The Simpsons: Hans Moleman Turns 100 Years Old Today

Hans Moleman, a character on The Simpsons who has been appearing since the second season, turns 100 years old today, according to his canonical age in-story. Well, maybe. In one episode, the character's license can be seen clearly, and his birthdate is listed as August 2, 1921. Later, though, he would claim that he was only 31 years old, and that a life of hard drinking had made him look elderly and feeble. Named Hans Moleman by the writers after the first time he was brought back, the character had originally been written into the screenplay of "Principal Charming," his first appearance, simply as "Kindly Old Gent."

The kindly old gent would struggle to see the eye chart at the DMV in that first appearance, resulting in a shot of his license as Patty and Selma took it away from him. There, his name appears as "Ralph Melish."

Ralph Melish was actually a nod to a Monty Python sketch titled "The Adventures of Ralph Melish." Originally released on the album The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, the sketch is described as "the almost-exciting story of a file clerk." Narrated by Michael Palin, the sketch is a very dramatic reading about an elderly man whose life is remarkably uneventful.

It was two years after the scene at the DMV that Moleman, who would have been around 70 years old at the time based on the 1921 birthday, claimed during an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting that he was only 31. If he was 31 in 1993, when that episode aired, that would make him 59 today.

Moleman has a long and complicated job history, having been a truck driver, a mayor of Springfield (run out of town following a minor scandal), a hot-dog vendor, a prison librarian, a radio DJ, and a janitor at the nuclear power plant where Homer works.


He also has a tendency to...well, die. Getting his license taken away in that first appearance is one of the least terrible things to happen to Hans in the course of his three decades on The Simpsons. In fact, he presaged Kenny on South Park as the character who always seems to die for a cheap laugh, then come back later with no explanation. One Simpsons fan wiki has Moleman listed as having died 40 times, although one of those is in a Treehouse of Horror episode, so it may or may not "count."