While it’s hardly news when a new character joins Springfield’s burgeoning population, as new characters provide grist for the 25-year-old show’s eternally-churning mill, last week marked just the second or third time a new Simpsons character has debuted without actually appearing on the show.
Chester Dupree, slacker brother-in-law to mirthful family practitioner Dr. Julius Hibbert, cropped up last week on phones across America as an unlockable character in The Simpsons Tapped Out, the handheld game that asks you to click on things, wait, and click on things again, and rewards you by giving you new things to click on (but also by frequently making fun of the pointlessness of that, using the voices and likenesses of beloved Simpsons characters).
Dupree was mentioned in 2012 episode “Gone Abie Gone,” but has never appeared on-screen, making him the first Tapped Out character to never have appeared on The Simpsons. (Another character, Kumiko Nakamura, appeared for a limited time in the game, shortly before appearing in “Married To the Blob” as a love interest for Comic Book guy)
As the undying beast that is The Simpsons continues to expand its tentacles outwards throughout all forms of media, surely it’s only a matter of time before new Simpsons characters are introduced in our air, our drinking water, or directly into our brains. Would we say it’s time for everyone to panic? Yes we would, Kent.