Hey hey, kids! Do you love all things Krusty the Clown? Do you own a Krusty brand home pregnancy test and a Lady Krusty Mustache Removal System? Is your favorite cereal Krusty-Os? Have you read Krusty’s autobiography, which was ghostwritten by John Updike? Do you drive a Canyonero? Have you pledged money to Krusty’s telethon for motion sickness? Do you take Krusty brand cough syrup when you’re sick? Have you gone to Mt. Splashmore on vacation? If so, then you are going to go bananas for this list of 15 things you never knew about Krusty the Clown.
We’re going to pass over the obvious Krusty trivia, like how Sideshow Bob tried to murder him, how he leeches off the success of Itchy & Scratchy, and how he plays a close second to Barney as a boozehound. We’re also going to assume you are familiar with the lesser-known Krusty facts, such as that he’s Jewish and the son of a rabbi, that he was framed for an armed robbery and that sometimes he signs his name “K the C” on 8×10 glossies so as to save money on ink. And never fear, super fans: we’re going to save our breath and not mention how he once owned a cursed trampoline and is a member of the NRA because he wants to keep the King of England out of his face.
15. Debuted On The Tracey Ullman Show
Many of the most beloved supporting characters on The Simpsons evolved over time. However, Krusty made his debut in 1989 on The Tracey Ullman Show. Back then, Ullman featured “The Simpsons Shorts.” Krusty had his own, which was titled “The Krusty the Clown Show.” In that episode, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson attended a live broadcast of Krusty’s show. He looked different in person, and Bart believed that Krusty was an impostor. Bart quizzed him on things only Krusty would know, and eventually pulled off his clown nose. Meanwhile, Homer and Marge watched the whole thing on TV and cringed in anger.
14. He’s Illiterate
Early on in The Simpsons, it was established that Krusty was illiterate. This embarrassing fact surfaced when Sideshow Bob framed Krusty for armed robbery at the Kwik-E-Mart. Bob was reading a magazine in the store, which was something that the real Krusty would never do since he was illiterate. However, it appears that at some point in time, Krusty did learn to read. Viewers have seen him reading in subsequent episodes, including teleprompters and scripts. Krusty did campaign to end illiteracy, by exclaiming: “Give a hoot! Read a book!” Perhaps he took his own advice.
Apparently the writers eventually phased out Krusty’s illiteracy because they said it was too difficult to write for an illiterate character. Still, his illiteracy seems to come and go. There is a late reference to Krusty’s illiteracy when Bart states that Krusty is “an illiterate clown who’s still more respected than all the educators in the country put together!” It seems that Krusty’s literacy (or lack thereof) is fluid, much like Homer’s exact wages and weight.
13. Was Married To Mia Farrow
Most people probably don’t know that Krusty the Clown was married. And even fewer know one of his ex-wives is Mia Farrow. Yes, the same Mia Farrow that was married to Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen. That girl sure does have some crazy taste. In fact, Krusty and Farrow adopted several Asian children together. They had so many living in their house that Krusty couldn’t tell them apart. How do we know about this? Their disastrous marriage was portrayed on a TV movie that was aired about Krusty’s life. Talk about a big reveal. The movie was titled, The Krusty the Klown Story: Booze, Drugs, Guns, Lies, Blackmail and Laughter. The Simpsons was pure genius in that it allowed Krusty to be a way for the writers to make subversive comments on mass communications.
12. Robert Redford Is His Half-Brother
Who thinks Robert Redford is Krusty’s half-brother? Just about everyone in Latin America, that’s who! Here’s why. When Krusty staged a comeback on network television, it was revealed that Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame was his “worthless” half-brother (they share the same mother). In order to garner publicity for his comeback, Krusty reluctantly allowed Perry to be his sidekick after Perry convinced him to “do it for mom’s sake.” Perry ended up being shot out of a canon. It misfired and he flew through the stage building, a sandpaper factory and a pillow factory. The pillow factory was then blown up by a demolition team. We then hear Perry exclaim, “My face! My valuable face!” However, Perry was called “Robert Redford” in the Latin American Spanish-speaking version of the show.
11. Almost Starred In His Own Movie
Even back in the 90s, fans longed for a Simpsons movie. The Internet was not as we know it today, so unconfirmed rumors spread that the show would turn one particular episode into a full length feature film. The episode was “Kamp Krusty.” It featured Bart and Lisa going away to a sleep away camp promoted by Krusty the Clown. Of course the camp was a nightmare, since they fed the children Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel (nine out of ten orphans can’t tell the difference) and forced the children into slave labor by forcing them to make imitation Gucci wallets. Bart led a revolt against the camp when the real Krusty failed to make a promised appearance.
Producer James L. Brooks was so impressed with the quality of the episode that he suggested to the writers that it be turned into a film. However, the idea was scrapped when the team realized that they could barely make an 18 minute episode out of the storyline, so it would be impossible to make a 90 minute. Brooks did achieve his wish for having a Simpsons movie, though. He co-produced and co-wrote The Simpsons Movie in 2007, as well as the Maggie-centric short film The Longest Daycare in 2012.
10. He Foiled An Assassination Attempt On Saddam Hussein
The year was 1990-something, and Krusty was entertaining the troops fighting in the Gulf War. He had some A-list material, such as lampooning Saddam Hussein by referring to him as “So Damn Insane.” Later that night, he hooked up with Erin, who was a lovely lady in the armed forces. They spent an enchanted evening together, but things were ruined the next morning. Erin was tasked with completing an important mission: assassinating Hussein. When she ran out to aim a rocket launcher at him, Krusty followed in quick pursuit. He told her that she couldn’t kill him, because Saddam was half of his act. Krusty tackled her, and she misfired. Because of this clown, Hussein went on to commit atrocious crimes against humanity. Oh, and Erin wound of up pregnant with his child!
9. He Enjoys Adult Entertainment
Krusty loves adult entertainment, as there have been numerous references to it on The Simpsons. When he was being audited by the IRS, he had to sell twelve pounds of his p*rnography in order to enhance his cash flow. In another episode, he was shown throwing out a big box labeled “used up p*rno.” Krusty has also been caught patronizing adult shops and an S&M store, each time wearing a trench coat and sunglasses to conceal his identity. He also tried out for an adult movie after his show got canceled. His love of this sort of entertainment has gotten him into hot water. He revealed that strip clubs have certain rules for him when he patronizes them, implying that he misbehaved in the past. And, he has had countless sexual harassment claims made against him. Notice that he does not have many female co-workers…
8. Has A Very Unique Body
Krusty’s appearance shows his hard-living ways. He became part of the zipper club after needing heart surgery. In fact, he’s had so many heart attacks that he says they gave him a grotesque appearance. When challenged, he points to his face and tells Homer, “This ain’t makeup!” Of course true fans do remember seeing him without makeup in the “Bart the Fink” episode, so we interpret that remark to be typical Krusty sarcasm. But he was also born with some strange abnormalities, not the least were his tiny feet. Just like Mark Wahlberg, he has a superfluous third nipple. He also has a cattle-skull birthmark on his chest. Krusty’s weight has fluctuated on the show, and there was even a point in time when he got plastic surgery to change his appearance but wound up with breast implants.
Of course the cat is out of the bag that the writers initially envisioned Krusty to be Homer Simpson in reality. They thought it would be an interesting plotline to have the man Bart most admirers (Krusty) be the man Bart most despises (his father).
7. Almost Had His Own Spin-Off
The Simpsons played around with various characters having their own spin-offs on the show itself in “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase”. For example, Principal Skinner and Chief Wiggum starred in their own crime drama set in New Orleans. It was called “Chief Wiggum, P.I.”. There was also “The Love-matic Grampa” which featured the ghost of Abe Simpson inhabiting a love machine that gave romantic advice to Moe. Even the Simpson family had their own “Smile Time Variety Hour,” which was a parody of The Brady Bunch Hour.
But in real life, Krusty was such a complex, interesting character that Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks developed an idea for him to have his own real life spin-off. The idea was pitched in 1992. Oddly enough, it was to be live action. It was centered around Krusty moving to Los Angeles, where he has his own talk show. Not surprisingly, contract negotiations fell through and the project was abandoned.
6. He Has A Pet Chimpanzee
Krusty owns a pet chimpanzee, not unlike Michael Jackson did with Bubbles. Its name is Mr. Teeny and he’s a huge chain smoker – something he probably learned from Krusty. Krusty acknowledges his own addiction to cigarettes, but has a back-up plan for when he gets cancer. He is going to harvest Mr. Teeny’s lungs if he can’t find a willing human donor.
Mr. Teeny is often seen on roller skates, but he has a lot of hidden talents. He’s a sometime butler to Krusty, as well as an accountant and driver. Apparently Krusty has owned multiple Mr. Teenys; the second one was his favorite. We learn a lot about Krusty while watching how he treats Mr. Teeny. Krusty is often dismissive toward his loyal pet, yelling at him, calling him a “monkey” (which anyone who has seen Planet of the Apes knows is the worst insult of all to a great ape) and forcing him to perform humiliating acts for his TV show.
5. Showcased Worker & Parasite
We’re going to skip right over Itchy & Scratchy and highlight the comedic duo of Worker & Parasite, who are less well known. Worker and Parasite were Eastern Europe’s favorite cat and mouse team. Think of them as the USSR’s version of Tom and Jerry. They appeared on Krusty’s show when Itchy & Scratchy moved to Gabbo’s show.
When Krusty showed the Worker & Parasite cartoon, he was as baffled at the junk as the children were and exclaimed, “What the hell was that?” Show creator Matt Groening helped to explain what the detour was about. He said the title of the cartoon was in reference to social parasitism, which was a crime in the heyday of the Soviet Union. Much speculation has been made of the cyrillic-like scrawl in the opening credits as well as the unintelligible exclamations of Worker & Parasite. According to Groening, it’s all gibberish. But fan boys aren’t buying it. They claim that when the characters exclaim “Endut! Hoch Hech!” it’s a phonetic match for “Commit suicide” in Klingon. Get bent!
4. He Is An Addict
Everyone knows that Krusty loves his booze. After all, he shoots vodka out of his squirt flower instead of water. But there have been references to him struggling with drugs as well. Twice it was revealed that he was heavily addicted to Percodan. These flaws are interpreted by fans to reveal the ugly side of show business, and add fuel to speculation that Jerry Lewis was a major influence on the character’s development.
In one episode, Krusty asked his young fans to send him Lithium from their parents’ medicine cabinets. This was in response to his prescription drug plan getting cut. Savvy viewers saw this as an admission by Krusty that he suffered from bipolar disorder. In another episode, he reported that in order to act normally, he needs to smoke ground up “moon rocks.” Krusty attributes his high tolerance levels to years of excess.
3. He’s Had A Revolving Door Of Characters On His Show
“The Krusty the Clown Show” is very popular with children in Bart and Lisa’s age group. They watch it every weekday at 4:00 p.m. on channel 6. They could probably tell you all the names of the cast, but most Simpsons fans could only name three: Sideshow Bob, Sideshow Mel and Bart (he had a brief stint as the “I didn’t do it boy”). Krusty has had a revolving door of characters on his show, so it’s hard to keep up. Some of the most memorable are Tina Ballerina (the heavyset ballerina who never speaks), Corporal Punishment (an overgrown G.I. Joe-type who provides crowd control), and Sideshow Raheem (a black man with a 70s afro and a no-nonsense attitude).
Over the years, Krusty worked with numerous celebrities on his various shows, including Hugh Hefner, Bette Midler and Robert Frost. And who can forget the Krustkateers? Finally, Simpsons characters have made brief appearances on his show, including Patty, Selma and Moe.
2. He’s Republican
We know that Krusty is Republican for two reasons. The first is that when his arch nemesis Sideshow Bob ran for mayor of Springfield on the Republican ticket, Krusty voted for him because he was aching for an upper-class tax cut. The second is that Krusty ran for Congress on the Republican ticket. His campaign started off poorly, but he ended up winning a seat once he connected with regular families. Krusty didn’t earn any friends amongst the politicos, but he did succeed in passing a bill to help the Simpson family. The bill was to reroute air traffic in an effort to get planes to stop passing over Evergreen Terrace in Springfield.
There is some evidence that Krusty may have Democratic leanings, though. For example, he once referenced voting for Bill Clinton. Also, Krusty was not present when Mr. Burns chaired his first Springfield Republican Headquarters meeting. Notable characters that did attend were Ranier Wolfcastle, Count Fudge-ula and Birch Barlow.
1. It’s Not Comedy That’s In His Blood
In “The Last Temptation of Krusty”, Krusty quits comedy because he says it isn’t funny anymore. He spouts off on how sad it is that time-tested jokes about women drivers and TV dinners have been eclipsed by comics talking about what time they sit on the can and complaining about how they can’t set their VCRs. In a bizarre twist of fate, Krusty’s off-the-cuff rant got him rave reviews. As quickly as he retired from comedy, he made (another) comeback. The new Krusty resisted commercialism and told the truth, no matter how ugly. But in true Krusty fashion, he succumbed to the lure of money when marketing executives ask him to endorse a sport utility vehicle known as the Canyonero.
Bart was puzzled regarding Krusty’s about-face, and asked him why he decided to be a corporate shill again. Krusty replied that his journey made him learn something about himself. He said, “It ain’t comedy that’s in my blood. It’s selling out.” Krusty is a multi-millionaire, and most of his money has been generated through merchandising. He has his own line of legal pads (Hey, hey! They’re binding!), pork products (despite being Jewish) and Krusty Kologne (don’t worry, it’s non-toxic). Products he endorses have the “Krusty Brand Seal of Approval” which means that they meet the high standards of Krusty the Clown.