Reverend Lovejoy

Reverend Timothy Lovejoy, Jr. is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head".

Rev. Lovejoy is the minister at The First Church of Springfield—the Protestant church in Springfield. Initially kind-hearted and ambitious, Lovejoy has become somewhat apathetic towards others because of Ned Flanders's constant asinine scrupulosity.

Reverend Lovejoy
The Simpsons character
Rev Lovejoy
First appearance"The Telltale Head" (1990)
Created byMatt Groening
Voiced byHarry Shearer
OccupationMinister of the First Church of Springfield
SpouseHelen Lovejoy (wife)
ChildrenJessica (daughter)

Role in The Simpsons


Lovejoy is the pastor of the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism First Church of Springfield, which most of the show's characters regularly attend.[1] He attended Texas Christian University.[2] He initially came to Springfield in the 1970s as an eager, enthusiastic, young man,[3][4] only to become cynical and disillusioned about his ministry, mostly due to Ned Flanders, who constantly pesters him with minor issues such as "coveting his own wife" or thinking that he "swallowed a toothpick".[3]

Lovejoy would deal with Flanders' concerns very briefly, so that he could return to playing with his model trains. At one point, Lovejoy "just stopped caring",[3] but rediscovered the joy of helping others, though Ned still irritates him.[3] Lovejoy even suggests Ned join another religion, as "they are all pretty much the same". In the season two episode "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment", Lovejoy helps Lisa with her family's illegal cable hookup.

His sermons vary between dreary recitations of more opaque parts of the Old Testament,[5] to the occasional "fire and brimstone" about Hell.[6]


His tolerant side is demonstrated when he performs a Hindu marriage ceremony for Kwik-E-Mart shopkeeper Apu[7] (though Lovejoy does not know much about the faith, referring to it in an earlier episode as "Miscellaneous"), co-hosts a religious radio program with Krusty the Klown's rabbi father,[8] and admits evolution may be true. However, Lovejoy can also be intolerant. When Lisa Simpson converted to Buddhism, he referred to her as "Marge Simpson's devil-daughter".[9] He appears bitter about the tall Episcopal church across the street, wanting to build a larger steeple, and when mentioning the other church, placing the emphasis on "pis".[10] He maintains two rolodexes – one for Christians, and one for non-Christians.[11] While he seems to have originally accepted evolution, he later takes up the creationist cause to bolster his church's membership.[12]

He is especially intolerant of the Roman Catholic Church as he is shown brawling with a priest.[13] He tells Marge that he might as well do a Voodoo dance for Abe Simpson when asked to give him the last rites.[14] He also helps kidnap Bart to keep him from converting to Catholicism.[1] Lovejoy also claims in There's Something About Marrying[15] that while he is not against people of the same-sex being in relationships, he feels that something like marriage should only between a man and a woman, going so far as to say that he cannot marry two people of the same-sex "anymore than [Lovejoy] could put a hamburger on a hot dog bun.

Negative qualities

Lovejoy has been shown to do things that would be considered sinful. Lovejoy has been known to exploit his congregation for money, brawl with a Roman Catholic priest,[13] encourage his pet Old English Sheepdog to foul Ned Flanders's lawn,[16] and implied that he once burned down his church for insurance money.[17] In "Whacking Day", he made up a passage in the Bible to attempt to convince Lisa that "even God himself endorses Whacking Day". In "The Joy of Sect", the episode in which the whole town of Springfield is deceived into joining a cult, Lovejoy kidnaps Homer with Groundskeeper Willie from the cult and hits him across the head numerous times hoping to knock him out. Also, when Lovejoy sees the spaceship emerge from the "forbidden barn" he throws his religious collar on the ground. After it is revealed that the spaceship is fake, Ned Flanders notices his collar on the ground and informs Lovejoy, who picks it up and puts it back on.

Lovejoy is not always enthusiastic about the Bible, calling it a "2000-page sleeping pill".[9] It is unsure if he even owns a Bible, as it was once said he borrows one from the library every week. However, he can exactly quote even obscure passages from memory. In "Secrets of a Successful Marriage," an episode that dealt with marriage counseling, Lovejoy and his gossipy wife, Helen, both recommend that Marge should divorce Homer. Marge objects to this, pointing out how the Bible has strict guidelines against things like divorce, but Lovejoy says, "Marge, everything is a sin. (holds up the Bible) Have you ever sat down and read this thing? Technically we're not allowed to go to the bathroom."


Lovejoy's wife Helen was originally portrayed as a moralistic, judgmental gossip, but in voice actress Maggie Roswell's long absence, her character was seen but not heard.

The Lovejoys' manipulative daughter Jessica was the focus of the episode "Bart's Girlfriend" where she was voiced by guest star Meryl Streep, but is otherwise rarely seen.[18]

Lovejoy's father is briefly shown in the episode "Bart After Dark" as an older version of Lovejoy (including clerical collar) who visits the Maison Derrière.


Matt Groening has indicated that Lovejoy is named after Lovejoy Street (which in turn is named for Portland co-founder Asa Lovejoy)[19] in Portland, Oregon, the city where Groening grew up.[20][21][22] Lovejoy became the central character in the episode "In Marge We Trust". By season eight, the show had begun to explore secondary characters. Lovejoy was selected for this episode because, aside from being noted as "the priest who didn't care", he had not had much character development.[23]


  1. ^ a b Warburton, Matt; Polcino, Michael (May 15, 2005). "The Father, The Son & The Holy Guest Star". The Simpsons. Season 16. Fox.
  2. ^ "Wedding for Disaster"
  3. ^ a b c d "In Marge We Trust"
  4. ^ In "Faith Off" he uses an electric guitar in the church to compete against Bart's faith healing musical show.
  5. ^ Long, Tim; Doyle, Larry; Selman, Matt; Kruse, Nancy (April 4, 1999). "Simpsons Bible Stories". The Simpsons. Season 10. Fox.
  6. ^ Daniels, Greg; Archer, Wesley (October 8, 1998). "Bart Sells His Soul". The Simpsons. Season 7. Fox.
  7. ^ Appel, Richard; Moore, Steven Dean (November 16, 1997). "The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons". The Simpsons. Season 9. Fox.
  8. ^ Kogen, Jay;Wolodarsky, Wallace; Lynch, Jeffrey; Bird, Brad (October 24, 1991). "Like Father, Like Clown". The Simpsons. Season 3. Fox.
  9. ^ a b Frielberger, Bill; Moore, Steven Dean (December 16, 2001). "She of Little Faith". The Simpsons. Season 13. Fox.
  10. ^ Gould, Dana; Mercantel, Michael (March 19, 2006). "Bart Has Two Mommies". The Simpsons. Season 17. Fox.
  11. ^ Episode #8F05 Like Father Like Clown, Airdate October 24, 1991
  12. ^ Burns, J. Stewart; Persi, Raymond S. (May 14, 2006). "The Monkey Suit". The Simpsons. Season 17. Fox.
  13. ^ a b Swartzwelder, John; Polcino, Michael (May 19, 2002). "The Frying Game". The Simpsons. Season 13. Fox.
  14. ^ Swartzwelder, John; Anderson, Mike B. (December 6, 1998). "Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"". The Simpsons. Season 10. Fox.
  15. ^ Burns, Stewart J.; Kruse, Nancy (February 20, 2005). "There's Something About Marrying". The Simpsons. Season 16. Fox.
  16. ^ Daniels, Greg; Reardon, Jim (April 14, 1996). "22 Short Films About Springfield". The Simpsons. Season 7. Fox.
  17. ^ O'Donnell, Steve; Moore, Steven Dean (February 8, 1998). "The Joy of Sect". The Simpsons. Season 9. Fox.
  18. ^ Collier, Jonathan; Dietter, Susie (November 6, 1994). "Bart's Girlfriend". The Simpsons. Season 6. Fox.
  19. ^ Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  20. ^ Turnquist, Kristi. Cover Story: D'oh! The Oregonian, July 27, 2007.
  21. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames. 'The Simpsons' Cleaverly captures an even bigger slice of Portland life. The Oregonian, November 4, 2000.
  22. ^ Levy, Shawn. Matt Groening: On what's so funny about Portland. The Oregonian, September 3, 1999.
  23. ^ Weinstein, Josh (2006). The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season DVD Video Collector's Edition commentary for the episode "In Marge We Trust" (DVD). Twentieth Century Fox.

External links

Bart Sells His Soul

"Bart Sells His Soul" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 8, 1995. In the episode, while being punished for playing a prank at church, Bart declares that there is no such thing as a soul and to prove it he sells his to Milhouse for $5 in the form of a piece of paper with "Bart Simpson's soul" written on it. Lisa warns that Bart will regret this decision, and Bart soon experiences strange changes in his life. Thinking he has really lost his soul, he becomes desperate to get it back. Lisa eventually obtains it and returns it to a relieved Bart.

"Bart Sells His Soul" was written by Greg Daniels, who was inspired by an experience from his youth where he had purchased a bully's soul. Director Wesley Archer and his team of animators visited Chili's for examples to use in Moe's family restaurant. The episode includes cultural references to the song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", by Iron Butterfly, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and a parody of the book Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret., by Judy Blume.

Writers from the fields of religion, philosophy, popular culture, and psychology cited the episode in books discussing The Simpsons and the show's approach to the nature of the soul. The episode was positively received by the media, and is regarded as one of the series' best. The creative team of The Simpsons puts the episode among the top five best episodes of the series, and series creator Matt Groening cited "Bart Sells His Soul" as one of his favorite episodes. It has been used by secondary schools in religious education courses as a teaching tool.

Ben Lovejoy

Benjamin N. Lovejoy (born February 20, 1984) is a retired American professional ice hockey defenseman. He most recently played for the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Anaheim Ducks and the New Jersey Devils.

His nickname "The Reverend" comes from The Simpsons character Reverend Lovejoy.

Eleutherius of Nicomedia

St. Eleutherius of Nicomedia (died 303) was a soldier who was martyred under Diocletian. He was accused of trying to burn the palace of Diocletian. His feast day is October 2.

Harry Shearer

Harry Julius Shearer (born December 23, 1943) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, writer, musician, radio host, director and producer. Born in Los Angeles, California, Shearer began his career as a child actor. From 1969 to 1976, Shearer was a member of The Credibility Gap, a radio comedy group. Following the breakup of the group, Shearer co-wrote the film Real Life (1979) with Albert Brooks and worked as a writer on Martin Mull's television series Fernwood 2 Night.Shearer was a cast member on Saturday Night Live between 1979 and 1980, and 1984 and 1985. Shearer co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the film This Is Spinal Tap (1984), a satirical rockumentary, which became a hit. In 1989, he joined the cast of the animated sitcom The Simpsons; he provides voices for characters including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert and more. Shearer has appeared in films including The Truman Show (1998) and A Mighty Wind (2003), and has directed two, Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002) and The Big Uneasy (2010). Since 1983, Shearer has been the host of the public radio comedy/music program Le Show, incorporating satire, music, and sketch comedy. He has written three books.

Shearer has won a Primetime Emmy Award and has received several other Emmy and Grammy Award nominations. He has been married to singer-songwriter Judith Owen since 1993. He is currently "artist in residence" at Loyola University, New Orleans.

Homer the Heretic

"Homer the Heretic" is the third episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 8, 1992. In the episode, Homer decides to forgo going to church and has an excellent time staying home. His behavior quickly attracts the wrath of God, who visits him in a dream. The episode was written by George Meyer and directed by Jim Reardon. The chalkboard gag from this episode was a reference to the previous episode "A Streetcar Named Marge", which had made controversial references to New Orleans.

Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment

"Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' second season. The 26th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 7, 1991. In the episode, Homer gets an illegal cable hook-up. Despite the family's enjoyment of the new channels, Lisa suspects they are stealing cable. Her suspicions are confirmed by Reverend Lovejoy and she protests by no longer watching television. Meanwhile, Bart manages to tune into a sexually explicit adult movie channel, and Homer invites his friends over to watch a boxing match, but Lisa's protest gets to him. He decides not to watch the fight and cuts the cable.

The episode was written by freelance writer Steve Pepoon and directed by Rich Moore. It is based on the Eighth Commandment ("Thou shalt not steal"). The episode marks the debut of Troy McClure who was voiced by Phil Hartman and based on the typical "washed up" Hollywood actor. The character Drederick Tatum, one of the boxers in the boxing match Homer and his friends watch, also makes his first appearance on the show in this episode.

In its original broadcast, "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment" received a Nielsen rating of 15.2, finishing 25th the week it aired. It received favorable reviews from critics and became the second episode of The Simpsons to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour).

In Marge We Trust

"In Marge We Trust" is the twenty-second episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 27, 1997. It was written by Donick Cary and directed by Steven Dean Moore. The episode guest stars Sab Shimono as Mr. Sparkle, Gedde Watanabe as the factory worker, Denice Kumagai and Karen Maruyama as dancers, and Frank Welker as the baboons. In the episode, Marge replaces Reverend Lovejoy as the town's moral adviser while Homer explores the mystery of why his face appears on a Japanese-language detergent box.

Moe Letter Blues

"Moe Letter Blues" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' twenty-first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 9, 2010. In this episode, Homer, Reverend Lovejoy, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon receive a letter from Moe stating that he will steal one of their wives. The three get together and try to remember intimate moments between Moe and their wives.

The episode was written by Stephanie Gillis and directed by Matthew Nastuk and guest stars Don Pardo as himself. The main plot of the episode is a parody of A Letter to Three Wives. It is the third episode after season 19's "Mona Leaves-a" and season 20's "Four Great Women and a Manicure" to air on Mother's Day and be centered on mothers and women.

"Moe Letter Blues" received positive reviews from critics and was viewed by 5.66 million households according to the Nielsen Media Research.

Ned Flanders

Nedward Flanders Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the extremely religious, good-natured, cheery next-door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally envied and loathed by Homer Simpson. A scrupulous and devout Evangelical Christian, he is among the friendliest and most compassionate of Springfield's residents and is generally considered a pillar of the Springfield community.

He was one of the first characters outside the immediate Simpson family to appear on the show, and has since been central to several episodes, the first being season two's "Dead Putting Society". His last name comes from Flanders St. in Portland, Oregon, the hometown of Simpsons creator Matt Groening. When he was created, he was intended to just be a neighbor who was very nice, but whom Homer abhorred.

Non-English versions of The Simpsons

The animated TV show The Simpsons is an American English language animated sitcom which has been broadcast in the United States since 1989 on FOX. In other countries, the TV show started broadcasting later than 1989 either in its original version or in a dubbed version.

Northwest District, Portland, Oregon

The Northwest District is a densely populated retail and residential neighborhood in the northwest section of Portland, Oregon. Craftsman-style and Old Portland-style houses are packed tightly together with grand old apartment buildings and sleek new condominiums, within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and shops. The Portland Streetcar's first line (the NS Line) terminates there, connecting the district to the Pearl District, Downtown Portland and points south to the South Waterfront, and several TriMet bus lines also serve the district.

The district stretches west to east from the base of the West Hills (Tualatin Mountains) to I-405 (between NW 15th and 16th avenues), and north to south from NW Nicolai Street and the Willamette River to W Burnside St. It borders the neighborhoods of Forest Park and Hillside on the west, Northwest Industrial on the north, the Pearl District on the east, and Goose Hollow on the south.

This part of Portland is known more by names for various streets and areas within it than by its official name. These include:

NW 23rd Ave. – Dubbed Trendy-third, this major shopping street is lined with swanky clothing boutiques and other upscale retail, mixed with cafes and restaurants. This area is also known as Uptown (particularly its southern end near W Burnside St.) and includes Nob Hill (centered on NW 23rd Ave. and NW Lovejoy St.). Music retailer Music Millennium, considered a local icon and national leader in the music-selling industry, operated what was then its main store on NW 23rd Avenue from 1977 until 2007. Portland-based record label and locally sourced concept-store Tender Loving Empire opened a shop in the 23rd district in September 2015, after moving from the Northwest district to downtown Portland in 2010. On October 19, 2016, a natural gas pipeline was breached, causing an explosion that damaged several buildings on Northwest 23rd Avenue.

NW 21st Ave. – The neighborhood’s other main commercial district is a dining and entertainment destination, with popular restaurants, an independent film theater, and numerous bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

The Alphabet Historic District, an area zoned for historic preservation extending roughly between NW 17th and 24th Avenues, and between W Burnside and NW Marshall Streets. Its naming scheme came about in 1865 when Captain John H. Couch platted his first subdivision. Each street on the plat was indicated by a letter of the alphabet. In June 1866, a city ordinance was approved to name "A" as "A Street", "B" as "B Street" and so on until "K Street". This was further extended to L, M, N and O Streets in 1869. This is how this area became known as "Alphabet District". From 1865 to 1891, this naming scheme was kept until they were assigned the street names, each beginning with its respective letter, that they are known by today. In 2000, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.Beyond NW 21st and 23rd are residential districts and recreational areas, such as the forested Macleay Park (acquired 1897, in the Forest Park neighborhood). Parks within the Northwest District include Couch Park (1977) and Wallace Park (1920). Northwest District public schools include Chapman Elementary School and the Metropolitan Learning Center. Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center and Linfield College-Portland Campus are located between NW 23rd and NW 22nd avenues.

Several characters in Portland native Matt Groening's television show The Simpsons have names based on the alphabetically named streets in the Northwest District, e.g. Reverend Lovejoy, Mayor Quimby and the bully Kearney.

Pray Anything

"Pray Anything" is the tenth episode in the fourteenth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 2, 2003. In the episode, Homer sues the church and ends up receiving the deed to own it. Under his ownership, the church becomes a hangout for townspeople.

Pål Angelskår

Pål Angelskår (born in Oslo, Norway in 1973) is a Norwegian musician from Oslo.

He started as a member of Reverend Lovejoy starting 1998.

But he is best known as the singer-songwriter in the Norwegian group Minor Majority starting 2000. Pål Angelskår was lead vocalist for the band and played guitar. He was joined by Jon Arild Stieng (vocals and guitars), Harald Sommerstad (keyboards), Henrik Harr Widerøe (bass, banjo, vocals) and Halvor Høgh Winsnes (drums).

In 2011, he published his poetry book in Norwegian titled "I sommer skal jeg gifte meg med Cecilie".

In 2012, he released his first solo album Follow Me.

In 2014, he released a collection of short stories titled "Er vi venner igjen?".

Religion in The Simpsons

Religion is one of many recurring themes on the American animated television series The Simpsons. Much of the series' religious humor satirizes aspects of Christianity and religion in general. However, some episodes, such as "Bart Sells His Soul" and "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily", can be interpreted as having a spiritual theme. The show has been both praised and criticized by atheists, agnostics, liberals, conservatives and religious people in general for its portrayal of faith and religion in society. The show can function as a mediator of biblical literacy among younger generations of irreligious viewers.In the series, the Simpson family attends services led by Reverend Lovejoy. The church's denomination is identified as the "Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism" in the episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star." This is generally interpreted as representing the multitude of American Protestant traditions in general and not one specific denomination.

The Monkey Suit

"The Monkey Suit" is the twenty-first episode of the seventeenth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 14, 2006. In the episode, Ned Flanders is shocked after seeing a new display at the museum about evolution. Together with Reverend Lovejoy, he spreads the religious belief of creationism in Springfield, and at a later town meeting, teaching evolution is made illegal. As a result, Lisa decides to hold secret classes for people interested in evolution. However, she is quickly arrested and a trial against her is initiated.

J. Stewart Burns wrote "The Monkey Suit", for which he received inspiration from the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. The episode features a few references to this legal case, as well as several references to popular culture. Many analysts have commented on the episode's treatment of the creation–evolution controversy, a dispute about the origin of humanity between those who support a creationist view based upon their religious beliefs, versus those who accept evolution, as supported by scientific evidence.

Critics have given the episode generally positive reviews, praising it for its satire of the creation-evolution debate. "The Monkey Suit" has won an award from the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) for being "one of those rare shows in the media that encourage science, critical thinking, and ridicule those shows that peddle pseudoscience and superstition." In 2007, a scene from the episode was highlighted in the scientific journal Nature.

The Simpsons (season 24)

The Simpsons' twenty-fourth season began airing on Fox on September 30, 2012, and concluded on May 19, 2013.

The Simpsons (season 4)

The Simpsons' fourth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 24, 1992 and May 13, 1993, beginning with "Kamp Krusty". The showrunners for the fourth production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season three, which Jean and Reiss also ran. Following the end of the production of the season, Jean, Reiss and most of the original writing staff left the show. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and Dan Castellaneta would win one for his performance as Homer in "Mr. Plow". The fourth season was released on DVD in Region 1 on June 15, 2004, Region 2 on August 2, 2004 and in Region 4 on August 25, 2004.

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