The Herman File

Created and maintained by Vic Rome

        Bart: D-did you lose your arm in the war?
        Herman: My arm? Well let me put it this way: next time your
                teacher tells you to keep your arm inside the bus
                window, you do it!

                -- "Bart the General (7G05)"
Description Background Information Major Appearances
Minor Appearances Herman vs. Lt. Dan Origins of Herman


Herman is the one-armed paranoid owner of Herman's Military Antiques, a shop in Springfield. He wears combat boots, military pants, a blue long-sleeve shirt, and an olive green or brown vest. He also wears a medal on the vest but it is unknown what he did, if anything, to earn the medal. It is also common for Herman to be sucking on a cigarette. Herman's voice has been described by the creators as a parody of George Bush, Sr., and is provided by the talented Harry Shearer.

Background Information

Name: Herman, last name unknown.
Birth Date: Unknown.
Childhood Information: Lost an arm in a tragic school bus accident.
Criminal History: Sale of false historical merchandise; sale of nukes to civilians; sale of counterfeit designer jeans; arrested for restraining one police chief and one known felon.
Accomplices: Abraham "Grandpa" Simpson, Homer J. Simpson, Snake, Moe Syzlak, Lenny Leonardson, Carl Carlson.
Current Status: Owner of Herman's Military Antiques; under surveillance by Springfield P.D.

Major Appearances

7G05 Helping Bart and Grandpa to get revenge on Nelson and his gang.
We also find out how he lost his arm.
7F17 Helping Grandpa find a gift for his girlfriend, then selling him a fez worn by Napolean
9F21 Selling military antiques at the flea market
1F09 Homer and his vigilante group stop by his shop to buy weapons.
Herman also shows Homer a nuclear missile.
2F21 Joining in on the poker games at Homer's house.
It is revealed that he was using Homer's car hole as a front to sell counterfeit jeans.
3F18 Keeps Chief Wiggum and Snake tied up in his shop.
They are rescued when Milhouse accidentally whacks Herman with a medieval mace.
5F02 Showing a bomb shelter to Homer before being blown up by a nuke.

Minor Appearances

Intro Seen in the crowd during the introduction sequence.
7F10 With the guys at Moe's Tavern.
7F75 In the conga line.
8F03 At the court during Bart's sentencing.
8F08 At the dog track on "Eye on Springfield".
8F09 At Moe's Tavern.
8F11 Digging at the well.
8F12 Playing pool at Moe's Tavern.
8F18 Playing a sailor in the stage musical.
9F10 In the couch gag.
In the crowd during the Monorail song.
1F01 In the mob.
1F05 Mentioned in an ad for a "Fat Boy Bomb"
2F09 A member of the Stonecutters.
2F16 At the town hall meeting.
2F17 ???
3F20 In the mob of people.
3F21 In the concert crowd at Lollapalooza.
3F24 At the chili cook-off.
4F05 In the crowd of people.
4F06 At the burleque house and later in the mob of people.
4F13 Talking with Snake in the background of the South Street Squidport.
5F09 At city hall.
5F10 In the comedy club audience.
AABF07 In the crowd at the billboard.
AABF09 In the court room.
AABF17 At the antiques show.
AABF22 In the crowd at the school.
BABF02 At Barney's Bowl-A-Rama.
CABF19 Inside the wailing wall at Lord Montymort's lair..
DABF22 At the Rolling Stones' Rock 'N Roll fantasy camp.
EABF17 In the crowd at the flower opening.
FABF23 One of the vagrants at the opium den.

Herman vs. Lt. Dan

So I was watching Forrest Gump one day and I couldn't help but notice the similarities between Herman and Lt. Dan. Physical similarities aside, note they both tend to exude paranoid and erratic behavior, and both smoke and have that grizzled appearance. Maybe one's based off the other, or maybe they're charicatures of Hollywood's typical war veteran. The mystery lives on...

Origins of Herman

Straight from the commentary for Bart the General and Old Money on the DVD sets:

Matt Groening: Well, the design of this character is, other than the one arm, pretty much inspired by [Simpsons writer] John Swartzwelder. The voice for instance is a little George Bush.
David Silverman: Thanks to Harry Shearer.

Matt Groening: The original idea with Herman was that every single time we saw him on the show (the original plan was that he would be a regular character) he would explain how he lost his arm and it would be different every time. 'When you see a sign that says don't stick your hand in the ball return at the bowling alley, you believe it!'

Jay Kogen: This is a character that's kind of disappeared a little bit.
Al Jean: I think with all the militia and bombing stuff it seemed a little less funny.
Wallace Wolodarsky: Also, all the antique military stores in Santa Monica seem to have disappeared as well.
Jay Kogen: No, no one is still there (laughing).

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Last updated on August 29, 2005 by Vic Rome (