Gonzo and Milhouse and Me

Clare Coursey
2 min readDec 18, 2020


There are two characters who are widely beloved despite them being secondary characters in their respective universes. I find myself drawn to these buffoons and I want to uncover why and what exactly about their existence intrigues me.

You’ve heard of comic relief, but how about tragic relief? In comedies as successful as The Muppets and The Simpsons ther writers are able to approach the punchline takeoff from multiple angles.

A wise colleague once told me in order to give a performance that will stand out one must find the comedy in tragedy and/or the tragedy in comedy.

That’s probably only one of the many reasons why Gonzo and Milhouse are often seen as the number one fan favorite in their respective franchises. Recently I have been identifying with these two characters more and more as the pandemic stretches out into what feels like oblivion.

Like most people adhering to state regulated pandemic guidelines, I haven’t been around some of my favorite people in a long time. I’ve been trying to use social media to help keep in contact with my friends, but I’ve found that it has only made me feel more alone.

Both Gonzo and Milhouse struggle to find validation from within themselves. There are moments where it seems that their only source of motivation is validation from peers. As a matter of fact, these moments tend to happen often.

It’s really hard to feel like you belong when your downfalls are seen as free entertainment for your peers. I know that from personal experience so I can relate to Gonzo and Milhouse feeling as though everyone wants to watch them fail. They both have their triumphs, even if there aren’t many. At the end of the day this is what makes audiences want to root for them. Through all the pining and dreaming and failing we like to believe that one day they will prove to us that it is worth the try even if success is unlikely. Because the very glimmer of hope drives us more than any failure possibly could.