Hans Moleman is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta, and first appeared in the episode “Principal Charming”. He normally appears in a running gag, where he usually suffers unfortunate, nearly always tragic, events.
Hans Moleman is the retconned name of the character. He is a mole-like man with extremely bad luck. Although apparently elderly, he claims to be only 31 years old (his driver’s license says he was born August 2, 1961; this episode was broadcast in the early 1990s, and birth years have been changed in the series to keep characters the same age), but due to his heavy drinking, he appears much older. Yet in the episode entitled Little Girl in the Big Ten, he is stated to be an 80 year old attempting to pass as a freshman. He has cataracts and is almost entirely blind (which has severely impaired his reading ability), and has used medical marijuana. He carries a brown cane with him everywhere, which has once been shown to contain a hidden sword a la Zatoichi. In the episode “Burns’ Heir”, Hans is mistaken for Bart and accidentally “de-programmed” (Homer and Marge had hired a cult de-programmer, hoping to convince Bart to move out of Mr. Burns’ mansion and back in with them), apparently leading him to believe he is the son of Homer and Marge. Homer greets the news with enthusiasm, encouraging his wife to kiss Hans on the head with the well-known line “Come on Marge, it’s like kissing a peanut!” Hans Moleman claimed that he slept with the grandmother of Lars Ulrich, and was therefore considered a “real fan” of Metallica.
He was executed by the Springfield Police Department in the Springfield Connection episode.
His home address is 920 Oak Grove, Springfield. He has also been seen living at the Springfield Retirement Castle and (in a deleted scene) he is shown to live in a small house directly below the dam that was erected (and subsequently destroyed) in “Brother from Another Series”.
In Marge and Homer Turn a Couple Play he is seen in the “Kiss Cam” on a baseball game with a woman who looks much like him, and since they’re on the Kiss Cam they kiss. This may indicate she is his wife.
Like many recurring characters, Hans Moleman has had a wide variety of careers over the course of the series. He runs an early morning radio show, on Springfield’s jazz station KJAZZ-FM, in which he introduces himself as “This is Moleman in the Morning, Good Moleman to you”. In A Star Is Burns, Moleman enters a film entitled ‘Man Getting Hit By Football’ into the Springfield Film Festival. The film depicts him getting hit in the crotch by a ball, much to the amusement of Homer Simpson. One of his other jobs was driving a truck filled with sugar (which he subsequently flipped onto its side, spilling its contents, much to Homer’s delight). He is often seen driving other types of trucks as well. In one episode, he flattens Homer with a car falling from his vehicle transport truck. In another episode, he is seen transporting the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe in a truck. He could also be seen driving a truck in The Simpsons Movie, during Bart’s nude skateboarding scene. He also teaches an orange-eating class at the Adult Learning Centre in Springfield (“The eating of an orange is a lot like a good marriage”). On another occasion, it is implied that he works at a bird sanctuary, as he has to order “the biggest bird seed bell you have” (“No, that’s too big”). He once worked as a postal worker. He was also a librarian for the Springfield jail. He once worked as a janitor at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and received a severe head wound (“Oh no, my brains.”) from Mr. Burns when Moleman asked Burns for seventeen dollars for a push-broom rebristling; Burns, high on ether, mistook him for the Lucky Charms leprechaun and went to his skull with a power drill. He has also been seen representing a Solar Power company in The Last Temptation of Homer. In Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder, in a reference to the 1956 film The Mole People, Homer stumbles across Hans Moleman, dressed in the Elinor’s, the High Priest of the Sumerians, robes in an underground fortress complete with earthquake machines (“There is no escape from the fortress of the Moles!”). He also has been spotted in episode 274 in a kissing booth with Agnes Skinner and Seymour. He was temporarily an Olympic gold medalist due, in part, to a set of replacement mechanical legs (which he wore in the episode “Moe ‘n’ a Lisa” but was never seen in again.)
Most recently, he has been sighted working as a teller at the First Bank of Springfield. Aside from these, Hans has a tendency to be a cheery man, and has made a living of giving people compliments; though in a deleted scene from season 8, Hans threatens God at gunpoint, and forces him to keep it raining money.
Much of the humour associated with Hans has involved him cheating death innumerable times, usually highly improbably. He survived his car blowing up, catching on fire due to the powerful magnifying effect of his glasses, Montgomery Burns drilling into his brain, capital punishment (in a local jail) after Homer eats his last meal, being buried alive, and being engulfed by the “anti-escape bubble (orb)” that was attempting to catch Marge (a parody of a similar device from the ’60s show the Prisoner), and he also was run over by Homer while he was carrying a sign saying “YOU SUCK” in a field of signposts saying “Keep-out” in regards to Lake Springfield in The Simpsons Movie. Many times people will totally disregard him, usually leading to something like death, or simply imprisonment, but since he appears, even after “dying”, those later appearances could indicate he survived. He has also had several accidents where he was not severely injured. He further angered the crowd at Bart and Lisa’s junior hockey final because he fell down the steps then shouted ‘We paid for blood!’. He also crashed his 1959 Cadillac into the side of Springfield’s Planet Hype restaurant (which Marge mistook for a clever decoration). Recently in E Pluribus Wiggum, he was crushed by debris of fast-food boulevard, and three episodes later in The Debarted, suffocated by a car’s airbag. In Treehouse of Horror IV, his AMC Gremlin is run off the road by Otto Mann and stops just short of a tree. As Moleman expresses his relief, the car explodes.