Simpsons Cast: Live action movie

December 29, 2009 | Reviews

"Jeff Foxworthy"

…’You might be a redneck’ hack comic Jeff Foxworthy as Ned Flanders


The Simpsons, despite some minor improvements of late, has been on a steady decline since it sat atop the comedy heap. But this hasn’t stopped the jaundice-toned ‘toon juggernaut from dominating the ratings. As bad as it is now, if you compare it to other shows that should’ve been canceled a long time ago—-Saturday Night Live say, where what passes for sketch comedy is dressing up as a celebrity and appearing on a mock TV show—it holds up pretty well. [Editor’s note: the best SNL sketch remains one that never appeared on SNL: Krusty the Klown’s Tuesday Night Live sketch, ‘The Big Ear family’, in which Krusty brandishing a Q-Tip, sighs “this sketch goes on for another 12 minutes”]

Since every bad idea a movie executive has while sunning themselves in the lap of a Vegas call girl gets green-lighted, don’t be surprised if a live-action Simpsons flick comes to the big screen.

On Stumbleupon, we came across a few posts that offered a hypothetical casting of a live action Simpsons movie. A few were pretty inspired (William H Macy as Flanders and Benicio Del Toro as Snake) and some downright wrong—casting the quintessentially Jewish-looking actor David Schwimmer as Reverend Lovejoy, or the 6’5 Jeff Goldblum as the hunchbacked hatchet-faced former pugilist Moe (please see our list of the Top 10 Bartenders of All Time).

Since we were able to accurately conjecture Rampage Jackson as BA in the A-Team Movie, and took a pretty accurate stab at the Three Stooges movie, we thought casting agents would immediately employ our services. However, since the phones haven’t been ringing off the hook (we have cellphones, which might explain it), we thought we’d try our hand at this again.

We had a few basic criteria: Nobody dead, which ruled out James Coburn as the Sea Captain and nobody way too old to play a particular role unless it suited our comedic purposes. This latter ruled out James Earl Jones as Dr Hibbert, as an 87-year old would not be the head of a working family unless the economy really took a turn for the worse.

Since this was harder than we thought, we set our sights on some of the more fringe characters in this, our Live Action Movie Simpsons cast.

"Jon Hamm on Simpsons"

Jon Hamm as Lenny.

Milan Kundera once said, “there are no small parts only small actors”. That being said, this part is about as small as it gets. Lenny, along with Karl comprise the show’s other dramaturgical dyad, along with Itchy and Scratchy, but they’re regularly confused for one another and appear in about one eighth of the episodes. If you shave 6 figures off Don Draper’s salary, but keep him unshaven, and less dapper by three quarters, you get Lenny. Consider this one a move from the nuclear family to the nuclear power plant.

"Joe Pantoliano on The Simpsons"Joe Pantoliano as Sarcastic Man.

Noted character actor, Hoboken-born Joe Pantoliano had a splendid turn in the eminently memorable Memento and distinguished himself nicely as Ralphie in the Sopranos.

How this relates in any way to Sarcastic Man we’re unsure but what is for certain is the ratio of memorable lines to screen time is highest for this service sector everyman.

There is no denying their physical similarities and Joey Pants’ ability to crack wise, “you better hurry up kid, this is becoming a Starbucks!”


Kurt Russell as Snake.

This one’s a no brainer as Springfield’s resident recidivist is likely based on Snake Plissken from the John Carpenter classic 80s flick, Escape from New York. Now, he might be a bit old for the role but Snake has done several stints in the pen and this might’ve aged him considerably.

Runners up: Wrestler and Bar Fly star Mickey Rourke and Traffic and Usual Suspect Benecio Del Toro—the latter because he always sports the hair. Speaking of which…


Noted bestselling author and public intellectual Malcolm Gladwell as Sideshow Bob.

Shaking things up a bit as the bald-domed Kelsey Grammar, while voicing a magnificent Sideshow Bob, couldn’t pull off the locks required for Robert.

For someone plotting to take over the world, who better to play the part than a Canadian who shares an Alma Mater with one-half of the Shark Guys? Now, the author of Blink and the Tipping Point is no actor but who else would be cast in a Simon and Garfunkle biopic? We don’t know much about Art but we know what we like for the part.

Kelsey Grammer as Superintendent Chalmers.

There is nobody better suited to bald authority figures than the talented triple threat Kelsey Grammer (he can sing, act and is a menace behind the wheel).

For years, Grammer’s psychiatric practice suffered while he drowned his sorrows on a Cheers barstool, before moving on to the excellent Frasier.

We never saw his recent series Hank, but we’re not alone in that. Whoever did see it, would be though.

Jodie Foster as Miss Hoover.

Elizabeth Hoover is not known for much other than copiously drinking and smoking in order to deal with the daily stressors of being a second grade teacher. As far as casting overkill goes, getting a multi Oscar winner for a role as one of the least popular teachers at Springfield Elementary would be a major coup. But then again, considering the show’s producers got Liz Taylor to voice Maggie’s first word…

Gilbert Gottfried as Moe the Bartender.

Gottfried is an underrated comic who kills on the comedy roast circuit and tells the best version of the infamous ‘Aristocrats Joke’. He’s got the voice, the negative sex appeal and the unpleasantness for Springfield’s resident tap puller.

Adrien Brody as Dr Nick Riviera.

The Simpsons’ medical malpractice sawbones, Nick Riviera, “Well, if it isn’t my old friend Mr. McGregg — with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg”— is actually based on a Hungarian, despite his Latino-sounding surname.

We figure Brody owes us and everyone else who slept through the Village (or felt for, instead of up, Halle Berry). He’s of Hungarian descent and should be able to nail the accent, especially after a few run-throughs of “Keyser Söze”

Patton Oswalt as Chief Wiggum.

The portly stand-up earned rave reviews for Big Fan, about a sports nut obsessed with the New York Giants who prepares elaborate talking points for calling into talk radio. He’d be a shoe-in for this fat gum-shoe.

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21 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. I love the matches you made, but I can’t believe you brought up Kelsey Grammer with even mentioning that he’s already the voice of Sidwshow Bob. You have *seen* the show, haven’t you?

  2. “Shaking things up a bit as the bald-domed Kelsey Grammar, while voicing a magnificent Sideshow Bob, couldn’t pull off the locks required for Robert.”


    • Grammer could just wear a large brown wig and lose a little weight to look like his character. I’m also thinking Randy Quaid could play Superintendant Chalmers because he would look and sound the most like him, and now I’m sort of thinking maybe Tracey Ullman who originally had a connection with the Simpsons could play Ruth Powers because she si younger than Pamela Reed and I think the character is too, Reed is in her sixties now. And lastly a very young child who can’t talk yet and is among other child actors could play Maggie. By the way, people on other sites are making votes on other sites on who should be casted in a Live Action Simpsons movie on other movie websites and I say you should consider on my idea and try to pass it on for voting. Trust me, these actors would be best.

      • I’ve changed my mind. Pamela Reed can play Ruth Powers, she isn’t that much older.

  3. If I were in charge of casting an all-star live action Simpsons movie, these would be my choices because they look and sound closest to the characters and are at elligable ages.

    Homer – George Clooney
    Marge – Lorraine Bracco
    Bart – Jacob Kogan
    Lisa – Anna Sophia Robb
    Grandpa – Edward Asner
    Ned Flanders – William H. Macy
    Mr. Burns – Christopher Lloyd
    Smithers – Wallace Shawn
    Krusty the Clown – Jon Lovitz
    Chief Wiggum – John Goodman
    Moe – Steve Buscemi
    Mayor Quimby – John Ratzenberger
    Barney – Paul Giamatti
    Apu – Tony Shaloub
    Principal Skinner – Tim Allen
    Mrs. Krabapple – Allison Janney
    Patty – Cathy Moriarty
    Selma – Drew Barrymore
    Cletus – Hank Azaria
    Kent Brockman – Alec Baldwin
    Dr. Hibbert – James Earl Jones
    Groundskeeper Willie – Billy Connolly
    Ms. Hoover – Jodie Foster
    Snake Jailbird – Benicio del Toro
    Jasper Beardly – William Shatner
    Old Jewish Man – Orson Bean
    Rev Lovejoy – Jeff Goldblum
    Helen Lovejoy – Meryl Streep
    Comic Book Guy – Wayne Knight
    Lenny – Will Farrell
    Carl – Orlando Jones
    Rabbi Krustofsky – Jackie Mason
    Kirk Van Houten – Richard Kind
    Mrs. Skinner – Joan Rivers
    Ruth Powers – Pamela Reed
    Professor Frink – Eddie Deezen
    Bee man – Cheech Marin
    Sideshow Mel – Ralph Fiennes
    Lou – Samuel L. Jackson
    Eddie – Patton Oswalt
    Sea Captain – Tim Curry
    Dr. Nick – David Schwimmer
    Otto – Matthew Lillard
    Mona Simpson – Glenn Close
    Fat Tony – Joe Mantegna
    Sideshow Bob – Kelsey Grammer

    • Oh, and I also think Anthony Rapp could play the squeaky voiced teen.

      • Wait a minute forget Mona Simpson, I just realized she died two years ago in the episode “Mona Leaves-a”. I just of another character we should add, the Crazy Cat Lady. I think another veteran actress could play her. Hmm, how about Julie Andrews? She probably has a wild side to her like everybody and this can giver her a chance to finally let it out.

      • Wait a minute forget Mona Simpson, I just realized she died two years ago in the episode “Mona Leaves-a”. I just of another character we should add, the Crazy Cat Lady. I know another veteran actress could play her. Hmmm, I’m thinking Susan Sarandon, this part would be easy for her.

    • Nice list! I don’t see Wallace Shawn as Smithers though… How about Phillip Seymore Hoffman?

  4. Another thing, about the idea for a live action, Sipsons movie. First of all, they shouldn’t have to be all colored yellow. You’ve seeen the live action Simpsons intro, haven’t you? And that Burger King commercial featuring them, too. They could just have normal human looks as they would have if they were real. Secondly, I have just thought of an idea of the movie having a cross over, kind of the people of springfield entering the third demension and starting out as their original animated selves and then entering a demension where they are live action and to their surprise they look so strange looking to themselves. So, maybe that idea could be passed on until Groening and his team consider it too.

  5. Will someone notice me?

  6. Don’t see Tim Curry as the Sea Captain….or Tim Allen as principal S. Not pompous or self-important enough. Jones is 70. Dr Hibbert is a father of 3 who still works. Shaloub is not even Indian!! How the hell could an Arab play Apu?

    What about Mel Brooks as the rabbi?

    Russel Brand as Otto?

    Ratzenberger has the Cheers/Boston/Quimby connection…

    How ’bout Jack Black as the Comic Book guy?

    • My good man, Tim Curry can be the Sea Captain. He played one in Muppet Treasure Island, didn’t he? And Mel Brooks may be Jewish like the Rabbi character, but I chose Jackie Mason because he was the first to voice the animated character and naturally has that acccent. And the guy at Filmfonic considered Jones as Dr. Hibbert, probably because his voices sounded like it was based on Jones. And come on! Anybody can play characters like Apu. These people are actors. If they weren’t actors, I wouldn’t’ve chosen them. If I could figure out how to post these pictures I have of them, you could see the reselmblance.

      • Oops, I mean the site I mentioned is called “Filmonic”.

      • How about asking thesharkguys what they think of my choices? And also you should check Filmonic and you can see how many other suggestions for casting have been made besides this one.

  7. Excellent choices mostly…really inventive…
    The really spot-on ones are Burns, Grandpa, Krabapple, Flanders, Krusty, Carl, Snake, and Rabbi Krustofky. Lenny is a skinny guy with dark hair who we think resembles Jon Hamm. I guess the only other character though that Ferrell could play would be Kent Brockman but he\’s already been Anchorman. Giamatti guzzled wine very capably in Sideways so that\’s also a good choice. A great stunt casting would be GNR axeman Slash as Otto.

    Castelleneta Fan, now you have to critique our Three Stooges cast as you have a real knack for this!

  8. I will try if I can find it. Anyway you should consider my idea and try telling about it to the person at Filmonic who posted his thought on the idea.

    You can find him at

    And you can tell him how I think making a live action Simpson could work.

  9. Again, I say you should contact the person who wrote his page at , my selection of actors should please him, and my thought on how the movie would work should give him an idea, too. You guys should talk with each other.

    By the way, I’d give a critique on the “Three Stoohes” cast list, but I don’t know where to find it. Could you tell me how to get there?

  10. Uh… Where’d everybody go?

  11. Another take of my cast, this time it’s longer and a few characters have been switched to more fitting actors. Here they are as follows.

    George Clooney as Homer

    Catherine O’Hara as Marge

    Jimmy Bennett as Bart

    Elle Fanning as Lisa

    Edward Asner as Grandpa

    William H. Macy as Ned Flanders

    Christopher Lloyd as Mr. Burns

    Wallace Shawn as Smithers

    Jon Lovitz as Krusty the Clown

    John Goodman as Chief Wiggum

    Steve Buscemi as Moe

    John Ratzenberger as Mayor Quimby

    Paul Giamatti as Barney

    Tony Shalhoub as Apu

    Tim Allen as Principal Skinner

    Allison Janney as Mrs. Krabappel

    Cathy Moriarty as Patty

    Drew Barrymore as Selma

    Hank Azaria as Cletus

    Alec Baldwin as Kent Brockman

    Bill Cosby as Dr. Hibbert

    Billy Connolly as Groundskeeper Willie

    Randy Quaid as Superintendent Chalmers

    Bonnie Hunt as Ms. Hoover

    Benicio Del Toro as Snake Jailbird

    William Shatner as Jasper Beardley

    Orson Bean as Old Jewish Man

    Jeff Goldblum as Reverend Lovejoy

    Meryl Streep as Helen Lovejoy

    Wayne Knight as Comic Book Guy

    Will Ferrell as Lenny

    Orlando Jones as Carl

    Jackie Mason as Rabbi Krustofski

    Richard Kind as Kirk Van Houten

    Joan Rivers as Mrs. Skinner

    Pamela Reed as Ruth Powers

    Eddie Deezen as Professor Frink

    Susan Sarandon as Crazy Cat Lady

    Cheech Marin as Bumblebee man

    Ralph Fiennes as Sideshow Mel

    Samuel L. Jackson as Lou

    Patton Oswalt as Eddie

    Tim Curry as Sea Captain

    David Schwimmer as Dr. Nick

    Arnold Schwarzenegger as Rainier Wolfcastle

    Danny DeVito as Mr. Largo

    Matthew Lillard as Otto

    Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony

    Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob

    Anthony Rapp as Squeaky Voiced Teen

  12. i’m jeff the simpsons live action movie whata ooooooooooooustanding idea we’d love to see it

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