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Krusty the Clown

Krusty the Clown (Miscellaneous)

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Tags: simpsons (7 pics)

Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski, better known by the stage name Krusty the Clown, is a fictional character in the animated TV series The Simpsons (15 pics) (1 pics). He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta. He is the long-time clown host of Bart and Lisa's favorite TV show, a combination of kiddie variety TV hijinks and cartoons including The Itchy & Scratchy Show. Krusty is often portrayed as a burnt out, addiction-riddled smoker who is made miserable by show business but continues on anyway. He has become one of the most common characters outside of the main Simpson family and has been the focus of several episodes, most of which include Bart.

Krusty was created by cartoonist Matt Groening and partially inspired by Rusty Nails, a TV clown from Groening's hometown of Portland, Oregon. He was designed to look like Homer Simpson with clown make-up, with the original idea being that Bart worships a TV clown who looks like his own father. His voice is based on Bob Bell, who portrayed WGN-TV's Bozo the Clown. Krusty made his TV debut on Jan. 15, 1989 (31 years ago) in the Tracey Ullman Show short "The Krusty the Clown Show".

Role in The Simpsons (15 pics) (1 pics)

Krusty the Clown, born Herschel Krustofski, is the son of Rabbi Hyman Krustofski. Hyman strongly opposed Krusty's wish to become a clown and make people laugh, wanting the boy to go to yeshiva instead. However, Krusty performed slapstick comedy behind his father's back. One day, he was performing at a rabbi's convention when one joking rabbi squirted seltzer on him, washing off his clown makeup. When Rabbi Krustofski found out, he disowned his son, and did not speak to him for 25 years. Krusty later reconciled with his father with the assistance of Bart and Lisa. It was later revealed that Krusty did not have a Bar Mitzvah service, because Hyman feared he would violate the sanctity of the rites by "acting up." Krusty had two adult Bar Mitzvah ceremonies: a Hollywood gala, then a simple ceremony intended to reconnect with his father. After leaving the Lower East Side of Springfield, Krusty started his show biz career as a street mime in Tupelo, Mississippi. Krusty later discovered that he has a daughter named Sophie. He had met Sophie's mother when she served as a soldier in the Gulf War and he was entertaining the troops. After spending the night together, he prevented her from assassinating Saddam Hussein to protect his career and after that she started hating clowns, and kept their daughter a secret from Krusty.

Krusty has his own show: The Krusty the Clown Show, which is aimed towards a children's audience and has many followers, including Bart Simpson. Some of the early details of Krusty's career have been revealed in clips, but many have been contradictory. For example, Krusty once revealed that he was banned from TV for consecutive ten and twenty-two year periods taking him from 1957 (63 years ago) to 89. Another episode shows a rerun of Krusty's show from 1961 (59 years ago) in which he interviews AFL-CIO president George Meany. Krusty's show has gone through various phases: a clip from 1963 (57 years ago) shows Krusty interviewing Robert Frost then dumping a load of snow on the poet. The show later took a different turn, featuring Ravi Shankar as a guest and having Krusty howl a drugged-out version of The Doors' "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" in 1973 (47 years ago). By the 1980s, the show had devolved into a children's entertainment show. During the series, the Krusty the Clown Show is shown to be aimed almost entirely at children and features many characters, including Sideshow Mel, Mr. Teeny, Tina Ballerina and Corporal Punishment. Sideshow Bob used to be Krusty's main sidekick, but years of constant abuse led to Bob framing Krusty for armed robbery, although Bob was eventually foiled by Bart. Bob has since been replaced by Sideshow Mel, who has remained loyal to Krusty. He seems to retire from and then get back into show business repeatedly throughout his career. His most recent retirement was almost permanent because of recently-paroled Sideshow Bob's latest scheme – wiring plastic explosives to a hypnotized Bart and sending him up on stage. When Krusty makes a tribute to Bob at the last minute, however, Bob has a change of heart and stops Bart from fulfilling his mission. Bob and Krusty later reconciled, with Krusty exclaiming that Bob's attempts at Krusty's life make his ratings shoot through the roof.

Bart Simpson is one of Krusty's biggest fans. He once declared "I've based my life on Krusty's teachings" and sleeps in a room filled with Krusty merchandise. He exposed Sideshow Bob's attempted framing, helped Krusty return to the air with a comeback special and reignite his career and reunited Krusty with his estranged father. For his part, Krusty has remained largely ignorant of Bart's help and has treated Bart with disinterest. One summer, Bart enthusiastically attended Kamp Krusty, largely because of the promise that he would get to spend his summer with Krusty. The camp turned out to be a disaster, with Krusty nowhere to be seen. Bart kept his hopes up by believing that Krusty would show up, but one day the camp director brought in Barney Gumble with Clown make-up. This pushed Bart over the edge and he finally decided that he was sick of Krusty's shoddy merchandise and took over the camp. Krusty immediately visited the camp in hopes of ending the conflict and managed to appease Bart.

Krusty is a multi-millionaire who amassed his fortune mostly by licensing his name and image (wallpaper) to a variety of sub-standard products and services — everything from Krusty alarm clocks to Krusty crowd control barriers. Many of these products are potentially dangerous, such as Krusty's brand of cereal, which in one episode boasted a jagged metal Krusty-O in each box. One of many lawsuits regarding these products was launched by Bart, who ate a jagged metal Krusty-O and had to have his appendix removed. The "Krusty Korporation," the company responsible for Krusty's licensing, has also launched a series of disastrous promotions and business ventures such as sponsoring the 1984 (36 years ago) Summer Olympics with a rigged promotion that backfired when the Soviet Union boycotted the games, causing Krusty to lose $44 million. In the TV series and comic books Krusty is also the mascot and owner of the restaurant Krusty Burger. He has been shut down by the health board many times for everything from overworking employees to stapling together half-eaten burgers to make new ones. Krusty wastes money almost as fast as he earns it: lighting his cigarettes with hundred-dollar bills; eating condor-egg omelets; spending huge sums on pornographic magazines; and losing a fortune gambling on everything from horse races to operas to betting against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Krusty is a hard-living entertainment veteran, sometimes depicted as a jaded, burned out has-been, who has been down and out several times and remains addicted to gambling, cigarettes, alcohol, Percodan, Pepto-Bismol, and Xanax. He instantly becomes depressed as soon as the cameras stop rolling; Marge states in "The Sweetest Apu", that, "off camera, he's a desperately unhappy man". In his book Planet Simpson, author Chris Turner describes Krusty as "the wizened veteran, the total pro" who lives the celebrity life but is miserable and needs his celebrity status. In "Bart the Fink", Bart inadvertently reported Krusty as a tax fraud to the Internal Revenue Service and as a result Krusty lost most of his money. Bart soon discovered that Krusty had faked his death and was living as Rory B. Bellows on a boat. Krusty declared that he was finished with the life of a celebrity and was unconvinced when Bart reminded him of his fans and his entourage. Finally, Bart told Krusty that leaving show business would mean losing his celebrity status, which convinced Krusty to return. Krusty has been described as "the consummate showman who can't bear the possibility of not being on the air and not entertaining people."

In the fourteenth season, Bart convinced Krusty to run for Congress so that Krusty could introduce an airline re-routing bill and stop planes from flying over The Simpsons (15 pics) (1 pics)' house. Krusty agreed and ran on the Republican ticket. Although his campaign started off badly, Lisa suggested that he try connecting with regular families, which Krusty did, resulting in a landslide victory. Krusty's term started off badly, as he was completely ignored by his new, more politically savvy colleagues. With the help of The Simpsons (15 pics) (1 pics) and an influential doorman, however, Krusty succeeded in passing his bill. Krusty has not been mentioned as being a congressman since.


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