- “How ya doing?”
- ―Moe's catchphrase
- ―Moe's catchphrase
- “Whats-a-matter, Homer?”
- ―Moe's catchphrase (mostly used in Season 1)
- “When I get a hold of you-”
- ―Moe's catchphrase when responding to one of Bart's prank calls
- “Hi ya Midge.”
- ―Talking to Marge
- “Mike Rotch”
- ―Bart pulling a prank on Moe, sounding like My Crotch
- “I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face, and a big butt, and my butt smells, and I like to kiss my own butt.”
- ―Moe's prank call in Treehouse of Horror II, in the Bart Zone where Bart reads minds possesses everyone he comes into contact with.
Morris "Moe" Szyslak (pronounced "siz-lack"), born Moammar FitzRoy Szyslak-Yeti, also known as Moe the Bartender (born November 24, 1947), is the proprietor and bartender of "Moe's Tavern", a Springfield bar frequented by Homer and his friends. He has once stated that he moved to Springfield from the Netherlands. He also owns Moe's Bagels in Colorado and Moe's Express in the Food Court area of the Springfield Mall. He is 43 years old. He is a recurring character in The Simpsons and a supporting character in The Simpsons Movie (but he is one of the cameo characters in the film; the others being Charles Montgomery Burns, Jonathan Frink, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown and Fat Tony).
Moe is portrayed as often irritable and rude to all except his bar friends Homer, Lenny, Carl, and Barney. His easy-to-lose harsh temper usually turns down women and finding a girlfriend for Moe has therefore been a running joke, from indulged sexual abstinence to unsuccessful suicide attempts to dating generally rejected women. However, contrary to his personality, Moe has been seen helping others in need. These include saving marooned school children, giving food to a famished village, and saving people from a rampaging flood.
Moe Szyslak was born on November 24, 1947. He either illegally immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands (he reveals his Dutch heritage in "Bart-Mangled Banner") or was born in Indiana. He used to have an Italian accent , hinting at Italian heritage, though a police background check run by Homer reveals his real first name to be Moammar. In "Lisa Goes Gaga", Moe said that he was "Half monster, half Armenian." It is further referenced in "Moe Goes from Rags to Riches" that his father is the yeti that lives on Mt. Everest. In a more recent episode, Moe states that his birth was the result of a "Voodoo Curse" that had been placed on his mother that after five years of gestation he popped out backwards and on fire. However, he has a New York accent and Szyslak is a Polish name.
As a child, he played the part of "Smelly", a tough kid, on The Little Rascals until he killed Alfalfa (or rather, an orphan portraying as him) in a fit of rage for stealing his bit and was fired. For a while, he suffered from ring-worm claiming "For a while, I was a little more worm than kid." His first kiss was at age 10 with Comic Book Guy. At some unspecified time during his childhood, his parents dropped him off at summer camp, never to return, leaving Camp See-a-Tree as the closest he could call a home. Moe becomes a victim of prank calls when young Marge calls the boys' camp and requests "Elvis Jagger Abdul-Jabbar", Homer's alias. An angry Moe hangs up, turns to the camera and says, "And, uh, that's the origin of that". Moe has stolen many things, perhaps most prominently a bag of gold Aztec coins from a young, aspiring Snake, turning the latter to a life of crime. As a young man, Moe became a professional boxer, going by the names "Kid Gorgeous", "Kid Presentable", "Kid Gruesome", and "Kid Moe". Moe blames his boxing career for making him ugly, despite in "Them, Robot", a child Moe has a normal face, but then an elephant steps on him turning his face to the way it is today. According to Moe, his boxing career ended because of politics, and because he was knocked out 40 times in a row. Moe's ugliness got him rejected for a role on the soap opera "It Never Ends". Later plastic surgery nailed him the role before his face was damaged to its original appearance. His current appearance has been described as consisting of "cauliflower ear, lizard lips, little rat eyes, caveman brow and fish snout". After attending bartending school at Swigmore University (a play on Swarthmore College), Moe opened his own drinking establishment, although often operating on expired, out-of-state, or forged liquor licenses. As an aside, it was revealed that Moe started a cult. He also dabbled in Satanism, but was asked to leave.
Moe discovered a knack for judging competitions (rather harshly), leading him to a place on American Idol. After a spat with Simon Cowell, he was banned from judging and the state of California. In a previous episode he said he does many things but judging isn't one of them. During Trappuccino, he claimed he was the emperor of Springfield.
Moe is characterized by a short, violent temper (particularly aiming a makeshift shotgun at customers), a somewhat low self esteem coupled with homicidal and suicidal tendencies and a proclivity towards obsessive behaviors. He has an annual Christmas tradition of attempted suicide, but his attempts are comically unsuccessful (landing on a hot-air balloon after jumping out of a plane, for example). He has called the suicide hotline so many times that they have blocked his number. Although he has a violent temper and homicidal tendencies, there were instances where even he did not approve of violent depictions. This was most especially evident when he saw the Mel Gibson-starring remake Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where he flatly said "Well, that was disgusting!" while leaving the theater with the rest of the sickened audience regarding the infamous killing spree ending.
Moe is especially bitter, keeping an enemies list nearly identical to that of Richard Nixon, with the addition of Barney (the latter simply because he pointed out that it was plagiarized by Nixon's list). He has assumed a leading role in many of Springfield's angry mobs (including, at times, starting mob riots for the sake of doing so), and kidnapping Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne. He has also engaged in bizarre behavior, such as shooting at Carl, robbing Homer of expensive pants, keeping Hans Moleman under his bars in a subterranean torture chamber, perpetrating insurance fraud, and stalking various townspeople. This behavior is further exhibited when he becomes the self-proclaimed Emperor of Springfield when the town is trapped in a dome. His leadership is challenged by Barney who throws a Molotov Cocktail at him, which Moe successfully throws back. He once implies that he probably wouldn't continue to be suicidal if Reverend Lovejoy had told him that he had much to live for.
He also was shown to be notoriously cheap to his customers, as he drove away designated drivers from his bar on Saint Patrick's Day claiming he has "no time for cheapskates" due to it being the biggest drinking day of the year, and once told Homer when giving him a beer while the latter was awaiting quadruple heart surgery that it wasn't a free beer. In fact, the one time he DID give anyone, let alone Homer, a free beer, was when he was intimidated by Homer's Zorro-esque actions regarding challenging someone to a duel after thwarting an attack at a movie theater he saw a Zorro film at.
Moe has a strained love life due to his vulgar attitude, especially towards women. Nevertheless, Moe has had a number of romantic experiences, including sleeping with his waitress Colette, dating a woman named Renee, and enjoying the company of many women after he had plastic surgery to correct his ugly appearance. According to "The Fight Before Christmas", Moe was in a relationship with singer/songwriter Katy Perry as she was 'into puppets'.
He has long been infatuated with Homer's wife Marge (whom he often refers to as Midge) and has on occasion professed his love for her and tried to win her away from Homer. His infatuation with Marge was intense enough to enter stalker territory, where he apparently bugged the Simpsons home to overhear Marge (unaware that he himself was being monitored by the FBI for this, which according to them, each of his statements would "add another year to the slammer" (presumably referring to what Moe's prison sentence length would be if he were to be caught and brought to charge for it).
Moe's romantic attractions have resulted in criminal behavior and run-ins with the law; he has stalked Maude Flanders and other townspeople, he must register as a sex offender, and has had a restraining order placed upon him. Regarding his sex offender status, he also once told Brockman when asked if he is a registered voter that he was a "registered... something" before shifting his eyes. At one point he is seen on his way to a "V.D. clinic". Moe has also proposed marriage to a WNBA mascot, even knowing that the character inside the mascot is Gil Gunderson. He dated a woman named Maya whom he met on the internet and is shocked when she turns out to be a little person. He is initially afraid to introduce her to people and he proposes eventually. She almost accepts but he keeps making inappropriate jokes about her height. He even went as far as to arrange a surgical procedure so that he was the same height as Maya but he never went ahead with the operation. He also dated Mrs. Muntz.
Despite his faults, Moe has been shown to express genuine love and sentimentality, which suggests that he may not be as gruff as he appears. He has a cat named Mr. Snookums, of whom he is very fond. Moe is also kind towards the rats that live in his bar. On Wednesday nights, he reads to the homeless in a local soup kitchen and he also reads to sick children at the hospital every Wednesday night. Until it was destroyed, Moe had a fondness for a jar of pickled eggs. He saved the owner of King Toot's music store and his wife from a flaming car. Moe has expressed distaste of cruelty towards animals. He saved the life of Maggie Simpson (ironically at a time that he was about to jump from a bridge) and took efforts to protect her. Moe engaged in charity work in South America or Africa, using a flying fan to fight forest fires and deliver medical supplies to people devastated by floods. Moe has knowledge of automobiles and dancing. Also, in the middle of the baseball game, he run naked on a field in front of everyone to help Bart and gain another try for him to catch a ball.
When Moe noticed that Homer, Apu and Timothy Lovejoy had relationship problems with their wives, Moe fake-threatened to run away with one of them, in hopes that the men would appreciate their wives. It is also implied in the same event that he had gotten into enough trouble with saying several things that were worded in a way that sounded worse than intended to have to neurotically state it's not what he meant, as when calling Apu about one of his kids being left at the bar, he ended up having to repeatedly make very clear after relaying the message on Apu's voice mail that it was not a kidnapping ransom or kidnapping threat. He is also rumored to have rescued the Springfield Elementary Model U.N. Club that was stranded on an island, but exactly how he did it is unknown.
Moe has been implied to be an illegal immigrant at least twice in the series. When asked to listen to his inner child at a self-help seminar hosted by Brad Goodman, a younger Moe appears, telling older Moe, "what's-a matter, Moe? You no longer speak in your accent no more" in an Italian accent and to this realisation Moe proclaims "mamma mia!" in his accent. The second time was during Proposition 24 where Moe takes a citizenship test but wearing a false moustache. Another implication to Moe's foreign descent is when Homer does a background check on his character and calls him Momar which causes him to become embarrassed. However, this probably cannot be trusted as early in the season he is referred to as "Morris" by his bartender Colette.
Moe seems to follow some kind of organised religious cult and/or satanic practises. He has shown to dabble with voodoo such as stabbing a miniature rag doll of Barney with a beer bottle to get him to drink again (which can only be assumed how Moe gets all of his customers). He also practises Santeria, an Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and customs. When Barney decided to go sober but ultimately returned to his bar, Moe silently thanked a shrine underneath his counter with a picture of Barney and a skull, claiming "Santeria, you're the greatest'. Aside from this he was a former Movementarian but left the cult when their religion was exposed as a fake and once claimed to worship a dog's bad dreams to his bowling team.
Moe is the owner and, except for a few instances where temporary help is hired, the only employee of Moe's Tavern. His most loyal customer is Barney Gumble, with other regulars including Homer Simpson, Lenny Leonard, Carl Carlson, Sam and Larry. Moe is notoriously cheap with his customers, refusing to give them free drinks, or throwing them out when they are out of money (and in one case, calling designated drivers "cheapskates")). He encourages his customers to drink as much as possible to grow their tab. Barney's tab had to be calculated by NASA; the total came to $14 billion. Moe removed games from the bar, noting that "people drink less when they're having fun".
Moe generally serves Duff beer on tap, having little knowledge of liquors or wines; the liquor bottles visible behind the bar are said to be "painted on," and in one instance, he unknowingly sells an expensive 1888 bottle of Château Latour for a few dollars. He enthusiastically abandons his bar, its regular customers, and his friends when a better opportunity comes along, such as the drink "The Flaming Moe", the opening of his postmodern bar "M", and the conversion of his bar into a family-themed restaurant called "Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag".
Moe is often engaged in shady or illegal activities at his tavern, including smuggling pandas and orcas, hosting Russian roulette games, operating an unlicensed casino, serving liquor without a license (his expired in 1973 and it's only good in Rhode Island as well as being signed by Moe himself), running a speakeasy during Springfield's brief flirtation with Prohibition, and performing unlicensed surgery. While Moe and his bar have gained occasional popularity, the phenomenon tends to be short-lived.
Non Canon Appearances
In "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase", Moe has his own spin-off, "The Love-Matic Grampa", in which Abraham Simpson dies and his spirit falls into Moe's Love-Matic tester machine, and proceeds to give Moe dating advice to woo a woman named Betty. They both go out on a date, but Moe must visit the bathroom each time to see Grampa, until she discovers his plan. She forgives him for his efforts.
Players can play as Moe in this game. Moe drives a green sedan with a peace flower from the 1960's painted on the hood of the vehicle. Moe is also an NPC and can be driven to destinations in the game (such as the Construction Site, Inspiration Point, and Skinner's House).
Moe is an NPC in the game who appears in his Bar in the Downtown levels, he has several spoken roles both as part of quests and player interactivity. His Sedan with the Rubber Daisy is an unlockable car by completing races in one level.
Moe is Homer's coach in the level "Around the World in 80 Bites", and when he wins, Homer bites off Moe's hand by accident. He is one of the people Marge can recruit in "Mob Rules" to protest the sales of the Grand Theft Scratchy video game to minors (in the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions, he is found in the back-alley near the Town Square, while in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, he is being detained by riot cops in the car park with Cletus Spuckler). Moe saw Lard Lad attacking the Downtown area and emailed Comic Book Guy about it. In NeverQuest, the Orc-Moes resemble Moe.
Behind the Laughter
Moe's character was based partly on Tube Bar owner Louis "Red" Deutsch, who was made famous in the popular Tube Bar prank calls when he was repeatedly prank called by two Jersey City residents. These calls were the inspiration for Bart's repeated prank calls to Moe, and Deutch's often profane responses made Moe's violent side. Moe's further inspiration was drawn from comedian Rich Hall, an acquaintance of The Simpsons writer George Meyer. Hall considered being the basis for Moe "an honor". Moe's surname "Szyslak" was revealed in "Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part One)", the writers found the name in a phone book and gave it to Moe so that he would have the initials M.S., and hence could be a suspect in the Burns shooting. He was designed by Dan Haskett.
Moe was the first voice Hank Azaria performed for the show, redubbing Christopher Collins who initially recorded the character's voice for "Some Enchanted Evening". At the time of his audition, Azaria was doing a play in which he had the part of a drug dealer, basing his voice on Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. He used the same voice in the audition, and was told by Matt Groening and Sam Simon to make it more gravelly, with it becoming the voice of Moe. Groening and Simon thought it was perfect and took Azaria over to the Fox recording studio. Before he had even seen a script, he recorded several lines of dialogue as Moe for "Some Enchanted Evening". Also, in Season 1, he was seen with black hair instead of his current gray hair, which he had since Season 2. After "When Flanders Failed", when Ned Flanders opened the Leftorium, it is revealed that Moe is left handed. During "Bart-Mangled Banner", Moe claims to be Dutch, only to stomp out of his bar wearing clogs a few seconds later.
In "Flaming Moe's", his hired waitress Colette calls him "Morris". In "The Springfield Connection", Homer told his friends that he was enjoying background of whoever he wanted. Homer then referred to Moe as "Moammar" and Moe cringes with humiliation. It is implied in "Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe" that he changed his name to Moe so he could keep the sign and the bar's name.
- Moe is perverted (in many episodes), anti–Irish (shown in many episodes and some comics) and even racist (Mypods and Boomsticks).
- Moe has syphilis.
- Moe moved to Springfield because the zip code (on a calculator) spelled "BOOBS", which means that Springfield's zip code is 80085, implying that Springfield is located in Colorado.
- Moe is left-handed (When Flanders Failed), although he shoots right-handed.
- Moe has Facebook and appears to be friends with Mark Zuckerberg and the Pepto Bizmo.
- Moe is implied to have a murderous hatred of the Salvation Army, as when Homer, who was on the run from an unnamed Army Colonel's army unit after he went AWOL during a training session (that nearly killed him), Moe misinterpreted Homer's claims about the Army being after him as meaning the Salvation Army and immediately cocks his shotgun, telling him to take cover.
- In Italian dubs, Moe has been renamed "Boe", because the voice actors thought "Moe" sounded too similar to the southern Italy slang "mo'", meaning "now".
- Moe's bar-telephone number is "Smithers" spelled with telephone number, so possibly [tel:[tel:763-83277 763-83277] 763-83277].
- Moe is fluent in Chinese.
- Moe owns a blue truck, which he nicknamed Betsy. The truck is a doppelganger of the blue Chevrolet truck that Sally escapes in at the end of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre film.
- Moe is suggested to be part monster. In "Moe Goes from Rags to Riches", a yeti, who is actually Moe's father, gives the bar rag to his son, who turns out to be Moe. However, in "Lisa Goes Gaga", Moe states that he is half monster and half Armenian.
- In the Czech dub, Moe is named "Vočko", which means small eye.
- Strangely, he has desperate denying he is a troll in "The Book Job", but in The Simpsons Game, he says 'I wish I was a troll. Then I'd get respect'.
- Moe could have been in the army; in some episodes, there is a picture of him in a military uniform. In "Flaming Moe's" he covers up his large cough syrup order by mentioning he "got hooked on the stuff in the service".
- He once called himself a "Bart ender" as some viewers guessed.
- Moe has a secret crush on Marge Simpson, but he never gets her name right, often calling her "Midge" or "Madge".
- In "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", Moe's address is 57 Walnut St., Springfield, USA.
- His twitter account is called "Small Businessman With Shotgun Under His Counter", and his photos include Homer and his Bar Rag.
- ↑ Much Apu About Nothing
- ↑ Bart's Inner Child
- ↑ The Springfield Connection
- ↑ Radioactive Man
- ↑ Judge Me Tender
- ↑ The Simpsons Movie
- ↑ E-I-E-I-D'oh
- ↑ Flaming Moe's
- ↑ Lost Verizon
- ↑ Trash of the Titans
- ↑ E. Pluribus Wiggum
- ↑ Pray Anything
- ↑ Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe
- ↑ Sleeping with the Enemy
- ↑ Moe Baby Blues
- ↑ The Boys Of Bummer
- ↑ Moe Letter Blues
- ↑ Bart's Inner Child
- ↑ Much Apu About Nothing
- ↑ The Springfield Connection
- ↑ Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment
- ↑ Marge on the Lam
- ↑ Homer the Moe
- ↑ Bart Sells His Soul
- ↑ Silverman, David. The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
- ↑ Treehouse of Horror IX
- ↑ Homer the Smithers
- ↑ Moe Letter Blues
- ↑ Homer's Phobia