Charles Montgomery Burns is one of the funniest characters on The Simpsons. This malevolent man serves as overseer of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and is Homer Simpson's cruel boss. Despite Burns being one of the closest things to a villain that the show has, he is constantly hilarious for his over-the-top characterizations. He is impossibly old, obscenely wealthy and completely evil, all of which make for some big laughs.
Whether he is the focus of the episode or just one of the many supporting characters, Burns always delivers laugh-out-loud moments. Let's look back on some of the best lines in The Simpsons with Mr. Burns' funniest quotes.
10 "Smithers, who is that man?"
Despite Homer having played a big part in so many significant moments in Mr. Burns' life, there is an ongoing joke that Burns has no idea who Homer is. Almost every time Burns comes across Homer, he has to ask his loyal assistant Smithers who he is.
The joke never gets old as Smithers gives a usually demeaning explanation of Homer's purpose, like "He's one of your organ banks from Sector 7-G," to which Burns always replies, "Simpson, eh?" as if hearing the name for the first time.
9 "Mattingly! I thought I told you to trim those sideburns!"
In the classic episode "Homer at the Bat," the Springfield Power Plant's baseball team is having a winning season thanks to Homer. In order to ensure the team wins, Burns brings in some heavy hitters from the Major Leagues, including Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Wade Boggs.
The team's superstars are slowly taken out of commission for increasingly ridiculous reasons, but nothing beats Mattingly's exile from the team. After being repeatedly told by Burns to trim his sideburns (despite having no sideburns), Mattingly shows up with the sides of his head completely shaved. Unfortunately, that still doesn't solve Burns' anger over the imaginary sideburns.
8 "Have the Rolling Stones killed."
It's always fun to see which celebrities The Simpsons can manage to get to join the show in a cameo. There have been some absolute legends on the show over the years and one of the coolest was the brief appearance by the Ramones.
The influential punk band appear as hired performers at Mr. Burns' birthday party. However, after their vulgar rendition of "Happy Birthday" doesn't sit well with Burns, he orders the band to be killed. Unfortunately, Burns isn't all too familiar with modern music and he picks the wrong band.
7 "I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?"
It's hard to say just how old Burns is. The show has a lot of fun with this mystery, and the humor that comes with a man who may very well be the oldest person on the planet. Aside from being incredibly weak and decrepit, Burns is hilariously out of touch.
The references he makes are probably a century old, especially when it comes to technology. He is oblivious to the extreme advances that have been made in the world and is completely baffled when no-one else understands what he's talking about. Although, flying an autogyro would be fun.
6 "Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."
Two qualities of Burns that make for great comedy is his immense wealth and his evil nature. These qualities often mix together, displaying Burns as the prototypical megalomaniac business tycoon who is even more proud of his ruthlessness than his riches.
Though we've sometimes seen the softer side of Burns, he is most entertaining when he fully embraces his evil ways. He sees the rest of the world as pathetic for relying on things like love and relationships, when he believes those are just distractions.
5 "I ought to club them and eat their bones."
The more ridiculous Burns gets with his villainous ways, the more funny it becomes. He seems more monster than human at certain times and yet he fails to acknowledge that he's the one at fault. You can't release the hounds on everyone who visits you without developing a bit of a reputation, though.
When Smithers informs Burns that the common people of Springfield see Burns as some sort of ogre, he doesn't respond by contemplating what's led him to this point. He simply threatens them in the manner of an ogre. Of course, the irony is lost on Burns, who would see this as a totally rational response.
4 "What was I laughing at?"
This reputation as a cruel and heartless man is just something that's come naturally to Burns over the years. In fact, by all accounts, he was born to be ruthless. He not only doesn't care about the suffering of others, he's entertained by it.
When Burns is reminiscing about a happy childhood memory, we see him gleefully laughing as young Burns runs over a poor worker's legs with his bumper car. As Burns remembers the moment, it makes him laugh for literally days, to the point he forgets why he was laughing in the first place.
3 "Hello, my name is Mister Snrub and I come from, uh, some place far away. Yes, that should do."
Burns has such a low opinion of his fellow man that he hardly even tries to cover up the ways he lies and deceives them. When the town is trying to decide what to do with the massive fine Burns was forced to pay Springfield, a mysterious man named Mister Snrub (who looks vaguely familiar) recommends giving the money to the local Nuclear Power Plant.
From the disguise, to the name, to the backstory, Burns' deception is totally half-baked, but he still expects it to work. It's as if he's making the lie up in real time and just assumes the local morons won't question him.
2 "It was the best of times, it was the *blurst* of times!? You stupid monkey!"
With Burns' vast wealth, he can really have anything he wants. Although he is an old man, he does come up with some pretty interesting ways to spend that money. Of course, his more brilliant idea is taking the literal approach to the old saying that a thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters can produce the greatest novel ever written.
It's hard to say what's so funny about this moment. It could be the audacity of Burns making this a reality. It's probably Burns' annoyance at a single typo. He's a perfectionist.
1 "Are you saying 'Boo' or 'Boo-urns'?"
You would think that someone who has treated people so badly for so long wouldn't be surprised by the fact that he's not well liked. However, Burns seems to have isolated himself enough from the real world to trick himself into thinking his riches make him popular.
When Springfield hosts its own film festival, Burns decides to make his own movie starring himself. The result is a self-indulgent mess that the crowd quickly turns on. Shocked by the booing, Smithers tries to convince Burns that they're cheering his name, albeit in an odd way. To be fair, Hans Moleman was saying "Boo-urns."