Twitter deviantARTFacebookTumblrGoogle+Reddit

Charles Montgomery Burns

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki
This article is about the character. For other uses, see Mr. Burns (disambiguation).
"Excellent."
―Burns' catchphrase
"Release the hounds!"
―Burns' catchphrase
"You're fired."
―Mr. Burns as a vampire
Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns
Charles Montgomery Burns.png
Character Information
Gender:
Male ♂
Status:
Alive
Alias(es): Fruit Bat Man
Age: See age section
Hair: Gray, balding
Occupation: Owner of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant (not legal owner)
World War II veteran
Relatives: Grandparents: Wainwright Montgomery Burns and Evelyn Graycomb
Parents: Clifford Burns and Daphne Burns
Adoptive father: Unnamed
Siblings: Cornelius Burns
Cornelia Hernandez
Zeph Burns
George Burns
Great-Grandfather: Franklin Jefferson Burns
Son: Larry Burns
Waylon Smithers, Jr. (foster son)
Niece: Pepita Hernandez
Aunt: Doreena Burns
Grandchildren: Unnamed
Cousin: Lyla
First Appearance: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire"
Voiced by: Christopher Collins (Season 1)
Harry Shearer (regular)
Nancy Cartwright (Angry Dad)


Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns[1] is an elderly, skinny man who is shown as being cruel, bitter, cynical, heartless and greedy. Burns owns and runs the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.

Burns frequently orders his aide, Waylon Smithers, Jr., to "release the hounds," so as to let his vicious guard dogs attack any intruders, enemies or even invited guests. Mr. Burns is Springfield's richest and most powerful citizen. His net worth has been stated to be in the billion-dollar range, although at one point it slipped to "only" $996 million, which led to his being demoted from Billionaire Camp to Millionaire Camp.[2] Burns uses his power and wealth to do whatever he wants, usually without regard for consequences and without interference from the authorities. His fortune was once estimated to be $3 billion.[3]

Biography[edit]

Mr. Burns Every Simpsons Ever.png

Childhood[edit]

Burns as a child

The Burns family has deep roots in the United States. Burns' date of birth is arguable. He's believed to be born on September 15, 1890, although he himself says he was born in 1881. As a child, Burns lived happily in a northern state with his natural parents, Clifford and Daphne Burns, as one of 11 children, one being the comedian George Burns, and his teddy bear Bobo. As a child, Burns was so cheery and amiable that his parents called him "Happy."

He used to have a penchant for reading comics as a child ("comical booklets"), but his father didn't like this. Clifford burned down the bought and burned down the company that made the comics to teach his son a lesson. This may have been part of why Burns left so eagerly; to escape his father's cruelty.[4]

At a young age he left his family to live with a twisted and heartless billionaire (who was actually his grandfather, a former slaveholder named Colonel Wainwright Montgomery Burns), who owned an "atom mill" in Springfield, where laborers split atoms by hitting anvils with sledgehammers. Burns lived a life of privilege and would amuse himself by injuring hapless immigrant laborers; it appears that Wainwright was directly responsible for turning Charles Montgomery from a pleasant child into a coldhearted man, much like himself.[5]

Burns with Abe Simpson during WWII

Charles Montgomery Burns later attended Yale University.[6]

Pre-World War 2[edit]

For a time Burns lived in Paris, where he met and fell in love with his cousin Lyla. At one point, he proposed, but she rejected him because of his evil ways, and they didn't speak for decades.[7]

In 1939, at Burns' 25-year college reunion, he became romantically involved with the daughter of an old flame. She would later bear his child, Larry Burns, who was given up for adoption and would later enter Mr. Burns' life briefly.[6]

World War II[edit]

Burns served in the Flying Hellfish during World War II, holding the rank of private after being demoted for his involvement in a romantic scandal and attempting to block a probe from J. Edgar. Burns is proud of the fact that he manufactured shells for the Nazis, seeing himself as being superior to Oskar Schindler because "my shells worked, dammit!"[8]

A member of Springfield's Flying Hellfish battalion (even though it was later shown that Mr. Burns was in the Waffen SS, the special forces of the Nazi army), he saw action in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, serving under Sergeant Abraham Simpson. He was later transferred to the South Pacific with part of his squad. During the closing years of the war, when his platoon was clearing out a German-occupied castle, Mr. Burns came across several valuable portraits. Since they couldn't decide on who they should go to, they decided to enter into a tontine, which Mr. Burns was removed from decades after the war, after being dishonorably discharged when he tried to kill Abe. The paintings were later handed back to a German whose relatives owned them.[9]

Mr Burns showing off his expensive clothing

Post World War II[edit]

At the end of World War II he was personally hired by President Harry S. Truman to transport a specially-printed trillion-dollar bill to Europe as the United States' contribution to the reconstruction of the continent. As the United States' richest citizen, Burns was thought to be also the most trustworthy. Burns absconded with the bill and kept it in his possession for many years until it was lost to Fidel Castro.[10]

Montgomery Burns revealing he was a member of the SS

Burns spent time as a biochemist and bioterrorist before purchasing the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. During the 1960s, Burns operated a biological weapons laboratory until it was destroyed by peace activists - including Homer's mother, Mona Simpson.

In the 1970s, Burns bought the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. When he arrived in Springfield this time (for what Marge thought was the first time) he seemed to have changed and promised cheap electricity for all. He came into town riding an elephant and a young Moe Szyslak asked to touch the elephant, which Mr. Burns allowed him to do.[11] Burns currently owns the plant, although he has parted with it several times, including when he sold it to German investors, when the bank foreclosed on it and put Lenny in charge, when he lost all of his money in a bet with Colonel O'Hara, and when Homer and Bart staged a hostile takeover of it. In each of these instances, Burns regained ownership of the nuclear plant.

After allowing his assistant to sacrifice himself to stop a potential nuclear meltdown, he secretly raised his son Waylon Smithers, Jr. as his own. He is unaware that Smithers is gay and has had a crush on him for years. Their relationship has had its rough spots, as Smithers was one of the prime suspects in the shooting of Mr. Burns in 1995. Mr. Burns has grown to be the oldest man in Springfield

Mr. Burns in his typical evil mood

Character[edit]

Personality[edit]

Mr. Burns embodies a number of stereotypes about Corporate America, as he has an unquenchable desire to increase his own wealth and power. Burns also embodies the stereotype of a manager by forgetting his employees' names (especially Homer's, despite it appearing that they interact more than Burns does with most of his employees), though this can be attributed to his senility. Burns is also unconcerned for their safety and well-being. His aspirations to apply obsolete technology to everyday life or references to Victorian-era people or places provide a common source of humor on the show. Recently, he has become less evil and more eccentric.

Although Mr. Burns has a vast amount of money, he doesn't do charity, and simply releases "The Hounds" at any charity collectors coming to his mansion.

Mr. Burns seems to enjoy bossing his assistant, Waylon Smithers, Jr., to do everything for him, from getting him dressed to driving him about.

Mr Burns struggles to understand Ketchup and Catsup

At times, Burns appears to be completely removed from modern conventions and, sometimes, reality. He continually fails to recognize Homer Simpson or remember his name despite all the major events in Burns' life on the series have revolved around him in some way, similar to Krusty not remembering Bart's name. Burns is also for the most part unaware of the townspeople's general dislike of him.

Mr. Burns uses archaic phrases and antiquated expressions that have either changed meanings or fallen out of common usage in American English, including score (meaning 20), twain (two), post-haste (quickly), petroleum distillate (gasoline), gay (jolly), dean (principal), velocitator and deceleratrix (a car's accelerator and brake), aeromail (post by air), lollygagger (slacker), fourth form (fourth grade), ahoy-hoy (hello), jumping box and picto-tube (television), Autogyro (helicopter), DictaBelt (dictation machine), the New York Nine (New York Yankees), horseless sleigh (snowmobile, although it could just mean that he was trying to be a mysterious character), crackleberries (peanuts), talkie (movies with sound), thrice (three times), and mater (mother). He also answers the telephone in the same way that the man widely credited for the Invention of the Telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, is purported to have answered it ('Ahoy, Hoy?'). In one episode he also rings Smithers and says "Smithers, come here, I want you.", a take on what are reputedly the first words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell on his telephone ("Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you").

He also displays mannerisms which are considered outdated, such as practicing phrenology, writing with a quill pen, driving a 1936 Stutz Bearcat while wearing a Edwardian motorist's outfit which includes hat, driving gloves and goggles, carrying a mace for self defense (though the weapon actually shown was a flail), driving without regard to traffic laws in the manner of early 20th century motorists, and using an antique view camera to take photographs.

Burns appears unaware of 20th century political and social developments, such as Fidel Castro replacing Fulgencio Batista as the President of Cuba, Siam changing its name to Thailand, the Belgian Congo changing its name to the Congo-Kinshasa, Prussia being absorbed into the German Empire, India gaining its independence from the British Empire, New Mexico entering the United States, the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Idlewild Airport changing its name to JFK Airport, the disbanding of the Negro Leagues, the desegregation of the Major Leagues, Joe DiMaggio no longer being a rookie, the extinction of the dodo, the demolition of the Polo Grounds, the ceasing of publication of Collier's Weekly, the demise of the DuMont Television Network, believing tires need to be revulcanized, confusing The Ramones with The Rolling Stones ("have the Rolling Stones killed"), thinking cars are still operated by levers, believing mail may still be delivered by autogyro (once asking for a package to be delivered by autogyro to the Prussian Embassy in Siam) and the occurrence of the 1939 World's Fair.

Mr. Burns' investment portfolio includes long-defunct shares in "Confederated Slaveholdings, Transatlantic Zeppelin, Amalgamated Spats, Congreve's Inflammable Powder, U.S. Hay", and an "up-and-coming Baltimore Opera Hat Company".

Burns commonly refers to deceased persons as if they were alive, including Al Jolson, Tallulah Bankhead, Louise Brooks, Honus Wagner, Cap Anson, and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.

He also believes some social institutions and inventions are novel or nonexistent, such as musicals about "the common cat" and "the King of Siam", the Packard automobile, the Fire Department, ice cream (or "iced cream"), vending machines, recycling, strip clubs, the DuMont, the word "into", silent films like the 1929 Lulu, and the synonymity of ketchup and catsup. While trying to chat up a young woman, Burns offers to play the clavichord and show stereopticon images of the Crimean War.

Mr Burns' office

Health[edit]

Mr. Burns strangling Homer, in a menacing fashion

Burns has numerous physical ailments and health problems, or more accurately he has nearly 'every' physical ailment and health problem. He is often to the point where he seems to straddle the line between life and death. On prior occasions, Burns may have died. Presently, Burns has a condition known as "Three Stooges Syndrome" where a delicate state of homeostasis is created by the presence in his body of every disease known to man and other newly-discovered diseases unique to him, which, when all trying to invade his body simultaneously, cancel out each other. Mr. Burns took this as being invincible, although the doctor who told him this implied that the slightest breeze could kill him.[12]

Physically weak, he often has great difficulty performing the most basic physical tasks, such as giving a thumbs-up, receiving a hug, crushing a paper cup, or stepping on an insect. He is weak enough to be pushed over by an ant or a high-five, or pushed down by a sponge scrub on his head (although he was able to eventually get up in the latter case). Bunting a baseball sends him flying to the backstop. The weight of Toothpaste on his Toothbrush is enough to pull him over.[13] He has a hunched back and his vertebral column is visible when he is viewed from the side. His exposure to radiation has given his skin a green glow (though seen in only one episode) and left him infertile. Once a 1000 dollar bill bruised him leaving a reverse imprint of Grover Cleveland on his chest[14]. When Burns was incarcerated at Springfield's penititiary, when he was getting a mug shot, the camera flash was able to slam him against a wall and knock him out.

Burns was once mistaken for an alien after his weekly medical treatments.

His organs have grown immensely weak over the years. His heart is black, desiccated, and barely beats or does not beat at all. It is shrunken to the size of a cherry. Burns' blood type is double-O negative.[15] When his finger is pricked, he bleeds dust, and when his arm is poked with a needle, the needle passes through his arm like Meringue as his doctor described it. On one occasion, a chunk of Burns' brain fell out through his ear. Another time, his lungs came out through his mouth and acted like an airbag. On another occasion, he indicated in an off-hand manner that he only has a single lung. If he is not careful, fluid can build up in his hands, causing them to swell to enormous proportions, and his fingers have been shown to flap in the breeze released from a bowling ball dispenser. It has been revealed that if Burns sweats even one drop, he could die of dehydration unless he takes a bath immediately. Burns has also lost body parts due to leprosy (one example is when he lost an entire fingernail in a cup). Both his legs have a crease in them, down the entire length.

When Mr. Burns learnt he had the House Cat Flu and he had only 6 months to live, he decided to announce all Springfieldians. However, after seeing nobody cared about him, he tried to jump from a cliff to kill himself. he didn't die, but he did loose his memory and became a weak, innocent person. People tried to take revenge from him. He later discovered he survived to the flu, and thought kindness kept him alive, but after almost because of dying because of giving Ralph a candy, he realized his spite what keeps him alive.

Medical treatment[edit]

Mr. Burns when Bart brought him to his home after he tried to kill himself

Mr. Burns' medical treatment includes a weekly procedure which includes chiropractics, a painful vocal cord scraping, and an injection of pain-killers; its purpose is to postpone his death for one week. This makes his eyeballs grow to an unnatural size, and he becomes temporarily "nice." He also glows green, a result of working in a nuclear plant for ages. This once caused Homer to mistake him for an alien, though no one believed him, thinking him to have been drunk (he drank about ten bottles of a new type of beer, 'Red Tick Beer' made out of beer and dog fleas). Lisa tried to prove that Burns was not an alien, by pointing a flashlight at him, which revealed him in his "nice" form. The townspeople still believed he was a monster and wanted to kill him anyway, but Smithers rushed in and stopped them, explaining that it was really Mr. Burns. He also has his brain flushed out with vinegar and his eyes "re-balled". Burns' knees are also sent out to be repaired at a "shop." His dentures replace themselves.[16] In the future, Burns may be kept alive by cryonics.

He once broke all his bones (Though this was understandable, as he was knocked down onto the street below his main office, and besides which, he also had his stuffed Polar bear statue fall on top of him due to a fight between Smithers and Homer).

On rare occasions he has displayed great strength and skill, such as when he managed to singlehandly capture Loch Ness monster Nessie (though it was never explained how he did so bar that it swallowed him) and when he rescued his girlfriend Gloria from a burning building (although she wound up carrying him out of the blaze).

Career[edit]

At the nuclear plant, Burns spends most of time in his office, monitoring his workers via closed circuit cameras. In his office he keeps a team of ten high-priced lawyers, a scale model of Springfield, a special microbe-resistant chamber, a two-seat escape pod, and the "League of Evil" - a sinister cabal whose members are long deceased but whose skeletons remain. The boobytraps in Burns' office include cricket poison, a secret trapdoor (though he sometimes forgets where it is), a catapult that fires 100 gram weights, and a ceiling-mounted suction tube which he can use to transport dissident workers to Morocco. He is also a loan officer at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Employee's Credit Union.[17]

Kent Brockman also credits Burns with having stolen Christmas from 1981 to 1985.

He was once forced to work in a Sweatshop, along with other billionaires such as Artie Ziff, Aristotle Amadopolis and Rich Texan.

He also claims to have participated in the Boston Tea Party.

Burns has also owned or co-owned a number of business ventures in Springfield, including the Monty Burns Casino (later demolished),[18] Li'l Lisa" recycling (an ocean slurry manufacturing plant),[19] and Burns Slant Drilling Co.,[20] Burns Media, the electric company, the water works and even a hotel on Baltic Avenue.

Burns has used his power and wealth to blackmail and bribe various members of Springfield, including Mayor Quimby, as well as safety inspectors. He once attempted to block out the sun to force Springfield residents to increase their use of electricity produced by the Nuclear Plant and was subsequently shot by Maggie;. The town routinely is subject to Burns' abuse, such as Burns' stealing of Christmas from 1981 to 1985 and there is a general dislike of him throughout the town.

In The Simpsons: Hit & Run, it is implied that he had a business partner that he killed. He stated this in level 7, mission 4, when Homer goes to his office, Mr. Burns mistakes him for the ghost of his former partner, and is relieved when Homer tells him that it is just him.

Burns' bedroom in Burns Manor

Residence[edit]

Main article: Burns Manor

Burns resides in a vast, ornate mansion on an immense estate called Burns' manor, located at 1000 Mammon Lane, on the corner of Croesus and Mammon streets in the 'Springfield Heights' district. It is protected by a high wall, an electrified fence and a pack of vicious attack dogs known as "The Hounds", one of whom is named Winston.

Burns Manor

He usually releases the whole lot of hounds towards guests (implied only to drive out the guests from the house and without the actual intention of hurting the guests[21]), but if the guest manages to make Mr. Burns feel extremely gratified (such as when Homer interviewed him for an opium war), he will reduce the hounds released to the extent of only one hound actually being employed. In addition he has at least one 30+ yr old dog named Crippler, who is so old he has trouble walking. Crippler is known for bagging hippies - something they don't find too groovy at all. At times he has employed for protecting a force of Wizard of Oz - style guards, a personal paramilitary force, a riot police squad and a robotic Richard Simmons. The inside of the mansion includes a room containing a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters, a bottomless pit, a human chess board, the largest television in the free world, a 'Hall of Patriots' commemorating his ancestors, a laboratory, a botanical garden of vultures bearing his likeness, a safe containing a Beefeater guard and a theater that is showing round-the-clock which plays regardless whether there is an audience or not. There also is a TV studio and a CCTV room. His residence also contains a closet full of clothes made from many different types of animals, such as a vest made from Gorilla chest and loafers made from gophers.

The mansion is also home to many rare historical artifacts including the only existing nude photo of Mark Twain, the suit Charlie Chaplin was buried in, King Arthur's mythical sword Excalibur, and a rare first draft of the Constitution with the word "suckers" in it.

Relationships[edit]

Burns has been engaged at least three times: a woman named Gertrude who died of loneliness and rabies, to Jacqueline Bouvier, and to a policewoman named Gloria. He once had an affair with Countess von Zeppelin. Agnes Skinner let Burns "feel her up" during the Depression.[22] Burns caught the attention of Selma Bouvier when she discovered he's single.[23]

Burns and Gloria

What is not widely known is that Charles Montgomery Burns and Homer Simpson are related by marriage (Which makes his making Bart his heir in one episode extremely ironic, as Bart would be related to Mr. Burns anyway). According to a family tree:

Charles Montgomery Burns was born to Clifford Burns and Daphne Charle (hence the name Charles),
Clifford Burns was born to Wainwright Montgomery Burns and Evelyn Graycomb.
Evelyn Graycomb was born to Otto Graycomb and Lolly Dubois.
Lolly Dubois was born to Lance Dubois and Clarice Stemple.
Clarice Stemple is the sister of Gaylord Stemple.
Gaylord Stemple married Trixie Simpson.
Trixie Simpson is the Granddaughter of Sven Simpson.
Sven Simpson is the great, great, great, great, great Grandfather of Homer Simpson.

Mr. Burns' great-great-grandmother's sister-in-law's 4th great-grandson is Homer Simpson.

Mr. Burns had a strained relationship with his own mother, whom he's apparently tried to kill at least once, who had an affair with President Taft and lives in her 120's. He is Lisa's opposite, with no conscience or care for the environment in many episodes, and Lisa often opposes him. Occasionally, she agrees to work with him, but with great reluctance.

When he was asked the cause of his parents' deaths, he replied: "Got in my way".[12] His mother was seen at least once.[24]

Organizations[edit]

Mr Burns is served a three eyed fish while running for governor

Mr. Burns is a member of various organizations. In his younger years, while a student at Yale University, he was a member of Skull and Bones. During World War II, Burns became a member of the Flying Hellfish squad, a group of soldiers who entered into a tontine regarding the ownership of German artwork. Burns was a member of the Stonecutters until it disbanded, at which time he joined the secret society that succeeded it: The Ancient Mystic Order of No-Homers. (One source of dislike of Burns for the "Stonecutters' is that despite his wealth and greed, he is outranked by Lenny.). He is currently the head of the Springfield Republican Party and once headed a short lived religion. He is also a member of the "Excluders Club", the Springfield Golf and Country Club, and the National Rifle Association. He holds a chair (a demonic throne with snarling dogs chained to it) at Springfield University and controls an anti-democratic paramilitary force in Latin America.

Burns once attended the annual Billionaire's Retreat, where he won the Austin Celtics basketball team from the Rich Texan in a poker game. After severely mismanaging the team, he lost nearly half his net worth.  At the following year's retreat,  it was discovered he was no longer a billionaire.  He was ejected from the camp, and thrown over a wall into the slack-jawed millionaire's camp.[25] 

He once tried to run for Governor – until Marge Simpson forever ruined his chances with a three-eyed fish. At the end he echoes Charles Foster Kane (Citizen Kane) by crying out his name in rage—and vows for the rest of his life to make Homer Simpson's life miserable.[26]

Burns was a Freemason "before it was trendy."[27]

Non-canon[edit]

Donut Homer.png The contents of this article or section are considered to be non-canon and therefore may not have actually happened or existed.
"Count" Burns in Treehouse of Horror IV


The Future[edit]

Burns as a head on legs

Mr. Burns is later cryogenically frozen. Scientists work to find a cure for 17 stab wounds to the back so that he can be thawed out and cured. He was cured in ttime to attend Lisa Simpson's wedding. He isn't completely thawed, and when he tries to sit down, he snaps in half, which is also cured.[28] Later he is a shut-in who sponsors a Yale scholarship as punishment for stealing Christmas. He keeps diamonds to have them changed into Earth's most precious mineral of the age: coal. His home is also guarded by a large group of unicorn-clam creatures (uni-clams).[29] Billions of years into the future, Burns lives in the form of a partial android with his robot dog sidekick Smithers. Burns' head misplaces his teddy, Bobo every century.[5]

Treehouse of Horror[edit]

Count Burns[edit]

Burns is a vampire but no one believes Lisa. She and Bart find Mr. Burns's secret lair which can be accessed by a staircase that has a lever which doubles as a fun slide and Bart (while fleeing from a horde of vampires) says "I shouldn't... But when am I going to be back here?" is turned into a vampire after pulling the lever. The Simpsons are then worried that Bart could get worse and The Simpsons have to kill the head vampire. Homer kills Burns but gets fired in the process.

Lord Montymort[edit]

See here

Video games[edit]

The Simpsons: The Arcade Game[edit]

Mr. Burns appears as the final boss in this game, operating a giant mechanical robot from within that changes form with the damage it receives from the Simpsons characters. He also was the one who orchestrated Smither's theft of a diamond, which also indirectly made him responsible for Maggie's kidnapping as well, as Smithers ended up kidnapping Maggie due to the diamond that he stole was knocked towards Maggie and she started using it as a Pacifier. After being defeated, Mr. Burns is knocked unconscious and Maggie then places her old pacifier into Mr. Burns' mouth.

The Simpsons Road Rage[edit]

In The Simpsons Road Rage, Mr. Burns buys out the Springfield transit system and turns them into nuclear buses. In one of the missions it is also said that he buys out the Springfield Shopper. Also if you drive in the Springfield Mountains you can drive into Burns' manor. In the last mission you have to battle Mr. Burns as Homer, where Homer has smash the statues in Burns' garden. Also in the second mission you have to dodge him. In every single road rage or Sunday drive he tries and hit you with his car. If you use a cheat you can drive his car, a nuclear bus or even Mr. Burns driving a brick. In the downtown location you can see his bus depot. One of the other locations is his nuclear power plant.

The Simpsons: Minutes to Meltdown[edit]

In The Simpsons: Minutes to Meltdown, Mr. Burns is shown telling Homer where Spider Pig went.

The Simpsons: Hit & Run[edit]

In The Simpsons: Hit & Run, you can drive to the nuclear power plant in the first level. In the last level, you can climb up to Mr. Burns' office. You also see him in one level and can eventually drive his car if you complete the bonus mission in Level 7.

The Simpsons Game[edit]

In the level Lisa the Tree Hugger, the player stops Mr. Burns from destroying the ecosystem. Burns plans to cut down every tree in Springfield and turn each one into a single luxury toothpick. When the logging facility is destroyed, Mr. Burns has Smithers phone in some goons to rough up Al Gore to make himself feel better. In Medal of Homer, a younger version of Burns steals paintings from the village of St. Capitulons and protects them on board his personal naval carrier with a squad of sailors resembling Smithers.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out[edit]

Behind the Laughter[edit]

Mr Burns' appearance in Homer's Odyssey

Creation[edit]

Burns's character, appearance, and mannerisms are based on several different people. The show's creator Matt Groening principally based Burns on Fredrik Olsen, a reclusive Norwegian shipping magnate and the owner of Timex. Drawing further inspiration from oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, David Rockefeller and fictional character Henry Potter from It's a Wonderful Life, Groening made Burns the "embodiment of corporate greed". Animator David Silverman parodied Burns's appearance on Fox founder Barry Diller, and modeled his body on a praying mantis. The idea of Burns reading employee names off cards in "There's No Disgrace Like Home" came from an article about Ronald Reagan that writer Al Jean had read. In some episodes, parallels have been drawn between Burns and moguls such as Howard Hughes and, more frequently, fictional character Charles Foster Kane from Citizen Kane. Writer George Meyer lifted Burns's "Excellent!" hand gesture from his former Saturday Night Live colleague Jim Downey.

Matt Groening got Burns's middle name from a Montgomery Ward department store in Portland, Oregon's Northwest Industrial district and his surname from Burnside Street, a main thoroughfare in Portland. Burns's first name being Charles is a reference to Charles Foster Kane. In the script for "There's No Disgrace Like Home", Al Jean and Mike Reiss referred to him as "Mr. Meanie".

In the second season, the writers started to enjoy writing about Smithers and Burns's relationship, and they often pitched episodes with them as the focus, but many never came to fruition.

Voice[edit]

Burns was originally voiced by actor Christopher Collins in the episode "Homer's Odyssey". He was soon replaced by Harry Shearer, who has voiced the character ever since. He modeled the voice on Lionel Barrymore and Ronald Reagan. Shearer is also the voice of Smithers and is able to perform dialogue between the two characters in one take. Shearer said that Burns is the most difficult character for him to voice because it is rough on his vocal cords and he often needs to drink tea and honey to soothe his voice. He describes Burns as his favorite character, saying he "like[s] Mr. Burns because he is pure evil. A lot of evil people make the mistake of diluting it. Never adulterate your evil."

A Mr. Burns action figure

Age[edit]

Mr. Burns' age has fluctuated during the course of the show, being explicitly stated he was 81 in "Simpson and Delilah" and as old as 104 in "Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)", "Homer the Smithers" and "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love". In the episode "Fraudcast News", Burns claims that he was born in 1881, making him 123 years old (when the episode aired in 2004). He has been referred to as "Springfield's oldest resident" with a Social Security number of 000-00-0002 (damning Roosevelt for having 0001).

Frequent allusions to Mr. Burns' age place his date of birth in the late 19th century, which would make him at the least more than 100 years old. He says he had a driver's license that expired in 1909, graduated from Yale University in 1914, was depicted in a 19th century woodcut terrorizing children (which, surprisingly, features him as an old man). Mr. Burns has also claimed that he has survived through 12 economic recessions and 8 panics.

Other references to Mr. Burns' age place him at thousands of years old. His ATM password, which is the same as his age, is four digits long (although it is possible the first and/or second digits are 0). Mr. Burns' birthplace has also been named as Pangaea.[30] Also, in the one time appearance of his "league of evil", a group of evil doers from many eras of history, many of the members are quite ancient historically. Since the assumption can be made that Burns must have known all of them before they died (although by the time of that episode they had all long since died), this pushes his age back at least another 500 years, if not much more. He also from time to time takes up arms against someone he perceives as his enemy, the joke being his feebleness and the archaic nature of his chosen weapons (i.e., a morning star in his limousine, a blunderbuss, dueling pistols, etc.). Familiarity with the use of these weapons dates him considerably prior to his birth, especially the morning star, since this hasnt been a widely used weapon since the late medieval era.

In an issue of Simpsons Comics, Smithers states Mr. Burns is 118 years old.[citation needed]

Burns's wine cellar also has trophy heads of a T-Rex, a Pteranodon, a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus and an unidentified sauropod. By chance these exact species were the beast modes of the G1 Dinobots (Grimlock, Swoop, Slag, Snarl and Sludge).

However, because his mother, who is currently alive, is in her 120s, Burns would have to be younger.

Burns' age provides the writers a character with which they can express dated humor and references to popular culture before the 1950s.

Although Burns is younger than Abe Simpson in all the World War II flashbacks, he is always older than Abe in nearly all other sources.

In "Them, Robot", Homer asked for his real age, and he said it had 4 digits, but was interrupted before he finished.

In The Simpsons Uncensored Family Album, the Simpson family tree shows Mr. Burns on the same row as Abe, meaning he is probably a similar age to him. Also in the album, there is a news report when Burns was 25 and Abe was 29, making Burns 4 years younger than Abe.

In "The Man in the Blue Flannel Pants" he said he was a passenger on the Titanic.

Foreign dubs[edit]

Language Voice dubber
Hungary flag.png Hungarian Balázs Szuhay† (Season 1–8(?)
István Rudas (Season 8– )
Poland flag.png Polish Mirosław Konarowski
Hispanic America.gif Español Miguel Ángel Botello (since season 16)
Gabriel Chávez (Seasons 1 to 15)
Sweden flag.png Svenska Anders Öjebo (The Simpsons Movie)

Appearances[edit]


Trivia[edit]

References[edit]

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to Charles Montgomery Burns.