Among the better Super Bowl commercials was one that showed "Simpsons" tycoon C. Montgomery Burns discovering the simple pleasures of Coca-Cola. The commercial included many of the lesser-known residents of Springfield, so I'm posting a list of my favorites today. Look closely, and you'll see most of them in this commercial.
1. Waylon Smithers. Mr. Burns' personal assistant, possibly the nicest man in Springfield. He collects Malibu Stacy paraphernalia, and cherishes a long, unrequited passion for Mr. Burns.
2. Disco Stu. Over the years, we've learned that he doesn't even like disco anymore; that he used to be married to Marge's sister, Selma Bouvier; and that he made an early change from a career as a sea captain, where he was known as "Nautical Stu." As with the best "Simpsons" characters, something about Stu is just a little tragic.
3. Moleman. Thanks to my brother Ed for this video, just in time to remind everyone to be charitable on Valentine's Day:
4. Dr. Nick Riviera. Dr. Nick was my mother's favorite minor "Simpsons" character. She spent the last seven years of her life in constant contact with the medical system, and Dr. Nick helped her laugh about it. Did you know that "Dr. Nick" was the nickname of Elvis Presley's last doctor, the man who prescribed him all those drugs? Dr. Nick provides cut-rate medical services, justified by his degree from the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College. If I ever decide to have some plastic surgery, he'll be my first stop.
5. Sideshow Bob. It's hard to limit this list to five; I had to choose Bob over Edna Krabappel, Ralph Wiggum, Fat Tony and Spike, all of whom would make a list of ten. But seriously, everyone needs a role model. Sideshow Bob is Bart's archnemesis, usually defeated by nothing more than his own vanity. Plus, Sideshow Bob is the driving force behind my all-time favorite "Simpsons" episode, "Cape Feare." His best moment in that episode is his claim that the tattoo on his belly that says "Die Bart Die" is really just German for "The Bart The."