Carl Carlson, usually known simply as Carl, is a supporting character in the animated television series The Simpsons voiced by Hank Azaria. Along with Lenny, Carl is not just Homer's co-worker (sometimes identified as Homer's supervisor) at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant but also his friend. He likes to call himself "an urban Lenny." Unlike Lenny, Carl is married. He attended Springfield A&M University.
Carl is an Icelandic-African-American, a Buddhist with a master's degree in nuclear physics, fond of bowling and drinking at Moe's Tavern. Carl demonstrates his talent for science in the episode "Fat Man and Little Boy". Carl is frequently said to be among the most attractive men in Springfield, notably in "Principal Charming" where Homer concludes that Carl is too attractive for Selma. According to "They Saved Lisa's Brain", he might be diabetic. According to "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky", Carl spent at least part of his boyhood in Iceland.
In the early seasons, Carl was rarely seen with Lenny and did not have a consistent voice - on some occasions, he can be heard with Lenny's voice and vice versa. One example of Carl having Lenny's voice is in episode 218 "Brush With Greatness". In an early 1991 episode, "Principal Charming", Carl's name is spelled "Karl", the same spelling seen for an unrelated character of the same season.
Carl often serves as a taciturn straight man to Homer and company, because of his harsh opinions of others, as seen in "Pygmoelian" when he makes everyone in Moe's Tavern cry and in fourth wall mode explains: "See, this is why I don't talk much." He is offended when people stereotype him even though their stereotypes are usually correct. In "The Great Wife Hope", Homer asks Carl if he knows African-American boxer Dedrick Tatum; Carl takes offense, saying that just because he is African American, he doesn't know all the other African-American citizens in Springfield. Carl then says that he met Dedrick Tatum while he was at a party with Dr. Hibbert at Bleeding Gums Murphy's house (both of those characters are also African-American). More notably, in Children of a Lesser Clod, during a basketball game, Carl voices his irritation when everybody makes high expectations of his performance, and he remarks that he isn't is a good player only because he is a African American, but proves himself, however, to be a amazing basketball player. He is the intellectual one, but apparently, Lenny Leonard, his best friend, dumbs him down for his own sake. In the episode "The Girl Who Slept Too Little", he tells Lenny to shut up as he was tired of "dumbing [him]self down for [Lenny].". Despite being a good friend, Carl can be very self-centered and workaholic at times - in The Devil Wears Nada, Carl becomes the new supervisor of Homer's sector (for being the most competent of them), and starts to abuse his position by forcing Homer to become his assistant, making him do even the mostly simple and unnecessary tasks (much to Homer's dismay).
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