- “First person to blink is a dead man.”
- ―Kearney Zzyzwicz
- “Shut up.”
- ―Kearney Zzyzwicz's catchphrase
Kearney Zzyzwicz, Sr. (pronounced "jeez-wich") is one of the school bullies of Springfield Elementary, with Nelson Muntz, Dolph Starbeam, Jimbo Jones, and the Weasels. He later became one of Bart Simpson's friends. He is the toughest of the bullies, and is also the second strongest out of the bullies along with Jimbo. He is of Polish descent and is a fifth grader. (Although in 24 Minutes, Kearney is shown to be missing from the sixth Grade Class). A running gag is that Kearney is much older than all the other kids at Springfield elementary but has been held back from graduating for many years. He also has a son who appears in several episodes.
Kearney's last name (Zzyzwicz) was revealed in a computer file in season 18's "24 Minutes". Prior to that episode, Kearney's surname was never mentioned. Kearney's surname implies that his family could be of Polish origin.
Kearney drives an old style Hyundai. This is evidenced when Principal Skinner attempts to pry off Kearney's hood ornament to replace the 'H' logo stolen from Superintendent Chalmers' Honda. Kearney catches him in the act, forcing Skinner and Chalmers to flee.
Kearney's son looks exactly like him, though younger and has a voice resembling Ralph Wiggum's. He is about 5 years old. He was able to overcome his parent's divorce by sleeping in a drawer at night. He is also considered smarter than Kearney, since when he was sitting on Gil's lap when he was dressed up as Santa Claus, he believed he is the real Santa Claus and his son knew immediately he was a fake. Kearney's son seems to be a young child but Kearney says "speaking as a teenager and parent of a teenager" although he probably has some other child that he was talking about. There is another possible son in the episode Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe. Also he mentions a son named Jason in his unlock message in The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Kearney Jr. appears in a vanity card from 1999's Kearney Productions logo founded by Mike Sullivan.
Kearney was once married, although his ex-wife has never been named. The only details given were that he had to divorce with her, because Kearney didn't want his parents to find out. Kearney has said that he misses having sex with her, though it also mentioned in one episode that Kearney dated Jimbo's mother in She of Little Faith.
Kearney's father was shown on the season eight episode, The Homer They Fall, where he was shown as one of the bullies' look-alike fathers attacking Homer in Moe's Tavern after he tried to have their sons stop bullying Bart. He hits Homer over the head with a pool stick, which stuns him but does not knock him out, leading to the discovery that lets Homer become a boxer. Moe then orders the bullies' fathers out at gunpoint for not having two drinks minimum. In O Brother, Where Bart Thou?, Kearney reveals that both of his parents are incarcerated, and they can only meet when the prison and insane asylum have their annual mixer. Mr. Zzyzwicz also has a brief appearance in Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, segment, "The Immigration of the Body Snatchers".
Kearney's mother is not seen but is said to suffer from clinical depression, and, according to Kearney, the medication she's taking for it is making her bloated. She is either in a mental hospital or in prison. Also, according to Kearney, his mother is too fat to work at Hooters.
Non Canon Appearance
It was revealed that Kearney, Jimbo, and Dolph were bullied by nerds. Bart then taught them that nerds are "all talk and no action" and they learned to "stand up" for themselves. Bart was later caught in the crossfire when his own creation backfired, and the other students at Springfield Elementary School (this is seen in a comic, but comic strips are not considered canonical).
In Future-Drama, Kearney becomes the Vice-Principal of Springfield Elementary (the principal is still Seymour Skinner), however, none of his bullying traits are seen.
The Simpsons Game
Kearney was Hired with Jimbo and Dolph to steal artifacts from the Museum on their way they stop to take Milhouse's Pants and then sees Kent and he says that he's been dating her Daughter and gets their band wrong witch gets them ticked off. later he warns Bart and Homer to stay away from the Museum and later steals from the Museum but fails and later can't believe that they beat him..he then tells Homer about the Eating Contest and says he's gonna win it.He then appears as one of the contestants in the Duff Ultimate Eating Challenge later he says in case of the Eating Contest his overweight proved Valuable. Kearney later gets Grand Theft Scratchy with Roams around the Streets of Springfield trying to stop Marge and Lisa who are trying to Band the Game and succeeds. He later watched the fight with Lard Lad and the Aliens and tells Homer that he guessed Lard Lad was a bigger Fatso then him and later questions if the Aliens could process how fat Homer is for a human. After the Game Kearney could be seen talking to Dolph at town's Square saying that next time he hopes they get invaded by Transformers and later foreshadows the Transformers in Treehouse of horror.
The Simpsons 25 Years Board Game
Kearney appears as a character card you can collect.
Behind the Laughter
Kearney was created from "Kearney Street" in Portland, Oregon, where The Simpsons creator Matt Groening grew up.
- Despite his tough demeanor and being at least over 20 years of age, Kearney has a higher-pitched, childish sounding voice (most likely) for comedic effect.
- He also owns his own tuxedo, although he isn't seen wearing it.
- In See Homer Run, we learn Kearney is disturbed by certain works of art, e.g., The Scream.
- Check it out, we stole the Scream.- Dolph Starbeam; Put it away, it creeps me out. - Kearney (See Homer Run)
- Kearney knows how to drive, despite taking the bus in some episodes.
- He is a Chicago Cubs fan which he says is why he became a bully.
- Kearney might possibly be older than 16 as in the episode The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer, Otto says he and Kearney were in the third Grade together, but Otto could have been held back many years.
- He may have had his son when he was a young boy, in The Kids Are All Fight flashback scenes he mentions that he was worried about being a father.
- He was named after Kearney St. in Portland, Oregon, the city where Matt Groening grew up.
- Kearney is an Irish name: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Catharnaigh 'descendant of Catharnach', a byname meaning 'warlike' or 'soldier'.