Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz
|Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz|
|Phineas and Ferb character|
|Created by||Dan Povenmire
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh
|Voiced by||Jerry Nelson Matt Vogel|
|Family||Roger Doofenshmirtz (brother)|
|Spouse(s)||Charlene Doofenshmirtz (divorced)|
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (often called as "Doofenshmirtz", and sometimes shortened to "Doof") is a fictional character and a main antagonist from the television show Phineas and Ferb. He was created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, and is voiced by Povenmire. He first appeared in the pilot episode of the series and has regularly appeared in every episode to date except for "Isabella and the Temple of Sap," and "Ferb TV." He is portrayed as a routinely bumbling, incompetent and forgetful evil scientist intent on taking over the entire tri-state area. He attempts to do so with obscure contraptions and inventions that tend to have "-inator" as the suffix. He speaks with a caricature of a German accent and comes from the fictional European Kingdom-styled country of Drusselstein.
A typical episode features Doofenshmirtz who hatches an evil scheme or invention that he often links to a "back story" from his youth. The back stories explore his mentally abusive and shunned childhood in the fictional village of Gimmelshtump, Drusselstein. His parents often neglect him and favor his brother, Roger. Doofenshmirtz usually monologues and displays acts of "cartoonish" physical violence[epnote 1] towards his frenemy Perry the Platypus, a skilled anthropomorphic platypus secret agent who disguises himself as the mindless pet of the series' main characters. Doofenshmirtz appears in several merchandise pieces based on the series, particularly the book series and the video game.
Role in Phineas and Ferb
Doofenshmirtz is portrayed as a bumbling and somewhat dimwitted evil genius who hates nearly everything (except Christmas).[epnote 2] He is bent on taking over the "entire tri-state area"[epnote 3] and uses peculiar contraptions to do so. Their names tend to end with the suffix "-inator" (except for Shrinkspheria, an invention he stated "I was going to call it a Shrinkinator but I've done the -inator thing before",) [epnote 4] and are made up of "strange items [he] purchases off the internet"[epnote 1] with his large alimony check from his ex-wife Charlene.[epnote 5] Ever since the day they first met, his nemesis has been the secret agent Perry the Platypus. However he has sometimes formed alliances with Perry before or has shown kindness to him and sometimes even a reluctance to harm Perry. In one episode when Doofenshmirtz builds his own country he is disappointed when Perry fails to defeat him (Because of how Perry cannot enter his lair because of his protective collar he must wear for one day), in another episode Doofenshmirtz gives up evil and joins the agency as an assistant to Perry the Platypus but is fired by agency leader Major Monogram for annoying him; in another one, Doofenshmirtz tells Perry that he is wanting to use a whale translator method to insult whales for stealing a girlfriend from him and gets furious when Perry believes that Doof is not doing anything bad and leaves.
During every intro, a song is played, with the lyrics "Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated", and on rare occasion it ends up with the song lyrics changed if he is in a different location. Once the sound booth was shown with the band in it.[epnote 1] Habitually, Doofenshmirtz's daily encounters with Perry follow a basic chain of events, beginning with Perry being captured, Doofenshmirtz explaining his evil scheme to Perry, Perry escaping from whatever Doofenshmirtz used to trap him, the two engaging in combat with each other, and Perry walking away victorious with the -inator being destroyed with a self-destruct button, leading to Doofenshmirtz yelling his catch phrase in anger, "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!" A running gag of the show is that Dr. Doofenshmirtz only recognizes Perry with his hat on, which Perry uses as an advantage against him (and in one occasion, against one of Doofenshmirtz's -inators). Because he routinely wears a white lab coat, Doofenshmirtz is frequently mistaken for a "pharmacist".
Doofenshmirtz's leitmotifs are various "evil jingles" for his company operation, Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated, performed by a quartet,[epnote 6] sometimes changing as a running gag based on his current location or situation (such as "Doofenshmirtz Quality Bratwurst" when he is shown selling bratwurst, or "Doofenshmirtz Evil is Carpeted" when his building is shown covered with rugs).
Backstories told by Doofenshmirtz often explain the reason for his evil schemes.[epnote 7][epnote 8] As explained by his backstories, during his birth in his hometown of Gimmelshtump, Drusselstein,[epnote 9] both of his parents neglected to show up, a recurring theme in other events in his life that left him to throw himself his own surprise parties.[epnote 10] He was disowned by his parents and forced to live with ocelots, smelling so horrible due to the raw meat they ate, he had no friends and was forced to work in a carnival as the ball thrown at a dunking booth.[epnote 7] In an episode called "Split Personality" Doofenshmirtz reveals to Perry that in Drusselstein the initiation to being welcomed and respected by your relatives was to prove your manhood by jumping from a swimming pool high dive over 155 feet high and anybody too scared to do it would be deemed as a "schnitzel" (wimp) and be held distant from their parents or relatives.
When he was finally taken back by his parents, they were stricken with poverty and had their lawn gnomes, used to ward off black magic in his village, repossessed. His father, in desperation, forced him to become the new lawn gnome 24 hours all day and night without being allowed to move in the slightest for any reason even to eat, study, leave or sleep and he was just like a standing security, statue of a person or a military guard but he was forced to suffer heat stroke, fever and malnutrition.[epnote 9]
"Got Game?" shows that even when his father won a pure breed "spitzen hound" that he named "Only Son" as a displacement of his apparent hatred towards him, a pet that became an award-winning show dog, he still forced Doofenshmirtz to dress as a lawn gnome.[epnote 5] One of his only real friends was a balloon he had drawn a vaguely Peter Lorre-like face on, and named "Balloony."[epnote 7] A few episodes display his issues with his mother and younger brother, Roger. Thinking that her newborn son was to be a girl, Doofenshmirtz's mom knitted several dresses, though when he turned out a boy she forced Doofenshmirtz to wear them instead for lack of material for a year, effectively emasculating him.[epnote 11] His brother was, as Doofenshmirtz describes him, a "goody-two shoes" whom his mother favored.[epnote 2] In "Thaddeus and Thor," Doofenshmirtz explains that this was due as well to Roger's skill in kickball, a sport Doofenshmirtz was terrible at.[epnote 12]
Throughout his school career, he tried different hobbies, including trying to be a magician,[epnote 13] making science fair inventions such as "The Inator" and "The Even-Bigger-Inator" (both of which lost to baking soda volcanoes),[epnote 14] poetry (where he curiously also lost a competition to a baking soda volcano),[epnote 14] and shadow puppetry—a successful act which got him a girlfriend for a short period, until he was upstaged by a poor puppeteer with large hands.[epnote 15] He also tried being a bratwurst vender until the hot dog industry put him out of business.[epnote 16] On a date with Linda Flynn before she became famous, a feat Doofenshmirtz sarcastically suggested was not going to work out by saying he was going to rule the world, she suggested that he start small with the Tri-State Area.[epnote 17]
As a result of this and his misfortunes as a child, Doofenshmirtz turned to evil and used his skills at inventing to do so. His daughter, Vanessa, notes that he is not actually a doctor and simply purchased a $15 doctorate with his ex-wife's money.[epnote 14] He went to "Evil 101" where his teacher, Dr. Gevaarlijk (which means "dangerous", in Dutch), openly displayed her hatred of him and failed him.[epnote 18]
In Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, a more successful version of him appears as the main antagonist, with the regular Doctor Doofenshmirtz as a supporting character.
Creation and design
When Jeff "Swampy" Marsh and Dan Povenmire were working on the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko's Modern Life, they always had two things in episodes they worked on: a song or a musical number and an action/chase scene. When they created Phineas and Ferb, they wanted to incorporate this trait into that series too. They used a platypus secret agent to do so, due to the animal's interesting appearance, and wanted to have a continuous nemesis for him that the viewers could get to know. They chose one named "Dr. Meddleshmirtz;" Meddleshmirtz was a prototype for Doofenshmirtz and carried a majority of his traits. His name eventually was changed to "Doofenshmirtz."
Every main character of the series was designed to incorporate geometric shapes in reminiscence of Tex Avery's graphic style for his Looney Tunes cartoons; Doofenshmirtz himself appearing to use that of an oval. They were as well meant to be drawn very simply, so that the child viewers could draw them easily themselves. Each one was designed to be recognizable from a distance or, as Povenmire notes as a reference to Matt Groening and The Simpsons, by silhouette.
Co-creator and executive producer Dan Povenmire voices Doofenshmirtz. He describes the voice he uses as "vaguely Eastern European" and is one he used at fifteen years old when having pillow fights and such with his five year old sister. To this day, his sister recognizes the voice and asks him to do it frequently. During recording sessions, Povenmire is easily able to ad-lib and improvise; the writers are known to change his lines around and add new ones without throwing him off. Povenmire sometimes adds his own lines to mix with the script, as well as being asked to alter his voice to enunciate his lines. Povenmire is usually asked to perform the voice in interviews  and performs the voice for his daughter's friends.
Doofenshmirtz is portrayed as an evil scientist[epnote 19] who despises almost everything around him, including pelicans, ear hair and obscure things such as musical instruments starting with the letter "B."[epnote 4] Throughout the series, this is explained more and more, and is attributed to his broken upbringing with overprotective yet unloving mother and his verbally abusive father. Some may refer to Doofenshmirtz as an idiot, because in the episode "The Doof Side of the Moon" he tried to rotate the moon so it would be a new moon forever, because he noticed that he was more evil than other evil scientists during a new moon. Doofenshmirtz treats his nemesis Perry the Platypus as his best friend,[epnote 7] and is often concerned for Perry when he does not arrive at the scene of his next scheme, hesitating to execute his plans and fearing for where Perry has gone - though he notes that he "hopes something terrible has happened to him."[epnote 20] It was also shown in one episode that all his traps were platypus-sized indicating that they have always been arch rivals. Doofenshmirtz's relationship with Perry has also been used to his advantage, as he once replaced Perry as his nemesis with a secret agent panda bear (Peter the Panda) to cause depression in Perry, causing a distraction from his actual plot to freeze agents to use as a giant chess set.[epnote 1] When Perry is re-assigned by O.W.C.A. (Organization Without a Cool Acronym) to a higher-leveled threat, The Regurgitator, leaving Doofenshmirtz classified as a low-level threat who would be dealt with by a secret agent snail, Doofenshmirtz himself took up an internship with the new villain to assist him in ultimately defeating the new threat and keeping Perry as his nemesis.[epnote 21] It is shown that either he is better than all other evil scientists or Perry goes easy on him, as in the episode Oh There You Are Perry, Perry imprisoned an evil scientist in less than a day's time. He is shown to be devoted to his daughter, Vanessa, trying to impress her every time they meet but always ending up failing. There are times, though, that she shows she likes her father although she is not aware that whatever it is that makes her like him is due to the help of Perry the Platypus. In the episode "Hail, Doofania!" Vanessa acted like Candace trying to bust her father to her mom that he is really pure evil. But this was later altered, and she has now accepted his unusual ways. He also has a robot named Norm whose appearance is based on that of his brother Roger, showing that he may have some love for his brother.
Despite a negative review of the Phineas and Ferb series on Toon Zone, Maxie Zeus notes that a large bright side of the series is Povenmire's performance as Doofenshmirtz. Zeus states that "Dan Povenmire voices him with such energy, and with such perfect timing, that you'll laugh out loud even at the stuff that isn't even supposed to be funny." Zeus as well says that the Doofenshmirtz subplot would have made a "fine bit of sketch writing" if trimmed down.
In 2009, Josh Jackson, editor-in-chief for Paste Magazine, wrote in a blog that Phineas and Ferb was "the best kids show on TV" and gave Doofenshmirtz a large amount of praise. He calls his inventions "awesomely designated devices of pure evil" and his complex relationship with his nemesis Perry the Platypus as "pitch-perfect."
Doof's Daily Dirt
In January 2013, Doofenshmirtz launched his own YouTube channel and weekly videocast titled Doof's Daily Dirt.[note 1] He comments on various Internet memes and pop culture trends, usually long after the subject is no longer of interest or relevant. Subjects have included: Internet Acronyms, Lolcatz, Bacon infused products, PSY's "Gangnam Style", One Direction, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", Honey Boo-Boo, the Kardashians and the Mayan apocalypse. He also started a Twitter account where he posts more frequently. The webisode series had an original run of 13 episodes.
In April, Disney announced that Doofenshmirtz will appear in the season finale for the reality TV series Shark Tank where he would get a chance to pitch his latest invention. The finale broadcast a clip of his pitch and the full segment was posted online afterwards. More episodes have been planned for the summer. Lauren DeVillier, the Vice President of Disney Channel's digital media, said that "Our team is having a great time with 'Doof's Daily Dirt' so we're thrilled to have it extended," and "We can't wait for even more of Doof's distinctive commentary and completely unexpected insights."
- In one of the videocasts, Doofenshmirtz admits that he chose Daily because of the title's alliteration.
- Writer and Director: Dan Povenmire. "It's About Time!". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 9.
- Writers: Swampy Marsh, Martin Olson, Dan Povenmire; Director: Dan Povenmire. "Tree to Get Ready". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 6 (P.2).
- Writers: Sherm Cohen, Antoine Guilbaud; Director: Dan Povenmire. "Flop Starz". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 4 (P.2).
- Director: Zac Moncrief. "Mom's Birthday". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 11.
- Writer: Antoine Guilbaud, Chong Lee; Director: Zac Moncrief. "Got Game?". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 25.
- Writer: Jon Colton Barry, Piero Piluso; Director: Zac Moncrief. "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2.
- "The Chronicles of Meap". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. Episode 59.
- "De Plane! De Plane!". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2.
- Writers: Chris Headrick, Jon Barry; Directed: Dan Povenmire. "Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 2 (P.2).
- Writers: Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, Dan Povenmire; Directors: Dan Povenmire, Zac Moncrief. "Raging Bully". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 5.
- "Gaming the System". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2.
- Writers: Antoine Guilbaud, Kim Roberson; Director: Zac Moncrief. "Thaddeus and Thor". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2.
- Director: Zac Moncrief. "Leave the Busting to Us!". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 26.
- Writers: John Colton Barry, Piero Piluso; Directors: Dan Povenmire, Zac Moncrief. "Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story)". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. Episode 13 (P.2).
- Director: Dan Povenmire. "Out to Launch". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 44.
- Director: Robert F. Hughes, Zac Moncrief. "Backyard Aquarium?". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. Episode 52.
- Director: Robert F. Hughes, Jay Lender. "What Do it Do?". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2.
- Antoine Guilbaud, Aliki Theofilopoulis; Director: Zac Moncrief. "Oil on Candace". Phineas and Ferb. Episode 22 (P.2).
- Director: Dan Povenmire. "The Ballad of Badbeard". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 13 (P.2).
- Writers: Antoine Guilbaud, Aliki Theofilopoulos; Director: Zac Moncrief. "Hail Doofana!". Phineas and Ferb. Season 1. Episode 26 (P.2).
- Writers: Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft, Antoine Guilbaud; Director: Robert F. Hughes. "Oh, There You Are, Perry.". Phineas and Ferb. Season 2. Episode 10. Disney XD.
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- Povenmire, Dan. Original Pitch featurette for Volume I (DVD). Disney DVD.
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- Jackson, John (March 31, 2009). "Five Reasons Why Phineas and Ferb is the Best Kids Show on TV". Paste Magazine.
- "Doof's Daily Dirt" (YouTube channel). Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Blum, Matt (January 4, 2013). "Exclusive: Phineas and Ferb‘s Dr. Doofenshmirtz Launches Web Series, Twitter Account". Geekdad - Wired.com.
- Bibel, Sara (January 4, 2013). "'Phineas & Ferb' Character Dr. Doofenshmirtz Makes His Social Media Debut With New Twitter Account and Web Series". TV By the Numbers.
- "April 22, 2013". The Futon Critic.
- "PHINEAS AND FERB's Dr. Doofenshmirtz to Host Special SHARK TANK Edition of DOOF'S DAILY DIRT". Broadway TV World. March 18, 2013.
- "Breaking News - "Phineas and Ferb's" Breakout Internet Star Dr. Doofenshmirtz Is Back for a Special "Shark Tank" Installment of "Doof's Daily Dirt"". The Futon Critic. May 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-20.
- doofdaily (May 17, 2013). Doof Daily: THE DOOF IS DUE (YouTube).
- doofdaily (May 17, 2013). Shark Tank: Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz (YouTube).