Krusty the Clown's Entire Backstory Explained
Of all the hundreds of colorful supporting characters on The Simpsons, there's no one quite as memorable or bizarre as Krusty the Clown. He's a complicated man with an elaborate story, so here it is, boys and girls, the backstory of Krusty the Clown.
The 1991 Simpsons episode "Like Father, Like Clown" provides a lot of information about Krusty's early years and explains why he acts the way he does. In short, he has some major daddy issues.
After Bart, Krusty's biggest fan, helps clear him from a robbery charge, he comes to the Simpsons' house for dinner. When he delivers the blessing in Hebrew, some of the family seems confused. Well, at least, Homer does…
Lisa, ever observant, understands that Krusty is Jewish, and when she asks him questions about it, he breaks down in a fit of crying. The rest of the episode is a riff on The Jazz Singer, both the 1927 and 1980 films, which tells the story of a man who wants to be an entertainer and not a cantor in his synagogue.
But in The Simpsons' version, Krusty has a falling out with his father because he rejects his desire for him to study the Torah at yeshiva in favor of being a clown.
We also learn that Krusty is just a stage name for the man born Herschel Krustofsky in Springfield's Lower East Side. Krusty's father was Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, who felt that his son should live a serious life and that clowns were not respected members of society.
Before giving up on a quiet life as a Jewish scholar, Krusty attended yeshiva as a child. While he tried to make his father happy, he couldn't suppress his natural urges to clown around.
One night, while Krusty performed at a convention of rabbis, everything came crashing down. Young Herschel, with his identity concealed by makeup, did his act to the delight of the crowd, which included his father. Everything was fine until another rabbi took Krusty's seltzer bottle and sprayed the young performer, instantly revealing his true identity to Rabbi Krustofsky. Embarrassed and angry that Krusty was clowning against his wishes, he disowned his son right then and there.
Forced to leave home, Krusty began his career as a street mime in Tupelo, Mississippi. Eventually, he got his own show and built a personal empire. However, he always missed his dad.
After not speaking for 25 long years, Krusty and his estranged father finally put aside their differences and reunited for good.
Watch the full video to see Krusty the Clown's entire backstory explained.
A natural born clown | 0:14
Making up in makeup | 1:23
Mr. Vice Guy | 2:30
Krusty's bum ticker | 3:49
The master of merchandise | 4:25
Krusty knows best | 5:21
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