|The Simpsons character|
|First appearance||"Principal Charming" (1991)|
|Created by||David M. Stern (writer)|
Matt Groening (designer)
|Voiced by||Dan Castellaneta|
|Occupation||Various, but many involve truck driving|
|Family||Elder Moleman (father)|
Hans Moleman is a recurring character on the animated television series The Simpsons. He was created by series creator Matt Groening and is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the episode "Principal Charming".
Hans Moleman is the retconned name of an earlier character named "Ralph Melish". A seemingly elderly man, Moleman is sometimes portrayed as a resident of the Springfield Retirement Castle, although in a deleted scene from the episode "Brother from Another Series" he is shown to live in a house under a dam. He has cataracts and is almost entirely blind, which has severely impaired his reading ability and has led to repeated revokings of his driver's license. He carries a cane to walk with. Although he appears to be elderly, in fact, Hans Moleman claims to be 31 years old, and that "drinking has ruined [his] life". However, in episode 13 of season 26, "Walking Big & Tall", he is revealed to be the former mayor of Springfield, but he is banished from Springfield on a horse by the angry townsfolk when Moe Szyslak discovers that a song Moleman made Springfield's city anthem 30 years before was in fact a rip-off of another town's anthem. He is also the host of a radio program titled, "Moleman in the Morning" on Springfield radio station KJAZZ.
Like many recurring characters, Hans Moleman does not have a fixed occupation, but rather has had a wide variety of careers over the course of the series.
He has been torched by a solar ray, drilled in the head by Mr. Burns, executed via the electric chair, eaten by alligators, sucked up by roombas, buried alive, engulfed by an anti-escape orb, and crushed by various different objects on several occasions. In The Simpsons Movie, Homer's car runs him over.
He has also suffered many non-fatal accidents such as getting hit in the groin by a football during his indie film and crashing his car into the Planet Hype restaurant.
Hans first appeared as a character model for the season two episode "Principal Charming", but he looked so shriveled and unrealistic that Matt Groening proclaimed him to look like a "mole man". However, he was used in several episodes and later became a recurring character. According to the episode "Principal Charming", his name was Ralph Melish, which is a reference to the Monty Python sketch "The Adventures of Ralph Melish: Hot Dog and Knickers" from The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief. According to a DVD commentary for one episode, some viewers were offended by Moleman's appearance, and he was reused in order to annoy them. Matt Groening has said that Hans Moleman was inspired by Tex Avery's Droopy, who shares many of Moleman's deadpan and unassuming mannerisms. Moleman's appearance is based on an elderly man Groening had once seen at the DMV.
- Lawson, Tim (2004). The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors. University Press of Mississippi. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-57806-696-4.
- Turner, Chris (2005). Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation (1st revised ed.). Cambridge: Da Capo Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-306-81448-8. OCLC 670978714.
- Silverman, David (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Mirkin, David (2004). The Simpsons season 5 DVD commentary for the episode "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.