Lionel Hutz is a recurring character from the animated television series The Simpsons. He was voiced by Phil Hartman, and his first appearance was in the season two episode "Bart Gets Hit by a Car". Due to the death of Hartman, his final speaking role was in the episode "Realty Bites". Hutz is a lawyer in Springfield, albeit an incompetent one who is always desperate for cases, few of which he wins. Hutz is often depicted as being financially unsound, extremely poor and willing to do anything for cash.
Role in The Simpsons Edit
Hutz is an inept ambulance chaser and, to quote Lisa Simpson, a "shyster" whom the Simpsons nonetheless repeatedly hire as their lawyer (a fact remarked on by Marge Simpson in a typically self-aware aside). His legal practice, located in a shopping mall, is named "I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm!" and also offers "expert shoe repair". He often tries to entice potential clients with free gifts, including a "smoking monkey" doll, a pen that looks like a cigar, a business card that "turns into a sponge when you put it in water," and even a half-empty Orange Julius he once had handy.
Hutz is characterized as both a grossly incompetent lawyer and an unethical individual in general; for instance, in the season 4 episode "Marge in Chains" he described the following as his "problem" with Judge Snyder: "Well, he's had it in for me ever since I kinda ran over his dog... Well, replace the word 'kinda' with 'repeatedly' and the word 'dog' with 'son.'" Hutz is a recovering alcoholic; also in "Marge in Chains", he hastily leaves the courtroom after handling a bottle of bourbon in order to consult his sponsor, David Crosby. He then gives his closing statement, unaware that he is not wearing any pants and thinks that Clarence Darrow was "The Black guy on The Mod Squad". Beyond the law, he also tries his hand at selling real estate, and out of desperation for work, babysitting, where he produces a flick-knife on awakening suddenly after nodding off to sleep, and also burns a lot of presumably incriminating documents in the Simpsons' fireplace, then claiming he is now "Miguel Sanchez". Hutz's incompetence and financial desperation sometimes lead him to resort to rooting through dumpsters, claiming they are client-related. Hutz was briefly married to Selma Bouvier, although this storyline is not shown in an episode. Hutz has also been known to use a phone booth as an office.
Lionel Hutz does not seem to care about conflict of interest; in "A Streetcar Named Marge" he represents clients in a lawsuit against the producer(s) of a local production of A Streetcar Named Desire for not giving them any roles in the play, although he had a role himself.
Another display of his incompetence takes place in "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" when, while representing a French waiter who is accusing Mayor Quimby's nephew Freddy of battery, he is surprised when the opposing counsel mentions that Hutz's client is an immigrant (despite the client's French accent). Hutz then demands that his client tell him everything from then on. He has also misunderstood simple legal terms like "mistrial" and "lawyer".
Cases won Edit
Although Hutz loses most of his cases, he does win several cases for the Simpsons, for instance representing Homer in his case against the Sea Captain and the Frying Dutchman restaurant over its "All You Can Eat" offer ("The most blatant case of false advertising since The Never Ending Story"). He also wins a case for Bart Simpson, by proving that Itchy was created by an old man named Chester J. Lampwick - though the deciding factor of the case is mainly proven by Bart's footwork to collect the crucial piece of evidence, rather than Hutz's competency. Hutz initiates the trial with zero credible evidence. Additionally, Hutz successfully sues Krusty the Klown after Bart consumes a jagged metal Krusty-O from a box of cereal, resulting in an inflamed appendix. After winning the case, Hutz gives Bart only $500 of the $100,000 settlement. He also won a case against Sideshow Bob, who was Mayor at that time, for electoral fraud, in which Bart and Lisa found evidence connected to it, as stated in Sideshow Bob Roberts.
The only other case technically won by Hutz was in "Treehouse of Horror IV", where he represents Homer against Satan (represented as Ned Flanders). In a purportedly-deleted scene for this episode, as subsequently seen in "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", Hutz's slogan is "Cases won in 30 minutes or your pizza is free". After he thinks he has lost the case, he gives the Simpsons their pizza. However, Marge informs him that they did win. Then, he tells them that the box was empty anyway. In the video game The Simpsons Hit & Run, billboards can be seen around Downtown Springfield promoting Lionel Hutz' free pizza offer.
After Hartman's death in 1998, Hutz and Hartman's other main character, Troy McClure, were retired out of respect. The last episode to feature Hutz speaking was the season 9 episode "Realty Bites". Since the Simpson family frequently appears in court, other characters have represented the Simpsons in legal matters since the retirement. For example, in "Sweets and Sour Marge", the equally-incompetent Gil Gunderson stepped in. The Blue Haired Lawyer has also served as the family's attorney. Lionel Hutz still appears infrequently in clip shows and flashbacks, as well as crowd scenes, but only in non-speaking roles. Hutz and McClure still appear in Simpsons Comics.
- ↑ "Burns' Heir". Richdale, Jace; Kirkland, Mark. The Simpsons. Fox. 1994-04-14.
- ↑ "Bart Gets Hit by a Car". Swartzwelder, John; Kirkland, Mark. The Simpsons. Fox. 1994-04-14.
- ↑ "Realty Bites". Greaney, Dan; Scott III, Swinton O.. The Simpsons. Fox. 1997-12-07.
- ↑ "Marge on the Lam". Canterbury, Bill; Kirkland, Mark. The Simpsons. Fox. 1993-12-04.
- ↑ "The Springfield Connection". Collier, Jonathan; Kirkland, Mark. The Simpsons. Fox. 1995-05-07.
- ↑ "New Kid on the Block". O'Brien, Conan; Archer, Wes. The Simpsons. Fox. 1992-11-12.
- ↑ "The Day the Violence Died". Swartzwelder, John; Archer, Wesley. The Simpsons. Fox. 1996-03-17.
- ↑ "Round Springfield". O'Brien, Conan; Archer, Wes. The Simpsons. Fox. 1995-04-30.
- ↑ "Phil Hartman, wife die in apparent murder-suicide". CNN. 1998-05-28. http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/TV/9805/28/hartman/. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- ↑ Groening, Matt. Interview with Terry Gross. Fresh Air. National Public Radio. WHYY-FM Philadelphia. 2004-12-29. Retrieved on 2008-04-09.
- ↑ "Best TV/Movie Lawyers: 15 Legal Eagles We'd Hire". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-04-09. http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20189419_15,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-09.
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