- "If anything goes wrong, just dial 911. Unless it's an emergency."
| Clancy Wiggum
| Character Information
Clancy Wiggum is the chief of police of the Springfield Police Department. He is an extreme stereotype: morbidly obese, extremely stupid, ignorant, incompetent, and really lazy, with a fondness for doughnuts and Chintzy-Pop. While he pretentiously feigns authority, he has little regard for individual rights or even public safety. He is disturbingly uninformed and flaunts his power, albeit with good intentions most of the time. He is part Irish.
He, along with the rest of Springfield's government and Springfield police force, is also corrupt, having asked for or taken bribes several times. An example of this is he can skip any crime if he is bribed, like being notably solicited Troy McClure and Homer Simpson for bribes in exchange for "looking the other way" to their criminal activities. When Bart bribed him with stolen wedding presents, he told him to read his badge and, at the bottom of the badge, was the caption "Cash Bribes only". He has a strained friendship with Mayor Quimby, as the two men vie to have control over the city, which once lead to a serious argument in regards of who takes over during an emergency on the Monorail crisis. Wiggum claims to have compromising photographs of the mayor (the mayor once told Wiggum "You don't scare me; that could be anyone's ass!"), which may help to explain why he has retained his job despite his inability to do anything his duties requires of him.
He is often assisted by his more intelligent (but still quite lazy and often rather cocky) "top cops" Eddie and Lou. He is completely ignorant of Springfield's laws and often quotes sayings from the police handbook which cannot actually be found in the book ("like the book says, if you can't beat them, join them"). According to The Bart Book, Clancy is also in the SPD Bomb Sqaud, which is in fact just HIM in a hockey mask.
Clancy Wiggum was possibly born in Ireland. However, he also seemed to spend at least some part of his early childhood in Maryland, as he mentioned he used to sell ribbons there with his father, Iggy Wiggum. Iggy was a war veteran who died in a parade float accident in 1979, along with Arnie Gumble, Sheldon Skinner, Etch Westgrin, and Griff McDonald, all members of Abe Simpson's Flying Hellfish. He did, however, grow up in Springfield and was among the same class and age group as Homer Simpson, Lenny Leonard, Carl Carlson, Barney Gumble, and possibly Marge Simpson. At an early age, Wiggum played cops and robbers with Homer and other kids his age and he showed a clear ambition to become a police officer. At the age of 16, he was a hall monitor at high school, where he developed a joy for giving orders, and receiving chocolate bribes. He possibly had a part-time security guard job at Springfield State University. Wiggum was present at the University's germ research labs (Prof. C. Montgomery Burns was chairman at the time) when Mona Simpson and the hippie activist group she was part of sabotaged the germ experiments. Wiggum, who had suffered from asthma prior to that, was cured by antibiotics that the group released to kill the germs, and helped Mona Simpson escape the police when she was on the run twenty-five years later.
In 1985 Wiggum was involved in the barbershop quartet called the "Be Sharps". Wiggum was a member with Homer Simpson, Seymour Skinner, and Apu. However, a talent scout showed interest in the Be Sharps but didn't like Wiggum as a performer, so he was thrown out of the group. When auditions were held to find a replacement for Wiggum, he attempted to be reselected for the quartet. He wore a disguise, but was found out.
Early attempts to get into the Police Force when he was a teenager were unsuccessful on account of his asthma, so when it had been cured he could then pursue his ambition to become a professional police officer. Having entered the Police Academy by age 24, Wiggum managed to work around his many shortcomings and finally become a full fledged officer and by 32, he had managed to work his way up to the position of Police Chief of Springfield. It is implied that Wiggum managed to overcome his shortcomings with coaxing methods such as great skills with back massages and charm to get the position of Chief. But he actually received the job when the frustrated former Chief resolved to give it to the next person he met, which was Wiggum. Another explanation is when mayor Quimby said that he made Wiggum the police chief so that the law would not be enforced to the letter (Which may also explain why Chief Wiggum has somewhat of a feud with Mayor Quimby, such as getting into a serious argument about Mayor Quimby in regards to Marge's arrest, blackmailing Mayor Quimby with incriminating photos, and even trying to arrest Mayor Quimby for corruption charges"). Regardless, Wiggum had accomplished his childhood ambition.
Chief Wiggum was often portrayed as a stupid, dimwitted oaf, with a lazy attitude and a love of eating. However Wiggum does have redeeming qualities as well. Despite his dubious escapades, he appears to have quite a loving relationship with his family, especially his son, whom Wiggum often supports and shows great patience towards, although he can be unfortunately somewhat clueless to Ralph's needs at times. It is once implied that Clancy does use the money he earns as well as "acquires" for his family as much as himself. Wiggum doesn't appear to be a particularly judgemental person either, and generally gets along with others. He does on occasion even help various other people, such as helping Homer find Marge escaping with Ruth Powers from the law, helping Mona Simpson, Homer's mother, escape from Mr. Burns as well as helping backing Lisa up in a school protest on one occasion and arriving just in time during a crucial moment such as the various times Sideshow Bob has attempted to kill Bart Simpson. Perhaps the best example of this is when it is implied that he leads the FBI astray in their search for Mona Simpson, allowing her to escape in gratitude for curing his asthma. Although Wiggum can often antagonize others as well, it's heavily implied that it's not out of malice but merely because he's doing his job or because he's ignorant of the situation. It is often implied as well that Wiggum genuinely wants to do good with his job, but a mix of complacency, various difficulties with being a cop, and his own limitations have made him weary of his duties. As well as the above, some interesting quirks of the character include rather unusual ingenuity in his job such as: using police hang gliders, riding an Ostrich, speaking hippie tongue, and using loud music to flush Seymour Skinner and Edna Krabappel out of Springfield Elementary to which they locked down to name a few. He also has a tendency to rant about things during situations, a bit of a kinky side and a fondness for acting and the performing arts. Wiggum often orchestrates or appreciates plays and other shows in prison with the inmates and played a major role in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Some may find this an interesting parallel to his son, who is hinted to potentially have a very high degree of hidden performing talent. At one point, Chief Wiggum explains to a confused Lou about his saying "switchfaces of the east" by stating that he doesn't like censoring himself as it stifles creativity, implying that he has some desire to be creative.
Wiggum's incompetence is showcased in a TV show called Cops in Springfield, in which he investigates a cattle rustler and uses a battering ram to knock down the suspect's door, only to find he has the wrong house. The occupant, Reverend Lovejoy, is very angry, especially since the cattle are clearly visible in the neighbor's yard. Snake, the suspect that Wiggum is after, is able to make a clean getaway. Wiggum describes Snake's vehicle as "a red... car of some sort" and "heading in the direction of that place that sells chilli" and the suspect as "hatless! Repeat, hatless!". He has been known to use Agatha Christie novels as crime-solving reference guide. Wiggum once misuses police terminology, phoning Marge to inform her Homer had been found "DOA", then Marge answers as "Homer's DEAD?, then Wiggum says "Ops, heh heh, I meant DWI- I always get those two mixed up!" After hanging up the phone he is approached by a woman whom he had told that her husband was DWI. He then hastily suggested that she talked to another officer and then told her he was going out to lunch (implying that her husband was actually DOA, and he made a similar mix-up). When chasing a car on a highway, he was asked to describe his location, and replied "I'm on a road, looks to be asphalt--aw jeez, trees, shrubs--uh, I'm directly under the earth's Sun... now." Marge and Ruth elude Wiggum during the same car chase at night by turning off the lights on their car, leading Wiggum to exclaim, "It's a ghost car!"
Wiggum also often fails to comply with his police duties in a real emergency. He once refused to believe calls from people saying that an elephant (Bart's pet elephant Stampy) destroyed their property. After two calls, he thought a call reporting a "liquor store robbery in progress, officer down" was also a fake call. He mocks people who come in to report crimes to him by telling them he will "write on his invisible typewriter". This includes a man with a lighter saying "I just torched a building down town and I'm afraid I'll do it again". On several instances, he has switched off his police radio in the middle of an important call because he did not want to be bothered. Such instances included a "riot in progress" He also leaves the station completely unmanned during night hours, save for an answering machine, once causing 75 emergencies to go unanswered (and were quickly erased). He has also expressed annoyance at the citizens he's supposed to be protecting ("Can't you people solve these problems yourselves? I mean we can't be 'policing' the whole city"). He has also refused to come to the aid of citizens, claiming that they were just too busy to help, when all he was doing was playing checkers with one of the police dogs. In order to get off the phone during a state lottery drawing, Wiggum informed the caller that she had the wrong number and that "this is... 912".
He once rejected Marge's claim that it was illegal to mail threatening letters, until the police handbook proved her right. At that moment, he also learned from the handbook that it was illegal to "put squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling", and immediately shouted to the rest of his officers to stop doing exactly that.
Despite his questionable competency at being an officer, Wiggum seems to be very attached to both the police force and his fellow officers. On the few occasions where Wiggum loses his commission, he breaks down shockingly fast, even degrading to the level of a common mugger, although he isn't particularly good at this either as he had to sell the trigger and handle of his gun to feed his family. This pathetic sight prompts Homer to help him get his job back. Once in a while Wiggum will have an argument with his fellow officers, which often end in dramatic, tearful moments of reconciliation. On one occasion, Lou had thought about leaving the force to pursue a career in home security, which leaves Wiggum nearly a tearful mess.
Despite all this, there are occasional hints that Chief Wiggum has the potential to actually be a very good policeman if only he'd be less lazy and complacent. When investigating Mr. Burns' attempted murder, Wiggum displays an astonishingly skilled eye for ballistics and fingerprinting, enough to make positive identifications without any specialized equipment. In fact, Wiggum's entire investigation of the shooting is uncharacteristically dogged, showing the police talking to everyone from Seymour Skinner to Moe Szyslak, to Tito Puente, and even to his own son Ralph Wiggum. He also had a bit of a talent for tasting substances for foreign agents, which he notably used with Homer's tainted Groovy Grove juice to identify it as being laced with Peyote after noticing Lou acting odd at work.
He is also shown to have legitimate frustrations when people waste the Police Force's precious time and resources for extremely trivial reasons, such as when Carmen Electra had Marge and Homer Simpson placed in Jail for murder and nearly executed just to give her reality show, Frame Up, more ratings.
Another good example is where Wiggum is charged with finding a supposedly missing Bart Simpson. It is shown in this occasion as well that Wiggum is one of the few people that seems quite aware of his or her own incompetence, much to his dismay and an inevitable gorging on pancake to lessen the blow. In the end, however, much to the shock of almost everyone in Springfield, including his own men, Wiggum finds Bart by using a rather clever tactical method and actually performs his job admirably. He is promoted to Police commissioner, and it seems things may be finally looking up for him. It is discovered eventually, however, that Bart's abduction was merely a hoax, distressing Wiggum greatly as he finally had done some great good but at merely the wrong time. Curiously, however, it doesn't seem that his position of Commissioner is taken away, although he is never seen in this position of power again. Judging from his usual boredom with most cases and situations in his work, it would seem that perhaps when he is actually motivated he shows far greater skill and zeal. It has been shown several times that the level of resources that the Springfield police have is shockingly low. It has been stated by Lou that Wiggum, Lou and Eddie are the only police officers in the city (however, there are more). Wiggum also mentioned to Lisa that the police force only have the resources to enforce the last law passed in Springfield, which even Wiggum admitted is the worst system possible. It's also implied that Chief Wiggum sometimes has to dress in drag when it comes to Stakeout missions.
Beside his late father, Clancy is the husband of Sarah Wiggum, whom he met when he was arresting her for possession of drugs that he planted on her to "make her notice him", and is the father of Ralph Wiggum. He has a cousin called Mark, who went to Pennsylvania State University, he was a "fat kid... played a lot of Tetris". He has a deceased brother-in-law named Fred Kanickee, an uncle who (according to Wiggum) died of "crotch dot", and an unnamed brother who, after attending military school, presumably went crazy and now "owns and operates a famous cave". He also says he has a sister which is completely bald like Sphynx cats.
It is shown in Professor Frink's future machine that Wiggum will, along with Lou and Eddie, become a Robo-Cop like machine-officer with a rotisserie in his stomach.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run
Wiggum appears several times in The Simpsons Hit and Run video game. The first time was during Level 2, where he attempts to arrest Bart for buying illegal fireworks (he used his son Ralph Wiggum as bait to arrest people buying illegal fireworks as part of a sting operation), intending to place him under five life sentences of community service, but he fails to catch his quarry, although he later seems to forget this as he tells Bart that Herman's Military Antiques was robbed of a radio recently, and suggests, although not completely sure, that the skid marks from tires would probably lead to the culprit. He later appears in Level 3 when he is trying to bust Snake Jailbird under the Three Strikes Law, but hasn't gotten any evidence yet due to his being a "very, very bad cop." in his own words. Lisa manages to help him collect evidence to put Snake away in exchange for information in regards to her brother's whereabouts. However, he makes a bigger role in Level 4, where he first asks Marge to collect some donuts which are falling out of a Lard Lad Donuts truck due to suffering a severe case of sugar withdrawal in exchange for giving her information about cropcircles, and secondly when he races Marge to 742 Evergreen Terrace after she destroyed several trucks of Buzz Cola (he was deeply upset at Marge for doing so due to Buzz Cola being the only thing that allowed him to "gain the courage to take his shirt off in the station locker room").
The Simpsons Game
Wiggum appears at the end of Bartman Begins to take Principal Skinner away for having the three teenagers rob the museum. He also appears as one of the contestants in the Duff Ultimate Eating Challenge in Around the World in 80 Bites.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out
- This section is transcluded from The Simpsons: Tapped Out characters/Civil Servants. To edit it, please edit the transcluded page.
Chief Wiggum has his own spin-off show in "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase", "Wiggum P.I." He he is fired from the Springfield force for corruption and moves to New Orleans to start working as a private investigator, with Skinner as his partner. Wiggum and Ralph live in a boat house, and Ralph is kidnapped by a villain called Big Daddy. He later finds his son, and Big Daddy escapes.
Behind the Laughter
Wiggum is voiced by Hank Azaria and is based on a stereotypical police chief, shown as lazy, incompetent and to have a fondness for donuts. Hank Azaria first based his voice for Wiggum on David Brinkley but it was too slow and he switched it to an Edward G. Robinson impression.
His surname "Wiggum" is Matt Groening's mother's maiden name. As "a conscious pun", Wiggum was designed to look like a pig, and in the episode "Marge Gamer", his Earthland Realms alter-ego looked much like his real-life self, only with a pig nose, tail, etc. Wiggum was also designed to be dumber and fatter than Homer Simpson.
- "The Fat Blue Line"
- "Million-Dollar Abie"
- "In the Name of the Grandfather"
- "The Wandering Juvie"
- "Raging Abe Simpson and His Grumbling Grandson in "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish""
- "Homer's Barbershop Quartet"
- "Homer Alone"
- "Marge vs. the Monorail"
- "They Saved Lisa's Brain"
- "Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment"
- "Marge on the Lam"
- "Mother Simpson"
- "The President Wore Pearls"
- "A Streetcar Named Marge"
- "Homer's Triple Bypass"
- "Bart Gets an Elephant"
- "I Love Lisa"
- "Cape Feare"
- "Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge"
- "D'oh-in' in the Wind"
- "The Frying Game"
- "Coming to Homerica"
- "Lost Our Lisa"
- Springfield Confidential