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Dr. Nick Riviera

Nick Riviera, M.D. is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria, and first appeared in the episode "Bart Gets Hit by a Car". Nick is a quack physician (although he claims to be "just as good as Dr. Hibbert"), and a satirical character representing doctors who studied at dubious medical schools.

Role in The Simpsons

Personality

Riviera is of Hispanic descent and has a medical degree from "Hollywood Upstairs Medical College" (where he apparently spent much of his time using his ability to acquire prescription drugs to impress a succession of attractive women). Thus far, none of the patients he has swindled, maimed, or given useless or dangerous medical advice seems to have sued him - although a few have come after him in person. For example, in "Homer's Triple Bypass" a large angry man grabs him, and Riviera says "Well if it isn't my old friend Mr. McGregg — with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg" - the man literally has an arm where a leg should be and a leg where an arm should be. Riviera is a stereotype of shady, immoral doctors who perform medical procedures for money with little or no regard for medical ethics, or their patients' well-being. In "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" he is seen digging up corpses in the graveyard for body parts, presumably to use in operations on patients. In the episode "Much Apu About Nothing", he is seen taking a citizenship test, implying that prior to this he was not a citizen of the United States. In Treehouse of Horror IX, he injects himself with anaesthetic before performing a hair transplant on Homer.

The degrees in his office read "Mayo Clinic Correspondence School", "Club Med School", "Female Body Inspector" and "I went to medical school for four years and all I got was this lousy diploma. He was part of the Sigma Chi fraternity house, according to the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass." He frequently appears on infomercials, pitching all sorts of bizarre medical offers, and has often turned his operations into TV spectacles. He is also shown as an inventor/huckster (in the style of Ron Popeil) on the television show I Can't Believe They Invented It! (Remember the "Juice Loosener?")

He has operated on the Simpson family a couple of times (when they cannot afford Doctor Hibbert) notably when Homer needed a heart bypass. Lisa Simpson attended the live audience for the operation and saved the day by guiding the obviously clueless Dr. Riviera through the operation. He also worked with Doctor Hibbert as an anesthesiologist during Bart's appendectomy but was of little help as he first failed to anesthetize Bart and subsequently passed out from the leaking gas..

Death and revival

In The Simpsons Movie, Dr. Nick is impaled by a large shard of glass that falls from the dome covering Springfield and says, in his normal voice, "Bye everybody!" before passing out. James L. Brooks and Al Jean have confirmed that Dr. Nick is dead, but will be brought back to life "à la [in a way similar to] Dr. Marvin Monroe".. He has recently returned alive and well without any explaination working as Dr. Hibbert's caddy in "Lost Verizon".

Character

The character design is based somewhat on Gábor Csupó, of Klasky Csupo studios, who was originally from Hungary – the animators mistakenly believed Hank Azaria was impersonating Gabor, when in fact the voice was actually a bad imitation of Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy.

Dr. Nick is notable for his exclamation upon entering a room of “Hi, everybody!”, which is immediately followed by a response of “Hi, Dr. Nick!” from the other characters present with varying degrees of enthusiasm. There have been several variations of this: an Austrian version of Dr. Riviera representing the doctor of the ailing Mozart, says "Guten Tag, everybody!; Dr. Nick responded "Hi, Mr. Gibson!" when Mel Gibson said "Hi, everybody!; a Jewish version of Dr. Nick in during Homer Simpson's flashback to the first Christmas said "Shalom, everybody!"; Dr. Nick greets a refrigerated Jasper Beardly with "Hi, frozen body!" when entering the Kwik-E-Mart; just before his death in The Simpsons Movie, he says "Bye, everybody!", but no one responds.

Comparing Dr. Nick and Dr. Hibbert

In a tongue-in-cheek analysis the Canadian Medical Association Journal compared the services of Dr. Hibbert and Dr. Nick. It concludes that Dr. Nick is a better role model for physicians; Dr. Hibbert is a paternalistic and wasteful physician, unlike Dr. Nick, who strives to cut costs and does his best to avoid the coroner, proving Marge's claim wrong that he isn't a doctor at all.

References

External links

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