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Homer Looking at Map (Artwork) This article is about Homer's friend.

Are you looking for Homer's German assistant, Karl?

See, statements like that are why people think we're gay.

C. Carlton "Carl" Carlson Jr. or "the black one" (as referred to by Homer as a simpler way of remembering who he is) is a safety operations supervisor from the sector 7G of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, where he works alongside his childhood friends Lenny and Homer.

Carl is a self-restrained organized (although not maniac about it, like was Frank Grimes) employee and likes to call himself "an urban Lenny". It is hinted in the series that he and Lenny may be more than just friends.

Carl also attended Springfield A&M University and possesses a master's degree in nuclear physics. Mr. Burns once implied that he was a war hero.


Carl is an African-Icelandic-American, and a Buddhist with a master's degree in nuclear physics, fond of bowling and drinking at Moe's Tavern. He was born on September 25, 1956.


Carl often serves as a taciturn straight man to Homer and company, probably because of his harsh opinions of others. On one occasion, he makes everyone in Moe's Tavern cry and then turns to the camera, explaining: "See, this is why I don't talk much.[1]"

Relationship with Lenny Leonard

There is a constant allusion to homo-eroticism in Lenny's and Carl's relationship, although no one seems to care much about it. Lenny dreamily recalled carving "Mount Carlmore", a huge bust of Carl in the side of a hill, during "one wonderful summer". When Homer asks Lenny what Carl thought of it, Lenny replies "You know, we've never discussed it [2]."

When various characters looked at the stars to "see into their souls" during a blackout in Springfield, Lenny sees an image of Carl, and Carl sees an image of himself.[3] On another occasion, Lenny and Carl are at the Springfield Baseball Stadium, watching the Kiss Cam, and Lenny says: "Hey Carl, remember when we used to kiss like that...[pause] with our respective girlfriends?" Lenny once said he can't tell apart the remains of his sculpture with Carl's remarking "I don't know where Carl ends and I begin!", An irritated Carl interjects "it's stuff like this that makes everyone think we're gay.[4]"

There have been many scenes that counter the homoerotic narrative. One time Lenny and he drunkenly suggest to Barney that he take them to the Playboy Mansion and the Girls College, respectively[5].  Although not seen by the audience, Carl claims to have a girlfriend who is having an affair with one of the VP's at the power plant to feed Carl inside information.[6] While at a football game, he mentioned planning to give his wife a ring for their anniversary[7]. He has been seen with a woman when he attends Homer's marriage class[8] and Homer has mentioned that Carl and Lenny have mistresses they spend time with[9]. In addition, he and Lenny were clearly aroused by the female stars of Lemony Lick-It's A Series of Horny Events when they accidentally stumbled upon the filming of the film, and were also shown to be extremely willing to take up Homer's bribe of giving them roles to buy their silence to Marge, their opting to do the sex scenes with the girls and be the foul-mouth boy, respectively.[10]

At times, Carl gets annoyed at Lenny. When Carl learns that he is paired with Lenny in a team-building exercise on a power plant retreat, his irritated response is, "Aw, nuts. I mean... aw, nuts.[11]" Carl and Lenny have similarly constructed surnames: Carlson and Leonard. At one point, when a fire was about to hit the flammable district during Springfield's massive fire, Lenny mentioned that their mother was working there, suggesting they were siblings.


Carl works in sector 7G, along with Homer and Lenny but was later promoted to supervisor after Ted, the previous supervisor, left[12].

Carl played bass in Homer's band Sadgasm. The band later broke up.

Number 14 Carl Tapped Out

Number 14 Carl Tapped Out

Non Canon Appearances

Ssi 5 The contents of this article or section are considered to be non-canon and therefore may not have actually happened/existed.

Video Games

In The Simpsons Game, Carl and Lenny are shown arguing while bird-watching, and having forgotten Lisa and Bart's names when they save Lenny and Carl from logging machinery, even though Lenny and Carl have known them all their lives. During a conversation in the Springfield Hub, Carl and Bernice Hibbert are hinted to have had a past relationship, that Carl wants to rekindle. He also mentions in this game his support for Obama.


Carl is a Buddhist, although not a very strict one like Lisa. He is sometimes seen in the Christian "First Church of Springfield."[13]

Behind the Laughter

Character origins

In the early seasons, Carl was rarely seen with Lenny and did not have a consistent voice - on some occasions, he can be heard with Lenny's voice and vice versa. In an early 1991 episode, Principal Charming, Carl's name is spelled "Karl"- like Karl from the episode Simpson and Delilah.


Tapped Out Unlock Carl
  • In "A Star Is Torn" Carl appears to be Caucasian when he is seen in the audience from behind.
  • In the Italian version of the show, he speaks with a Venetian accent.
  • In the Season 2 episode, Principal Charming, Carl's name appears spelt with a K when Homer looks at him in his Terminator mode.
  • He has a tattoo of Foghorn Leghorn on his right thigh.
  • His last name is a patronymic surname. Carl's adoptive father's first name with a "son" at the end of it, which is a tradition in Iceland (patrilineality is quite rare in Iceland). It should technically be spelt "Carlsson" (with two s's) to show Carl is "Carl's son". (see Icelandic name)
  • His IQ is 214 as shown in "Specs and the City".
  • Carl has diabetes which he discovered when eating Grandma Plopwell's Pudding in "They Saved Lisa's Brain".



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See also

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