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(Referring to Homer) He slept, he stole, he was rude to the customers, Still, there goes the best damned employee a convenience store ever had.
―Apu Nahasapeemapetilon[src]
Thank you! Come again.
―Apu's catchphrase
That is of great offence to my ancestors and family-but okay.
―Apu
Okay what ever
―Apu
Alright.
The Simpsons Tapped Out
I can't believe you don't shut up!
―When Apu is fed up with someone and doesn't want to listen

Dr. Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Ph.D. Jr., also known as Apu Du Beaumarchais,[5] Slime Q. Slimedog[6] and Steve Barnes,[7] is the operator of the Kwik-E-Mart. He is a recurring character in The Simpsons. He is an immigrant from India, and as such, speaks with a strong Indian accent.

Biography

Cp

Apu's wedding with Manjula

During the 1960s, whilst still living in India, Apu spent some time as a student of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in which capacity he became a friend of Paul and Linda McCartney. Apu's friendship with the McCartneys caused him to be referred to by some (mainly himself) as "The Fifth Beatle", They visited Apu in Springfield around the time he became a naturalized citizen, He said that he graduated from Calcutta Technical University, where he was the top of his class of 7,000,000 pupils and got a scholarship in the United States at the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T.).[8] Once in the United States, he achieved a doctorate in Computer Science by designing the world's first tic-tac-toe program that only the top human players could beat (which was broken by Bart years later). He then took a job working at the Kwik-E-Mart to repay his student loan. He has great remembrance.

During the mid-1980s, Apu was a member of the barbershop quartet called The Be Sharps, which also
Young Apu

Young Apu

Kwiki Mart

Apu's Convenience Store the Kwik-E-Mart

consisted of Homer Simpson, Seymour Skinner, and Barney Gumble, who replaced original band member Chief Wiggum.[9] Upon the advice of Nigel, the band's manager, Apu took the stage name Apu du Beaumarche (a pun, as "du beau marché" means "of the beautiful market" in French) and denied "by the many arms of Vishnu" that he was actually a Hindu.

Apu and Manjula married after two years, despite trying to wriggle out of the situation. He was won over soon after meeting Manjula and the pair actually did fall in love. Later, Manjula gave birth to octuplets after receiving a larger-than-recommended dose of fertility drugs.[10] Apu and Manjula have a mostly happy marriage, despite understandable marital problems caused by Apu's workaholic nature, the stress of caring for eight children, and two instances of infidelity by Apu. He and his family are devotees of the Hindu gods Shiva, Ganesha, and Vishnu. At Apu's wedding, Homer, in a misguided attempt to play on the bride and groom's families' fear of the gods, arrived dressed as the Hindu god Ganesh. The impersonation was seen through by one of Apu's relatives and failed miserably. Before getting married, Apu became known as the leading ladies' man in Springfield, because he holds a Ph.D. and runs his own business. He also admitted, "I'm not much of a talker, but I love to listen. I also like to design and build furniture and then to have a discussion about where it could be placed in a room," which made the single women of Springfield go crazy for him. Despite his hectic marriage and home life, however, his first love is still to work at the Kwik-E-Mart, sometimes taking shifts long enough to send him into sleep deprived hallucinations in which he thinks he is "...a hummingbird of some kind." Also after Apu had an affair with the Annette, Manjula made him legally change his name to Slime Q Slimedog. He is revealed to have slept with Selma Bouvier after Homer and Marge's second wedding.

Yatzee simpsons

Apu in Yahtzee

He claims to know Pi to 40000 decimal places, noting that the last place (40001 first digit of pi) is one.

ApuFilm

Snake Holding a shotgun at Apu

When he is elderly, he looks like Sanjay.

Personality

Apu is generally polite towards his customers, always saying thank you, even after less-than-genial interactions with the public, such as armed hold-ups. He is also a dutiful worker to the point of being a virtual workaholic, spending so much time awake at one point he began to believe he was a hummingbird. He is often found spending more time at his workplace than even with his own family, to Manjula's irritation, especially when she finds out that in America, workplaces normally have weekends off, a practice that Apu evidently never told her. It is also implied in the show, and confirmed in one of the Bongo Comics, that Apu's workaholic nature grew more severe after his marriage to Manjula and his becoming the father of octuplets, viewing his stressful homelife as a reason to continue working extensively at Kwik-E-Mart.

However, he has some negative traits, shown throughout the course of the show. His hard work ethic and though loyal attitude notwithstanding, Marge In Chains shows him ruthlessly prosecute Marge Simpson over a misplaced and absentmindedly forgotten bottle of bourbon, and to even where he refuses the pleas of Homer for him to drop the unjustified shoplifting charges and the trial for the sake of the reputation of security company joint sponsor of Kwik-E-Mart's, Nordyne Defense Dynamics. Apu's antics with the Squishy Woman also highlights his infidelity that comes with his workaholic mentality.

In some episodes, Apu is even seen manipulating customers into buying things they don't really need (sometimes into things which may be potentially life-threatening and even fatal), and at exorbitantly jacked up prices. He also sometimes lets slip some snideness in his polite greetings. He has a bit of a paranoid nature, as evidenced by him once jumping behind a counter and then shouting threats to Bart and Lisa who were walking in to investigate a robbery at the Kwik-E-Mart, and on at least two occasions went up to the roof and started firing a rifle at potential customers. Apu is also not immune to practicing the customary traits of Springfieldians, being backwardness, myopia, and even to outright stupidity, having been seen flocking to various questionable trends and to even participate in various mobbings.

It is implied in a few episodes that Apu may have some nudist inclinations, as, aside from a brief publicity stunt where he made the Kwik-E-Mart have a clothing optional policy, he at one point while extremely drunk from the Saint Patrick's Day Parade declared in a bullhorn for everyone to "get naked" and tried to entice the crowd by stating to not be "stuck up" as it will be great,[11] and when entering international waters, he was briefly seen dancing naked on Mr. Burns' yacht.[12]

Heritage

In addition to being Brahmins, Apu and Manjula appear to be South Indian, because of their last names and especially dark complexions. The name Apu means "loving child" in the Tamil language. However, Apu has also been shown to be Bengali.[13] However, Manjula speaks Hindi (interpreted as "baby talk" by Marge), to Maggie, as opposed to Tamil or Bengali, further complicating the debate. Still, Apu's parents very strongly appear to be Tamil.[14][15] Apu has a cousin named Kavi, who lives in Bangalore, which is part of Karnataka, South India; which would imply that they are actually Kannadigas.[16]

Immigrant Status

All-american-apu tapped out

All American Apu

Apu is a naturalized U.S. citizen and holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science. He graduated first in his class of 7,000,000 at the Calcutta Institute of Technology, going on to earn his doctorate at the Springfield Heights Institute of Technology. His doctoral dissertation was the world's first computer program to play perfect tic-tac-toe; which Bart Simpson ruined years later by plucking a random punch card out of the box along with several others. Apu began working at the Kwik-E-Mart whilst at university to help repay his student loans.

Sanjay, Apu's brother, helps him run the Kwik-E-Mart. Sanjay's daughter (and Apu's niece) is Pahusacheta. Sanjay's son is Jamshed. They all share the Nahasapeemapetilon surname. Apu has another younger brother, who is only mentioned in the episode of his wedding. This younger may be Kiku who Apu mentions in a reference to Life of Pi in the episode "much Apu about nothing", whose memory Apu repressed which would explain why he is never mentioned. When Apu's and Manjula's parents were first arranging their marriage, Apu was shown as the oldest of three on a chart. Apu also has a cousin living in India named Kavi, who helped Homer when he visited India. He works for many American companies taking service calls and can speak with American, Western, and Jamaican accents.[17] This episode, seeing that it takes place in Bangalore, strengthens the theory that Apu was born in South India.

Health

Due to his job at the Kwik-e-Mart and it frequently being a target for robbery, he has frequently ended up being shot and having to go to hospital. He had been shot enough times that when Springfield held a town meeting for what to do with $2,000,000,000 they got from a lawsuit from Mr. Burns after the latter was caught dumping nuclear waste in a park, Apu suggested using it to train more competent cops and adding security to the Kwik-E-Mart, citing his being shot on the job multiple times as a reason. Despite not liking being shot, however, he did at least have some attachment to it, as after taking a bullet for James Woods after a robber tried to shoot him, he expressed nostalgia for being shot before telling Woods he might be dying. Ironically, his past instances of being shot actually saved him from that shooting, as one lodged-in bullet managed to block that particular bullet from doing fatal damage to his heart.

Non Canon appearances

Video Games

Apu has been a playable character in several Simpsons games. He is the only non-Simpson family playable character in the video game The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and his standard vehicle is a yellow version of his Pontiac Firebird called "Longhorn". He is in the fifth level which is downtown Springfield at night, where he tries to find the source of Buzz Cola and, with Bart Simpson, uncovers the alien reality TV show that has fuelled many of the game's events.

He is also a driver and passenger in The Simpsons Road Rage, and is a fighter unlocked from the beginning in  the The Simpsons Wrestling.

In the Simpsons Game when Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney are assigned by Skinner to rob from the Museum. They stop by the Kwik E Mart and Apu witnesses them take Milhouses Pants by force. Later when Bart and Homer Save and destroy part of the museum Apu tells them that thanks to them his Children will one day know the boredom of the Museum. Apu later tells Bart that Springfields Fattest Pigs are sighning up for the Duff Eating Contest. After the Contest Apu tells Bart way to give Homer a unfair advantage in the Eating Contest. Later when Mr Burns Is planning to cut down the forest he goes to the Kwik E Mart and buys a Magazine called GEO and leaves Without Buying it. After the foil of Mr Burns plan Apu says to Bart saving a forest will asures he will be atleast a pigeon in his next life. Apu later Joins Marge to banned the Itchy and Scratchy Game and succeeds. When the Aliens invade Springfield Apu sees the Mall being attacked by Aliens. Apu later heard on the Radio that Dolphins are attacking Springfield and wishes that his Donuts do not join the Lard Lad Reighn of terror. Apu tells Bart that in honor of his victory he is serving Dolphin Flavored Squishys. He Tells Bart that he really showed Lard Lad who's boss. He thanks Bart for putting a Small Dent in the Aliens Plan.

Futurama

Although, he did not appear fully in person in The Simpsons' sister show, Futurama, his head could be seen in the head museum in "Space Pilot 3000" and "Bender's Big Score".

The Simpsons Guy

In the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover Apu meets the the Griffins and welcomes them to the Kwik-E-Mart. Later, Apu is seen being totured by Stewie Griffin, despite but not being Bart's enemy Stewie just wanted to say he took "a poo".

Behind the Laughter

Apu is voiced by Hank Azaria, who, owing to the character's Indian origins, voices him with a Hindi accent. Apu's surname, Nahasapeemapetilon, is anagram of the name Pahasanee Mapetilon, which are the first and last names of a schoolmate of Simpsons writer Jeff Martin.

Merchandising

Apu has had four action figures in the World of Springfield line. There is also an Apu figure in the Kidrobot figure line.

In May 2014, LEGO released a Minifigure Series based on The Simpsons. It included 16 characters from the series, Apu was one of them.

In 2015, as part of LEGO The Simpsons theme, a set based on the Kwik-E-Mart was released. It included a variant of Apu wearing his Kwik-E-Mark uniform.

Controversy

It has been argued that the portrayal of this character is a racist caricature.[18][19] During the 7-Eleven promotion in 2007, some members of the Indian-American community voiced concerns that Apu is a caricature that plays on too many negative stereotypes. Despite this, 7-Eleven reported that many of its Indian employees reacted positively to the idea, but noted that it was "not a 100 percent endorsement".[20]

According to comedian Hari Kondabolu, in a Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell web exclusive segment, there is a negative reaction to Apu in the Indian American community, as well as the greater South Asian diaspora community.[21] Pakistani-American comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani has also criticized the character,[22] and has related that early in his career, he was asked to do the "Apu accent" as a stereotypical version of the "Indian accent".[23] In a 2007 interview, Azaria (who is of Sephardic Jewish descent) acknowledged some of this criticism when he recalled a conversation with the writers of the show during the inception of the character: "Right away they were like 'Can you do an Indian accent and how offensive can you make it?' basically. I was like, 'It's not tremendously accurate. It's a little, uh, stereotype,' and they were like, 'Eh, that's all right.'"[24][25] In a 2013 interview with the Huffington Post, Azaria said it should not be expected that the character's accent would "suddenly change now" or that the character would be written out, saying, "I'd be surprised if [the show's writers] write him any less frequently because he's offensive."

In 2016, Kondabolu announced his intention to produce a documentary about "how this controversial caricature was created, burrowed its way into the hearts and minds of Americans and continues to exist – intact – twenty-six years later."[26] In 2017, Kondabolu released the hour-long documentary The Problem with Apu. In the film, Kondabolu interviews other actors and comics of South Asian heritage about the impact that the character of Apu has had on their lives and the perception of South Asians in American culture.[27]

On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Azaria said that he would be "perfectly willing to step aside" from the role of voicing Apu, saying that he was increasingly worried about the character causing harm by reinforcing stereotypes and that "the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it ... I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room, genuinely informing whichever direction this character takes."[28] Kondabolu had a positive reaction to Azaria's comments.[29]

Simpsons' response to Apu's controversy

The Simpsons episode "No Good Read Goes Unpunished", first aired in April 8, 2018, was widely received as a response to Kondabolu's film.

In it, Marge finds that a book she loved as a child contains elements that would now be considered offensive, and edits the book herself to remove these elements. In doing this she finds the book loses its "emotional journey". She and Lisa then look to a picture of Apu, and Lisa comments that "something that started decades ago and was applauded and inoffensive, is now politically incorrect. What can you do?" Kondabolu wrote on Twitter that he was disappointed that the message of his film had been reduced to the concept of "politically incorrect".[30]

In an interview with USA Today, creator Matt Groening dismissed the criticism of the Apu character, saying, "I think it’s a time in our culture where people love to pretend they’re offended".[31][32] Dana Walden, the CEO of the 20th Century Fox Television, said in an August 2018 interview in regards to the Apu controversy that the network trusts the show runners "to handle it in the way that’s best for the show".[33]

On October 26th, 2018, it was rumored that the shows producers', following the heated controversy surrounding the character’s stereotyping, would remove Apu from the show entirely. Hank Azaria had been previously been quoted as saying that he was fine with stepping away from the character. [34]

Al Jean later dismissed the rumor as being not true.[35][36]

Trivia

  • Apu is a vegan, like many Indians who practice Hinduism.
  • The ethnic background of Apu is debated; as one episode implies that he is Bengali, Hindi in another episode, Kannadiga in another one and Tamil in another one.
  • In "Treehouse of Horror IX," in the segment "Hell Toupe," Chief Wiggum is unable to pronounce Apu's surname, so he blames Homer only for Moe's murder.
  • Apu owns a Halloween store called Official Halloween Headquarters.
  • In "Much Apu About Nothing," Apu says he worked for several months on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as an actor but complains how you can only see his hand

Appearances

Gallery

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
The full image gallery for Apu Nahasapeemapetilon may be viewed at Apu Nahasapeemapetilon/Gallery.

Citations

  1. Abraham Simpson II
  2. Homer Simpson
  3. The Sweetest Apu
  4. Homer's Barbershop Quartet
  5. Homer's Barbershop Quartet
  6. The Sweetest Apu
  7. All's Fair in Oven War
  8. Much Apu About Nothing
  9. Homer's Barbershop Quartet
  10. Eight Misbehavin'
  11. Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment
  12. The Mansion Family
  13. 22 Short Films About Springfield
  14. Much Apu About Nothing
  15. The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons
  16. Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore
  17. Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore
  18. Vij, Manish. "The Apu travesty",. 
  19. Let’s Talk About the Apu Accent.
  20. Biswas, Soutik (9 May 2018). Not all Indians think Apu is a racist stereotype.
  21. YouTube. YouTube.com. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved on 2013-03-28.
  22. Kumail Nanjiani on Twitter.
  23. Why Is Apu Still On TV? (2013-09-20).
  24. paltalkscene (2007-12-06). Apu from the Simpsons on Paltalk and DailyComedy. Retrieved on 2016-05-23.
  25. A visitor takes a long look at Apu on a funny, thoughtful Simpsons (2016-01-18).
  26. Rao, Sameer (2016-05-11). TruTV Greenlights Feature-Length Documentary and Pilot From Hari Kondabolu.
  27. "You Love ‘The Simpsons’? Then Let’s Talk About Apu", The New York Times,. Retrieved on 11 November 2017. 
  28. Hank Azaria ready to 'step aside' from Simpsons Apu role. Retrieved on 25 April 2018.
  29. Apu actor 'willing to step aside' from role (25 April 2018).
  30. "'Don't have a cow': The Simpsons response to Apu racism row criticised as 'toothless'", The Guardian,. Retrieved on April 12, 2018. 
  31. Keveney, Bill (April 27, 2018). 'The Simpsons' exclusive: Matt Groening (mostly) remembers the show's record 636 episodes. USA Today. Retrieved on May 2, 2018.
  32. Iqbal, Nosheen (5 May 2018). No laughing matter: how can The Simpsons solve its problem with Apu?.
  33. de Moraes, Lisa (August 2, 2018). ‘The Simpsons: Fox TV Group Chairs Trust Creative Team To Deal With Apu Controversy – TCA. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on August 3, 2018.
  34. https://www.indiewire.com/2018/10/simpsons-drop-apu-character-adi-shankar-1202015372/
  35. https://twitter.com/AlJean/status/1056684110867918848
  36. https://twitter.com/AlJean/status/1057322654347055104