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"Homer, would you stop thinking about your ass?" - Herb Powell, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?"

Herbert Powell is Homer Simpson's older half brother in The Simpsons universe. The two look are almost identical in appearance, except that Herb has more hair and less of a gut than Homer. Voiced by Danny DeVito, Herb has only been featured in two episodes of the series, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", and has not returned because the creators have been unable to come up with an entertaining story that makes good use of him.

Herb's story begins when Abraham Simpson met an attractive carnival employee one summer during the period when he was dating his future wife. Abe claimed that this woman would do things that Mona never would have, such as have sex for money. The two had a brief trist and, one year later, the carnival returned along with the woman who had a little surprise for Abe: their son. They decided to give the baby up for adoption and he was adopted from the Shelbyville Orphanage by the Powells; he was named Herbert soon after. We know nothing of Herb's childhood beyond this, but by the time he reached college age he had enrolled at Harvard University where he worked his way through college by washing dishes and mopping floors. Eventually he worked his way into the automotive industry and started his own auto manufacturing company, Powell Motors, and eventually rose to the top of the auto business.

In 1991 Abe, who had not seen Herb since the day he was given up for adoption, suffered a heart attack and decided to tell his other son, Homer Simpson, about Herb's existance. Homer eventually tracked down Herb in Detroit, Michigan and the two soon met. Herb was taken with Homer's averageness and hired him to design a car for the average American. The end result was the Homer, an $80,000 light green monstrosity with shag carpet, a bubble dome, and a horn that plays La Cucaracha. The car quickly caused the downfall of Powell Motors and left Herb destitute and living under a bridge with other hobos. He blamed Homer for the entire fiasco. Roughly one year later Herb came up with an idea that would put him back on top of the business world. He came to Springfield and borrowed $2,000 from Homer which he used, along with some studies of Homer's baby daughter Maggie, to develop a baby translator. The device measured the urgency, pitch, and frequency of a baby's cries and returned a translation in plain English. The invention was a success and Herb left for parts unknown to continue producing the device. Before he left he presented each member of the Simpson family with gifts: Bart received a membership in the National Rifle Association, Lisa was given Ethan Frome (the first in a series of books that represent classic literature), Marge got a new clothes washer and dryer, and Homer was presented with a massage chair and, most importantly, Herb's respect.

Herb may return someday if the series creators can come up with an engaging reason for him to do so. Until this happens you can have your own adventures with Herb if you pick up one of the action figures that are designed in his image.


References:
The Simpsons Season Two and Three DVDs

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