puff piece

Kent Brockman

Kent Brockman is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is a local TV news "personality" for the fictional KBBL-TV (Channel 6).

Profile

Kent Brockman hosts the Channel 6 weekday news, Springfield News (Scott Christian is the weekend news anchor and Kent's fill-in) as well as Smartline, a local current affairs show and Eye on Springfield (A parody of Eye on LA) which focuses mostly on Springfield's entertainment news.

Brockman represents the worst of his profession; frequently judgmental, careerist to the point of absurdity, and more than willing to film and sensationalize a schmaltzy, emotion driven puff piece for the sake of a few extra ratings points. (As with most Simpsons characters, Brockman's ethics and competence vary according to the needs of the episode.) He has been seen throwing tantrums because he cannot find certain snack foods, and once blithely announced that the boom operator on his news program was being fired the next morning (for which he took a clout on the head from the angry soon-to-be-ex-employee). He seems to command excessive levels of power within Channel 6, even having a segment of the news programme to air his own (usually highly reactionary) opinions on current issues called My Two Cents. Despite all of this, he has won a string of media awards, but is most proud of his unspecified trophy from Del Monte. He was also a war correspondent during the Vietnam War, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, and the Gulf War (although, as he just says "Iraq", he could have been referring to the Iran–Iraq War). He also frequently uses botox, having a saggy face without it.

Brockman has a daughter, and has jealously mentioned his sister, who is a White House correspondent for CNN. Brockman owns a collie named Jessica, whom he had "fixed", and drives a blue Mercedes-Benz S420.

In "Dog of Death", Brockman won the multi-million-dollar ($130 million) state lottery jackpot and left the news desk while still on the air. But, he remained a news anchor because he was under contract, though he also admitted that he likes making $500,000-a-year. He also has an ongoing feud with traffic reporter Arnie Pie, and has been shown to criticize Pie's reporting and also even chuckle when it was thought Pie had died in a helicopter accident. He mentioned to Pie that he made some smart investments when Arnie complained about the size of Brockman's house.

He is also characterized by using news-speak in everyday language, for example, "This just in, go to hell!" In "Tennis the Menace", it was revealed that his "wit" is provided by a microphone, earpiece and a communications team in a nearby van. He has been seen, more than once, stretching his face and removing wrinkles by clipping a clothes-pin to the back of his head. In addition to his news career, Brockman writes a column for PC Magazine called "Making the Most of Your Modem". In "Homerazzi" Brockman is revealed to have a "thing" for bondage.

Brockman's most famous phrase, repeated in various guises on internet message boards and within popular culture is "And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords". Another notable quote is "I've said it before and I'll say it again, democracy simply doesn't work".

Religion

In a flashback to the 1960s in the episode "Mother Simpson", Brockman was known as Kenny Brockelstein early in his career and he can be seen wearing the Hebrew Chai symbol as a gold medallion around his neck in the episode "Dog of Death" suggesting Jewish ancestry. Interestingly, however, he also references the Book of Revelation in the episode "Marge on the Lam" during an editorial in which he states women rebelling might lead to "anarchy of Biblical proportions" (he is promptly cut off by the station and replaced with a "Technical Difficulties" card depicting Brockman in a straitjacket). Revelation is in the New Testament, suggesting Brockman no longer observes Judaism. Additionally he appears as a member of the congregation in the church scene in the first few minutes of The Simpsons Movie.

Language

Brockman has been shown to have no problem with using bad or otherwise offensive language on air, and a few times he has been fired for doing so. In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", Brockman was fired for muttering, "That oughta hold those SOBs," after reporting on Gabbo using foul language while the cameras were on. In the newspaper headline following that scene, it read that Kent Brockman was fired, though he still remained a newscaster the next time he was shown. Conversely, on "Bart's Inner Child", Kent Brockman reports that because of Brad Goodman exploiting Bart's irreverent personality, people in Springfield are becoming more open with themselves, then says, "...and this reporter thinks it's about fucking time!" (the profanity was bleeped) and isn't fired for his remark.

Brockman's penchant for using offensive language works against him in the 400th episode, "You Kent Always Say What You Want", where, after Homer accidentally spills coffee on Brockman's crotch, he shouts, what Ned Flanders calls, a "super swear" that shocked everyone who watched it. Brockman was demoted to weather man due to the station paying a fine to the FCC, but was fired when the network executives deliberately mistook a ring of Splenda in Brockman's coffee for cocaine. Brockman was later given his job back to silence him (after doing an expose that was seen on YouTube uncovering the real reason the FCC is cracking down on obscenity in the media), with a 50% raise, making his new salary $750,000-a-year.

Creation

Kent Brockman is based on the late L.A. newsmen Hal Fishman and Jerry Dunphy: his appearance draws from Dunphy's and his voice (provided by Harry Shearer) resembles Fishman's. Dunphy was proud that Brockman was based on him and would tell people that he is Kent Brockman.

See also

References

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