George Herbert Walker Bush was the former Vice President and President of the United States and neighbor of the Simpson family on Evergreen Terrace. He's also a member of the World Council of the Sacred Order of the Stonecutters.
During his presidency, he commended a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of Congressman Bob Arnold for corruption and bribery. He was in line attending the birthday party of Mr. Burns, only to be told himself and Jimmy Carter are uninvited as they are one-termers. George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, moved to Springfield because they wanted to live somewhere where people do not care about politics and found out that Springfield had the lowest voter turnout. Although Bush gets along well with Ned Flanders, Bart is a nuisance, even though Barbara got along quite well with him. Bart's annoyances result in the destruction of Bush's memoirs, which an enraged Bush gives Bart a spanking as a punishment for shredding his newly typed memoirs. Upon learning of the spanking, Homer attempts different pranks to get back at Bush, resulting in a fistfight in the sewer that ends up above the street. George apologized for spanking Bart in front of Mikhail Gorbechav despite explaining that he couldn't show weakness in front of the Russians. Immediately afterwards, he told Barbara that they were leaving the town. Barbara, who got along quite well with Marge Simpson, apologized for having to leave. Bush's house is soon bought by Gerald Ford, another former president and instantly connects with Homer over their clumsiness, and love of football, beer, and nachos .
He is also seen collecting an unemployment check when Marge gets fired from the realty agency she worked at. He is also a member of the high council of the Stonecutters. One time, George W. Bush worked on the Habitat for Humanity in Springfield along with founder and fellow former President Jimmy Carter and former President Bill Clinton, although Bush ended up getting angered when Carter accidentally knocked a piece of plywood into his face and rammed his hammer's hooks up his nostrils in retribution, and later bonked Clinton on the head for laughing in a very similar manner to the Three Stooges.
Although not an actual appearance of Bush himself, a facsimile of him was used in the arcade game Panamaian Strongman, presumably acting as the main antagonist. In it, after the titular character is killed by bullets from various guns and falling off a tower, Bush appears and says "winners don't use drugs" before repeatedly kicking in the deceased character's head.
Behind the Laughter
Prior to voicing George H.W. Bush, Harry Shearer impersonated his voice when voicing the role of Herman.
In "Two Bad Neighbors", various elements of Bush were referenced:
- When Lisa was explaining to Homer who Bush was, and specifically in response to why Bush couldn't just stay in the state he originated from, Lisa claimed that Springfield's State is indeed one of the nine states Bush claimed residency. This was a reference to how Bush claimed residence in many states. In particular, he was born in Massachusetts; he grew up in Connecticut, from which his father served in the Senate; he began his business career with a small oil company in Ohio; he made his economic and political fortunes in Texas (from which he served, although his official residence was a Houston hotel); he lived in Virginia while director of the CIA; and he maintains a vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
- Bush mentions Robert Mosbacher to Bart and was about to explain who he was when he was cut off. Robert Mosbacher acted as the Secretary of Commerce in the Bush Administration.
- When irritated by Homer's blowing his horn at Krusty Burger, Bush claimed that Homer was "louder than World War II" Bush served in the Navy in World War II. He flew forty-some bombing missions and was shot down by the Japanese during the Pacific Theater.
- The escalation of Homer and Bush's feud occurred when Homer, in reference to the presence of armed guards at Bush's residence, called the former president a wimp, causing Bush to tell his guards to stand aside and enter outside the manor to personally confront Homer. This was a reference to how Bush's 1988 campaign was early dogged by the perception that Bush was a wimp. This image was shattered in January of that year as Bush trounced Dan Rather in a planned ambush interview on the CBS Evening News. It was also suggested that the three armed invasions Bush undertook (Panama, Iraq, Somalia) were further efforts to shed the `wimp' image. Similarly, a Newsweek cover dating Spring of 1988 had Bush on the cover aboard a naval ship with the headline "Fighting the Wimp Factor", which was an embarrassing moment for Bush.
- When tricking Bush into stepping outside and getting a rainbow clown wig superglued to his head, Homer and Bart lured him out by claiming that his sons "Jeb and George Jr" had come for a visit. George and Jeb are Bush's political sons. The former beat Ann Richards to become Governor of Texas in 1994; at the same time, the latter lost a race for the Florida governorship. According to the director's commentary, at the time they made the episode, the writers were unaware that Bush had a second son named after him.
- Bush's remark about how Homer and Bart "doesn't know George Bush" when he spotted them attempting to sneak into his house via the sewers and the subsequent fight with Homer in the sewer was a reference to the 1988 campaign, in which Bush, at the behest of his then-adviser Lee Atwater (who would later end up fired after the latter started a rumor smear campaign that insinuated that the (at the time) House Speaker, Tom Foley, was a homosexual), had notoriously turned into the dirtiest presidential campaign of the 20th century.
- During Homer and Bush's fight inside the sewers, Barbara when talking with Marge stated that Bush and Homer will probably make up and become friends and cited the "Noriega thing." This was a reference to Manuel Noriega, the de facto leader of Panama before he was deposed by the Bush Administration during the Invasion of Panama, sent in to capture him for trial in the U.S., as well as him being both an ally and enemy of the United States.
- Bush when attempting to use a wire inside his watch to garrote Homer (before being distracted by Bart's release of locusts) briefly says "Here's a little something we learned in CIA." This was a reference to how Bush acted as the director of the CIA under Gerald Ford in 1976 and 1977.
- Mikhail Gorbachev paid a visit to Bush's house (just in time to watch the conclusion of Bush's fight with Homer), as well as Bush not wanting to look weak in front of the Russians when protesting to Barbara about apologizing to Homer. Mikhail Gorbachev was the final leader of the Soviet Union before it went into bankruptcy on December 21, 1991, which all occurred during Bush's presidency.
- When throttling Homer, Bush briefly threatened to "Ruin [Homer] like a Japanese banquet!" This referred to an incident in January 1992, where Bush vomited on then-Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa during a state banquet in Tokyo, the cause of which was either due to a virus or being on the onset of a Halcion withdrawal.
- After Bush is forced by Barbara to swallow his pride and apologize to Homer for mistreating Bart, Homer, while gloating, proceeded to demand for Bush to "apologize for the tax hike." This was a reference to how Bush pledged during a stump speech "Read my lips: No new taxes!" during the 1988 campaign, but then agreed to a tax hike on the wealthiest taxpayers in 1990 as part of a compromise with Democrats.
- When Bart accidentally shredded Bush's memoirs, the few bits of paper seen had a mention of J. Danforth Quayle, along with the term "embarrassment" among the only legible words on the shredded bits. This was a reference to the former junior senator from Indiana as well as Bush's Vice President who was mocked for being perceived as an airhead.
In one moment during his presidency, Bush made a speech about family values and how the American family ought to be "more like the Waltons and less like the Simpsons." In response, before the first rerun of "Stark Raving Dad", the show made a clip of the Simpsons watching Bush's speech on television. Bart responded saying, "Hey, we're like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the depression, too."
On November 30, 2018, George H. W. Bush died at his home in Houston, Texas at the age of 94.
- Episode – "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington"
- Episode – "Mr. Plow" (Homer's Imagination)
- Episode – "Rosebud"
- Episode – "The Last Temptation of Homer" (mentioned)
- Episode – "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood" (in the Panamanian Strongman arcade game)
- Episode – "Homer the Great"
- Episode – "Two Bad Neighbors"
- Episode – "The Cartridge Family" (mentioned)
- Episode – "Realty Bites"
- Episode – "The Trouble with Trillions" (mentioned)
- Episode – "Large Marge"
- Episode – "Regarding Margie" (photograph)
- Episode – "Homerland"
- Episode – "Mathlete's Feat" (couch gag; mentioned)
- Couch gag – "Rick and Morty Couch Gag"[src]
- Video game – The Simpsons: Tapped Out