Friday, January 21, 2011

Phil Hartman Dedication Month: Lionel Hutz

We continue this tribute to Phil Hartman by discussing another one of his famous characters; Lionel Hutz. You know, the incompetent lawyer you always get stuck with on your court date despite him having a great ad and seeming like someone who will win your case. I love this guy, everything about him is just funny, the way he acts, the way he talks and the way he thinks is even hilarious (Imagine a world without lawyers). So today, I thought I'd just go over a little history, talk about his cases and try to make a list of the best moments of Lionel Hutz (There are so many great moments, it's hard to choose).

Lionel Hutz was first on Bart Gets Hit by a Car where he is actually a competent lawyer who does his best to nearly win a lawsuit against Mr. Burns (I know, in retrospect this just seems so odd). But the majority of his character was established in that episode, he was crooked, more flashy than effective, and quite unprofessional. Lionel Hutz is named after a lawyer named Sir Lionel Luckhoo who was an extremely successful lawyer and is listed by many as the best lawyer ever (Considering what we know about Lionel Hutz, that's some good irony). Lionel's Hutz's office is called "I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm" just furthering the idea that he's not the guy you'd want to have handle your case. Lionel Hutz has also done some work on the side that either proves that he's incompetent, or that those degrees on his walls are probably just photoshopped to make himself feel good. Lionel Hutz has been:
  • A babysitter
  • A prosecutor (Usually a defense lawyer)
  • Shoe repairman (My personal favorite)
  • Substitute teacher (On Bart's list)
  • Actor
  • Real estate agent
  • Moocher
  • Dumpster diver

Anyways, now onto the cases, where do I even begin with the cases, well lets start off with the cases he actually won (I know shocker isn't it?) He won the case against Sideshow Bob (Although that was more on Bart and Lisa, but it counts), a lawsuit against Krusty for the metal Krusty-O, a lawsuit against the all-you-can-eat buffet (Classic line from Mr. Hutz) and a lawsuit against Roger Myers Jr. to end Itchy and Scratchy. With the short list out of the way, let's take a look at all the cases he lost:
  • Bart Gets hit by a Car
  • Bart the Murderer (I count this because he was about to be found guilty)
  • Marge gets a Job
  • Marge in Chains
  • Treehouse of Horror IV (Even when it's not cannon, he screws up royaly)
  • Burns' Heir
  • The Boy Who Knew Too Much
What's in common with all of these? Lionel Hutz is hilarious in the way he screws up all these cases. I know we want to see the main characters succeed, but it's far more satisfying to see Lionel fail.

Okay what you've all been waiting for; the top 5 moments of Lionel Hutz. For this segment, I'm just going to list my favorite quotes, moments and even storylines for Lionel. Keep in mind, this is a personal list so don't get up in arms if you don't see your favorite moment here, just list yours in the comment section
  1.  Marge in Chains, I couldn't pick just ONE line or moment from this so here are the sub-moments:
    • When Marge and Homer approach Lionel for the case, the monkey thing was funny, but it was topped by this great exchange:
      • Hutz: Now don't you worry, Mrs. Simpson, I - uh-oh. We've drawn Judge Snyder.
        Marge: Is that bad?
        Hutz: Well, he's kind of had it in for me, since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace `accidentally' with `repeatedly', and replace `dog' with `son'.
    • "World without lawyers" (My personal favorite)
    • Lionel Hutz presents his closing arguments without pants
  2. The babysitter plot from Marge on the Lam, yet again, no one moment, the entire plot is great
  3. His shoe repair scene in Burns' Heir, I know he's not supposed to be seen as a serious lawyer, but I just found this so over the top and hilarious
  4. Approaching Mr. Burns in Marge Gets a Job, how he goes from "I'm serious" to "HOLY SHIT I'M SCARED FOR MY LIFE!!" is just so funny
  5. The business card from The Day the Violence Died, something about the way he tries to con Bart out of money by eating his own card made me roll on the floor.
With all that out of the way, I'm glad that I have been able to do this for the past 3 weeks, join us next week when we take a look at his minor characters.

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