Barney Gumble

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Barnard "Barney" Gumble[1] is a fictional character on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. The character is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the town drunk and Homer Simpson's best friend. His capacity for alcohol is a frequent butt of jokes on the show. Barney sobered up in the episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", which was co-written by Castellaneta, and stayed sober for several episodes. Barney was inspired by the cartoon character Barney Rubble from The Flintstones and by several barflies from other television programs. In 2004, Castellaneta won an Emmy Award for voicing various characters, including Barney.


Role in The Simpsons

Barney's father Arnie Gumble was a World War II veteran who died in 1979 in a parade float accident.[2] Little is known about his mother, except that she lives in Norway in later years [3] and that she served in the United States Navy, including duty on a submarine. Barney himself was born on April 20 of 1954 (which Homer remembers as being on the same day as Hitler's and Barney's entry into the Springfield Film Festival in A Star Is Burns where Barney states that he is 40 years old).

Two different episodes give different reasons for his alcoholism. Mr. Plow suggests that Barney was considered to have potential. He had his mind set on going to Harvard University until Homer introduced him to beer the day before they were to take the SATs.[4] However, season 16's "She Used to Be My Girl" attributes his drinking to his high school girlfriend Chloe Talbot leaving Springfield to pursue a journalism career.[5]

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