'The Simpsons' favourite Hans Moleman celebrates his 100th birthday

·2-min read
Hans Moleman in The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)
Hans Moleman in 'The Simpsons' (20th Century Fox)

The Simpsons fans have reason to celebrate after discovering beloved character Hans Moleman has celebrated his 100th birthday.

The kindly old fella turned a century old on August 2, according to a screengrab of his drivers’ licence dug out by fans.

The character has become a fan favourite over the years thanks largely to his ability to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has been a recurring background character for the show’s 30-year run.

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He also often dies in a series of bizarre accidents, only to turn up fine and unharmed the next episode.

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The glasses-wearing character was initially not even supposed to last more than one episode, appearing on season two episode Principal Charming as a man struggling to read the eye chart and the DMV, causing Patty and Selma Bouvier to revoke his licence.

He later got it back though and is often seen driving.

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Speaking to Vulture, executive producer Al Jean reveals creator Matt Groening initially never wanted to see the character again because he was “a little contrived and a little weird”.

“At the colour screening, Matt Groening stood up and said, ‘This should never appear on the show again,’” Jean revealed.

Hans Moleman in The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)
Hans Moleman in The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)

Naturally, the pranksters on the series decided to keep bringing him back anyway as a running gag among the production team.

It took a while for him to be given his name as well, being referred to as a “kindly old gent” in the scripts with the team saying he “looked like a potato”.

He was then given the name Ralph Melish — an in-joke from Monty Python about a man who never has anything interesting happen to him.

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But because of his blindness, short stature and wrinkly features, the team soon started referring to him as a “Moleman”, with Hans soon becoming his first name and sticking.

Hans Moleman in The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)
Hans Moleman in The Simpsons (20th Century Fox)

Ironically, despite his initial name, Moleman has had quite the number of adventures and death experiences over the course of the show’s run, but because of his lack of connection to the rest of the characters, his accomplishments go largely ignored.

As a result, he continues to meander through life with no consequence, something that continues to make him so endearing.

As Jean says: “He’s been blessedly free of any change or growth, any learning or any knowledge. He’s the same lovable loser stuck in a line.”

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