The Simpsons are more than just an American animated series. They are an American franchise that reflects decades of what our country has experienced. Created by Matt Groening, the family made their debut in 1987 as a series of sketches on the now-defunct, Tracy Ullman Show. Groening drew inspiration from his own family and replaced his first name with that of the now infamous, Bart Simpson. By 1989, the show commanded its own spotlight and was lifted from its previous digs into its own time slot. The impact was immediate, as fans rushed to their TVs on Sunday nights.
The typically crabby conservative crowd that burned books and stickered records did not get the show. Bart was labeled as too rebellious, fingers were pointed at Homer Simpson for being a poor employee and husband, while the family as a whole was blasted for often ignoring the baby, Maggie Simpson. During his reelection march, George W. Bush even took aim at the show in 1992 when he stated, “we are going to keep on trying to strengthen the American family, to make American families a lot more like the Waltons and a lot less like the Simpsons.” The joke was on the critics because the show served as a reflection of our various preexisting conditions.
As the ultimate time capsule, The Simpsons have parodied our state of affairs while drawing up the icons of the day to often hilarious results. Whether it was sonic mastermind, Kanye West, baseball legend, Wade Boggs, or sci-fi pioneer, Leonard Nimoy, The Simpsons have done a fantastic job of projecting the spirit of others into the series. Now, it is time to turn the tables and look at a few in-the-flesh doppelgangers that could easily pass for the primary faces that appear frequently on the Fox show. Check out our list of the 15 real-life people that resemble characters on The Simpsons, and decide whether or not there are actual comparisons beyond the appearance.
15. Kodak Black As Lisa Simpson
Besides a terrible haircut, Florida rapper, Kodak Black, shares a love for music with Lisa Simpson. Lisa loves jazz and Black loves 808 bass, so a collaboration between the two would merit interest. Lisa may not get down with Black’s alleged criminal behavior since she’s known for being a bit of a goody-two-shoes. The rapper was arrested in April of this year. Charged with weapon or ammunition possession by a convicted felon, marijuana possession, multiple traffic violations and eluding an officer, Black seems to operate on the dark side of The Force. In September, he was sentenced to 120 days in jail as a result of the incident and is scheduled to be released on November 30. The only problem is that he has a pending sexual battery charge stemming from an alleged incident that took place in South Carolina. Kodak Black may have Drake’s stamp of approval and a bonafide hit song in “SKRT,” but he has consistently found himself in situations that are even too over-the-top for the Simpsons clan.
14. Lady Gaga As Marge Simpson
To a certain degree, it could be said that with these two it’s all about the hair. Yet, there is more to this pairing than meets the proverbial eye. These ladies share several behavioral traits. Both Marge and Gaga stick to their values despite calls from the choir of haters that demand that they make changes. In Marge’s case, her cynics are her lonely and bitter sisters, Patty and Selma, that literally spend every moment of screen time pushing Marge to abandon her husband. Marge’s steadfast resolve in the face of negativity resembles Gaga’s desire to wear what she wants, sing what she wants, and live how she wants at all times. With her new album, Joanne, Gaga is presenting a simpler version of herself while taking care of the integrity of her relationship with her fans. Marge Simpson is all about being simple and taking care of her own as well.
13. Slash As Otto Man
Otto Man’s carefree rock-or-die attitude permeates his lifestyle. It doesn’t matter that he is not selling out stadiums or punching the clock at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Otto Man feels every note that he shreds. Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Slash, is a lot cooler than Otto Man and he does live the dream. What if fate was not so kind to Axl Rose’s wing-man? Slash could have easily driven down Otto Man’s career path. There are issues with dealing with unruly kids and waking up early. Slash has shown a knack for working with kids as a father, and driving a school bus would provide plenty of opportunities for naptime during and after school hours. That equals plenty of hours to spend rocking the local Battle of the Bands. Like Otto Man, Slash would have found a way to rock out all day every day. Sammy Hagar was obviously wrong when he coined the lyric, “there’s only one way to rock.”
12. Skip Bayless As Moe Szyslak
The character of Moe Szyslak was inspired by Louis Deutsch who died a cranky bartender that was known for snapping on abusive prank callers. Much like Moe, Deutsch was close to his clientele as he was to his own family, and set the tone for those that were around him. Enter the grumpiest man in sports TV, Fox’s own, Skip Bayless. Bayless is known to take on Internet trolls that disagree with his commentary. The new age pranksters take pride in their ability to get Bayless going, and he rarely backs down from returning fire. Whether he is man-crushing over Tim Tebow or drawing the ire of Dallas Cowboys players past and present, Bayless is a combative personality that provides entertainment. The physical semblance between Moe and Bayless is uncanny. The permanent scowl and the frizzy hair are just two traits that they share. Unlike Moe, Bayless may only get professional love from the ESPN partner, Stephen A. Smith. Moe, on the other hand, is an acquired taste that eventually grew on everyone that stumbled into his seedy dive bar for a cold mug of Duff’s beer.
11. Vladimir Putin As Mr. Burns
Donald Trump made a strong case for this spot with his smug attitude and liver spots. Yet, until whatever it is that’s passing for his “hair” falls off, he’s not yet a dead ringer for The Simpson’s character, Mr. Burns. Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, is a fine replacement. Something can be said for how personality traits carry over into one’s appearance. Homer Simpson’s boss, Mr. Burns, is a mean and evil tyrant who only sparingly fails to rule with an iron fist. His personal assistant, Waylon Smithers, and on one occasion Marge Simpson, are perhaps the only two characters to see his soft side. Putin gives off the same vibe, with a facial expression that usually gives the impression of “I want to destroy everything.” That is certainly a feeling that Mr. Burns can relate to. As the Russians take aim at the United States it’s somewhat ironic that Putin strongly resembles a character that is as American as apple pie.
10. Justin Guarini As Sideshow Bob
It doesn’t matter that Guarini recently cut his hair. The first season runner-up to the American Idol crown can’t hide from the fact that he is Sideshow Bob in the flesh. Check out the nose, the jaw, and the pointy chin. Justin is walking proof that if Bob would not have been so petty, he could have been pretty smooth. Both tales end with their dominant personality and talent being overshadowed by another rising star that went on to great heights. During a series wrap-up interview with the LA Times, Guarini made a very Sideshow Bob-like statement to describe his feelings on being dropped from his record company as his star dimmed. “And then the split with the label,” he said “Literally I didn’t find out until I was watching Saturday Night Live and Tina Fey said it during Weekend Update. No one told me. It was heartbreaking. I walked away from the industry after that and stayed away for about a year or so, but my love of music brought me back.” The drama is too real.
9. Mark Cuban As Milhouse
Billionaire entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, demands a lot of respect for his accomplishments and his willingness to share his vast knowledge with others. Yet, the resemblance between him and The Simpsons’ character, Milhouse Van Houten is pretty astounding from Cuban’s younger years. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks and many other endeavors has given hope to a lot of square-jawed kids with coke bottle glasses. If Milhouse only knew that his end-game was this good, his dark days of pining over Lisa Simpson would have come to a complete halt. After holding these images up to each other, the spirit of Drake’s “Started From The Bottom,” rings loud and clear. Cuban appeared on the episode “The Burns and the Bees” as himself. Looking back, it seems like a wasted opportunity to have invested his likeness on that storyline in favor of one that overlooked such a striking resemblance.
8. Tim Tebow As Ned Flanders
Ned Flanders and Tim Tebow want to save your soul. In the process, their actions sometimes are a bit uncanny. Tebow is a pretty clean cut guy who at most keeps a little bit of scruff around his neck. The lack of facial hair and two generations of aging don’t stop the show. Ned may not have Tebow’s muscles but his demeanor, principles, and the holy-way-is-the-only-way mission statement places him next to the New York Mets’ prospect. Homer leans on Ned when things get dark for moral support, and Ned always has his back. Tebow was not a pro-caliber quarterback during his time in the NFL but he was always an inspiration to others. By making others better by having their back, Tebow resembles Flanders in other ways besides the boxed hair cut. It would be amazing to get an episode where these two would go on a mission trip, and perhaps hilarity would ensue.
7. The Weeknd As Krusty The Clown
The artist known as The Weeknd may have just cut his hair, but there is still enough time to reflect on what once was. The stellar talent that captivated the world during his 2015 run is back with a new single entitled, “Star Boy.” Perhaps a little bit more mature with his sensibilities, The Weeknd is a singer that is making a legit push for relevancy. With that, it must be paid attention to that like Krusty, he has a penchant for vice that is legendary. The world of R&B has yet to deal with an act that blatantly flaunts his drug and alcohol use lyrically in addition to his sexual fever. A quick listen to a previous album track, “Tell Your Friends,” provides a peek into The Weeknd’s world of debauchery. It’s too late to get Krusty on the remix but the work would have been noteworthy. On The Simpsons front, no one accuses Krusty of being a saint. Krusty’s love for wild hair, booze, women, and cigarettes is legendary. These two are the real Toxic Twins.
6. John F. Kennedy As Principal Skinner
This feature has focused on the concept that there are behavioral traits that could cause flesh and blood human beings to project Simpson-like qualities. This theory goes south here a little bit as Principal Skinner and JFK only have one thing in common. They both are men in power that carried on an illicit affair behind closed doors. There are some very obvious physical traits here but the secrets that they kept and keep are far more interesting. Had his presidency occurred in the TMZ era, JFK’s entire run would have been derailed by his muse, Marilyn Monroe. The actress/entertainer pulled the ultimate side-chick move when she seduced him with a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” in front of his entire family. The shame of it all is the teacher, Edna Krabappel, has been known to be just as tart when she wants and needs Principal Skinner’s physical attention. They say you can’t keep a good woman down. That may be true, but you definitely can’t keep a bad woman quiet.
5. Justin Timberlake As Waylon Smithers
Justin Timberlake is the most interesting entry in this feature. He and Smithers share a calm resolve that allows them to know that everything will work out, despite the most dire of circumstances. True, they may have different social views, but they sure do look alike when Timberlake slaps those glasses on. Smithers is definitely not from Timberlake’s hometown of Memphis, but he’s navigated many controversies in his day. As Mr. Burns’ right-hand man, he’s cleaned up the horrific actions of his boss/crush which is not limited to flooding Springfield with nuclear waste and failed attempts at world domination. Every time Mr. Burns beats someone down, Smithers has to either lift them up or make them go away in the most honorable way possible. Timberlake has survived the Disney treadmill, the stain of being in the ultimate boy band, life with pre-redemption Britney Spears, and a pop culture society that grinds its stars out like country sausage. Both men have never shied away from tackling social issues, even if it sent some heat their way.
4. Meat Loaf As Barney Gumble
The guy’s name is Meat Loaf and he is a dead ringer for Homer’s slovenly friend, Barney. This is an open and shut case for gluttony in its finest form. As a classic rock staple, Meat Loaf did his thing back in the ’70s with his classic album Bat Out Of Hell. Even though his heyday has passed, he continues to perform. During a recent June show, he collapsed during his hit “I Will Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).” His spokesman, Jeremy Westby, told CNN that “dehydration” was the reason for the fall. At the time, he also updated the singer’s health. “He was admitted to a nearby hospital to undergo routine tests,” Westby said. “His vital signs are stable and normal — he’s responsive and recovering well.” Like his counterpart, Barney has a wonderful operatic voice. As a member of the Be Sharps barbershop quartet, Barney shared his vocal talent with the world. Unfortunately, he also spent a lot of time falling down thanks to his rabid alcoholism.
3. Carly Fiorina As Edna Krabappel
The recent election cycle has featured more than one ground-breaking female candidate. Carly Fiorina made history as the first woman to become the CEO of a ranked Top-20 company according to Forbes. As the leader of HP, Fiorina oversaw the merger with Compaq before dipping her toes into the political waters. As a player in the 2016 Republican primary, Fiorina was linked to Ted Cruz as his vice-presidential running mate. Cruz did not get the nod as the party’s nominee but her accession within the party ranks was well noted. On the other side lies The Simpsons’ character, Edna Krabappel, who maintains a similar demeanor as Fiorina.While she’s not as accomplished, very few characters in The Simpsons world can be categorized as truly successful. What they share is the ability to cross their arms like nobody’s business. In the classroom, Krabappel takes a no-nonsense approach. Her all-business brown bob haircut says that while she and Fiorina may not have the same lifestyle, they do share the same attitude.
2. Boy Abunda As Homer Simpson
As the face of Philippine talk show culture, Abunda is famous in a very big way. Whether he is railing about topics of the day, his activism or his personal medical issues, he is a local icon. He shares that status with a very famous name. As seen on his own show, Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson, the patriarch of the Simpson clan has no problem sitting in front of the camera either. During one of his many spotlight episodes, Homer becomes a talk show host after a rant of his is videotaped and subsequently goes viral. One opinion leads to another and suddenly the world beyond Springfield is hanging on Homer’s every word. Homer backs away from one of his many opinions which gave decaying guitarist, Ted Nugent, the national spotlight. Abunda, himself, is known for being vulnerable with his thoughts with his audience. As far as appearances go, they are both bald and their eyes are shaped in the same manner. If Abunda takes on 20 extra pounds, it’s a wrap.
1. Macklemore As Bart Simpson
The home run hitter for this experiment was rapper, Macklemore. Both he and Bart Simpson reflect a flippant attitude. At one point, Macklemore took rebellion to another level. As seen in his video for the song “Drug Dealer,” the artist whose birth name is Ben Haggerty struggled with various addictions. While Bart Simpson is certainly not in recovery at such a young age, it’s almost impossible not to agree that it would shock no one if that was in his future. Bart Simpson is driven by pushing buttons and shocking people. Many teens fall into the trap of addiction through that gateway behavior. It’s not all doom and gloom. Macklemore is a good-natured troublemaker just like Simpson as reflected in his tunes. So while they look the same, they also seem to be driven by a lot of the same intentions. This is why they landed in the number one spot.
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