated film One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The producers decided to have Mr. Burns communicate his horrific plan of making a tuxedo from the puppies through a musical number, "See My Vest", after determining that it would be a "fun and light" way to convey his plan of killing the greyhounds. "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" received a generally positive reception from television critics. During the week of its original broadcast, the episode finished 55th in ratings, with a Nielsen rating of 7.3. Several reviews considered the episode to be among the best in the series, with Mr. Burns' role and the "See My Vest" sequence being singled out for praise.

Waylon Smithers

Waylon Joseph Smithers Jr., usually referred to as Mr. Smithers or simply Smithers, is a recurring fictional character in the animated sitcom The Simpsons, who is voiced by Harry Shearer. Smithers first appeared in the episode "Homer's Odyssey", although his voice could be heard in the series premiere "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the consummate executive and personal assistant of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's owner Mr. Burns.

Smithers' loyalty and devotion to Mr. Burns was inspired from how numerous Fox executives and staff members acted towards Barry Diller. The idea for Smithers' ambiguous sexual orientation came from Sam Simon, who proposed that Smithers should be gay, but little attention should be drawn to it. Smithers' first name (Waylon) was derived from that of puppeteer Wayland Flowers.Smithers was colorized in his first appearance as black with blue hair. Matt Groening, in an interview with TMZ, said that this was a mistake but the producers didn't have enough money to correct it.Smithers is the loyal, obedient and sycophantic assistant to Mr. Burns, and the relationship between the two is a frequent running gag on The Simpsons. In many ways, Smithers represents the stereotype of a closeted gay man, and numerous overt allusions and double entendres concerning his homosexuality are made, though some of the show's producers instead interpret him as a "Burns-sexual". In the season 27 (2016) episode "The Burns Cage", he came out as gay.

Who Shot Mr. Burns?

"Who Shot Mr. Burns?" is a two-part episode of the American animated television series The Simpsons. Part One is the twenty-fifth and final episode of the sixth season and originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 21, 1995, while Part Two is the season premiere of the seventh season and aired on September 17, 1995. Springfield Elementary School strikes oil, but Mr. Burns steals it and at the same time brings misery to many of Springfield's citizens. Part One has a cliffhanger ending where Mr. Burns is shot by an unidentified assailant. In Part Two, Springfield's police try to find the culprit, with their main suspects being Waylon Smithers and Homer Simpson.

Both episodes were written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein; Part One was directed by Jeffrey Lynch and Part Two by Wes Archer. Musician Tito Puente guest stars as himself in both parts. "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" was conceived by series creator Matt Groening and the writing staff decided to turn it into a two-part mystery episode. Part One contains several clues about the identity of the culprit because the writers wanted it to be solvable.

The concept for the two-part episode was the episode of the primetime soap opera Dallas titled "A House Divided", known by most as "Who shot J.R.?" in which character J.R. Ewing was shot. In the months following the airing of Part One, there was much widespread debate among fans of the series as to who actually shot Mr. Burns and in many ways the public reaction and response to the episode mirrored that of its "Who shot J.R.?" inspiration. Over the summer of 1995, Fox offered a related contest which was one of the first such endeavors to tie in elements of television and the Internet.

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