Sideshow Bob (also known as Robert Underdunk Terwilliger
) is a secondary character on the Simpsons
. He was Krusty the Klown
's original sidekick until he framed him for armed robbery
and was imprisoned.
Though he was eventually found out (by Bart Simpson, no less), Bob did manage to convince most of Springfield that Krusty had committed the crime. He even hosted the show in his stead, adding features such as 'Choices' (a segment for any questions viewers had) and a literature segment. It was during an episode of Bob's show that Bart came to the realization that Krusty had been framed, and made it public. Bob went to jail and vowed revenge. He was replaced by Sideshow Mel.
While in prison, Bob became the pen-pal of Selma Bouvier, who is coincidentally Bart's aunt. Their correspondance led to a romance, and once Bob was released from prison he proposed to Selma. The Simpson family was overjoyed for the couple but Bart remained suspicious of Bob's motives. These suspicions were confirmed when Bob attempted to murder Selma for her money. Once again, Bob was sent to prison. Bart had foiled his evil plans for the second time; Bob vowed revenge again.
Over the course of his next stint in Springfield Penetentiary, Bob began sending threatening letters to Bart. He then became eligible for parole, and despite the warnings of Chief Wiggum and Selma, parole was granted. The Simpson family was vexed by this, as Bob had been aggressive and violent towards two members of their family. Despite their complaints and concerns, Bob had been legitimately granted parole and they were unable to do anything about his presence in Springfield. As such, they were eligible for the Witness Protection Program. They moved to Terror Lake, lived on a houseboat and became known as the Thompson family, but Bob found them and attempted to kill Bart. Bart managed to stall Bob by asking him to sing the entire score of the HMS Pinafore. Bob obliged, and finished his performance as the boat pulled into Springfield, where police officers were waiting to arrest him. For the third time, Bob was taken to prison and vowed revenge on Bart and his family.
Bob became a regular caller to Birch Barlow's radio show. Birch (a thinly veiled satire of Rush Limbaugh) believed that Bob, a Republican, had been jailed unfairly and called for his release. Mayor Quimby, not wanting to cause a political stir, released him through a special order. Birch wanted a Republican candidate to oppose Quimby in the upcoming mayoral election and Bob agreed to run. Bob won the election with 100% of the popular vote but Lisa and Bart eventually proved that he had used the names of deceased residents in order to win the election. They outsmarted him in court and forced him to confess. Bob was again imprisoned and was more than just a little bit ticked off at Bart.
After much reflection, Bob realized that most of his anger was geared towards the television industry and not Bart Simpson. He used his community service portion of his sentence to steal a nuclear weapon and threatened to detonate it unless the city rid itself of television. Fear of nuclear devastation forced the city to ban television. Krusty was the lone dissenter, however, and managed to stay on the air through the Emergency Broadcast Network. Enraged, Bob kidnapped Bart and planned a kamikaze mission with the intention of killing Krusty. He had, however, hijacked the Wright Brothers' plane, and his mission failed. He was arrested and returned to Springfield Penetentiary.
Rather than remain bitter during his next phase in prison, Bob chose to aid his fellow prisoners. His shining example was praised by Reverend Lovejoy and with his assistance, he was released from prison. Bob went to live with his brother Cecil, who hired him to work for his dam company. During this time it was learned that it was Cecil who originally auditioned for Krusty's show, but Bob got the part instead. This had been bothering Cecil for years. Lisa and Bart were suspicious of Bob at first, though it eventually became obvious that Cecil was the one with the evil plan. Bart, Lisa and Bob attempted to thwart it and prevented Cecil from destroying Springfield. Despite his innocence, however, Bob was jailed along with his brother.
Once Krusty announced that he was going to retire after one final show, Bob knew he had one final chance to exact revenge upon him. He hypnotized Bart and attempted to control him into killing Krusty with a bomb during his final television appearance. Much like Bob's other evil plans, it didn't pan out. The conclusion of this episode indicated that the Springfield Police Department executed Bob without a trial but this obviously didn't happen.
Bob's most recent appearance involved him being released from prison to aid in the capture of Homer's would-be murderer, Frank Grimes Jr.
Bob can be easily recognized by his large feet and pointy red hair. His hair is thought to mimic the shape of a palm tree. While appearing on the Krusty the Klown Show, Bob wore a grass skirt. In other appearances he is most often wearing a prison uniform. Though Bob won an Emmy for his work with Krusty, he was not allowed to keep it while in prison. The highlight of his career was a prison production of Evita.
Sideshow Bob is voiced by Kelsey Grammer. His brother, Cecil, was voiced by David Hyde Pierce, in a reference to the fact that they play brothers on Frasier. During interviews, Grammer has said that he thoroughly enjoys voicing Sideshow Bob and looks forward to the day when he returns and finally gets revenge on the town. We'll see.