Hans Moleman: The Biggest Mystery on The Simpsons

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Hans Moleman: The Biggest Mystery on The Simpsons

Hans Moleman: The Biggest Mystery on The Simpsons

You know this character most likely, or you’ve seen him at least since he’s one of the most widely used characters on The Simpsons. Hans Moleman is that old, wrinkled man that looks like a walking prune and has been around the show for close to its entire run. He’s been one of the oddest characters to ever pop up but he’s also been one of those that has been the most pervasive since he has cameos that come and go more than many characters that have made the show so entertaining. His first appearance was in season two where he’s seen to struggle with an eye chart while Patty and Selma are discussing their weekend plans before they revoke his license without any real sense of compassion, of course. This is just one of the first pieces of ill luck that Hans would experience throughout his long run.

Read the piece for the inspiration for this article on Vulture:

Apparently the character came about Matt Groening didn’t want Hans to appear ever again after seeing the lumpy, misshapen figure the first time. But of course this meant that the writers kept bringing him back and eventually Groening came to love him just as much as the rest of the cast and crew. He was at first described as the Kindly Old Gent before he was really given a name, but you can obviously guess that people took to him so well that he earned his name and his quirky behavior. At first however he was something of a controversial character thanks to his looks, and this is why he was almost taken off the show altogether. But when he was brought back he was dubbed Moleman because of his poor eyesight and his wrinkled features. Thanks to the fact that this sounded slightly Germanic, the writers decided to go with the first name of Hans.

Like a lot of Simpsons characters Hans, whose initial name when he showed up was Ralph Melish, is one of the slowest and most inept characters in the series. He’s even been a walking contradiction since his license actually said that he was 71 years old, but in one episode he makes a statement at an AA meeting stating that he was 31 years old and that alcohol had ruined his life. Plus, his license states that he’s a professional driver and he’s been seen driving commercial trucks, but never with anything that could be called competence. What’s even funnier is another part of his back story that was established later on.

He was announced as the former mayor of Springfield, which is hilarious enough to be a popular aspect of the character but also something kind of depressing since he’s been seen working a wild variety of jobs from being a hot-dog vendor to working as a janitor at the nuclear power plant. He’s even been seen to fluctuate in skin tone from yellow to brown, and seems to have a past that paints him as a wild man and great lover despite the fact that few could possibly see this just from watching him on the show. He’s been given some truly wild and outlandish back stories in the history of the show that have run the gamut from the surreal to the comic. It would seem that within that multitude of wrinkles that he has actually been hiding a rather interesting character that is less Magoo and more Bond or various hero figure.

In so many ways Hans is the kind of character that is simply there to button up a scene or create some sort of comic relief that is needed in order to make the scene make sense. Or he’s used as a means of wrapping up a point that the show is trying to make by adding in the token character that is needed. He’s the character that you don’t really think about since quite honestly he doesn’t seem to fit into a lot of the narratives until it’s designed in a specific way that manages to include him as one of the main plot points or someone that at least has some investment in the current scene. Hans is the guy you look past in real life and don’t really take seriously since he doesn’t seem like much, doesn’t do much, and is only really useful when you get past the wrinkles and glass and learn that he’s something of a surprise that you didn’t see coming. Plus, in the show he’s just a lot of fun when he shows up since his whole purpose is to be something that you didn’t think was coming but somehow knew could be placed in a certain spot just to capture your attention.

Hans Moleman is one of the more mysterious characters on The Simpsons, but he’s definitely earned his spot as one of the more valued.

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