Old Weird Harold Simmons
Gerald Edwards (classic series)
Aaron Frazier (film)
Old Weird Harold Simmons (mostly referred to as Weird Harold) is a member of the Junkyard Gang. In the Junkyard Band, he plays a harp he made from bed springs, but also occasionally plays a dressmaker dummy like an upright bass.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Weird Harold is far and away the tallest member of the Junkyard Gang. In Bill Cosby's stand-up routines, 'Old Weird Harold' got his nickname "because he was 6'9" and weighed fifty pounds"; Cosby also quipped that they "used him to get the football out of the sewer". In Cosby's routines he counts Weird Harold as his closest friend, but in the TV series Harold is closer friends with Fat Albert.
Harold wears a yellow dress blazer, a white button-down shirt, blue jeans, odd-colored socks (one yellow, one red) and white sneakers. Harold's eyes have snake-like pupils, mostly seen in close-up shots.
In the film, Weird Harold's appearance significantly changed; his white button down and yellow blazer remained the same, but his snake-like pupils were removed, he has an Afro as opposed to his regular hair, black and green plaid pants, and green and white sneakers.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Weird Harold is extremely clumsy. While he's one of the less-intelligent members of the Junkyard Gang, what he lacks in intellect he makes up for in heart and common sense, and tends to be more pragmatic and down to Earth. He tends to be more straightforward and gets right to the point when he speaks. He tends to be more of the straight man to the rest of the gang's silliness.
He was normally a background character, but in the season 8 episode "Video Mania" he briefly developed an addiction to video games, but quickly got that under control, and responsibly made efforts to atone for the trouble it caused. In the season 7 episode "Little Girl Found", he helped the police find Fat Albert and Greta, a teen runaway whom Fat Albert befriended, before they were attacked by a gang of thieves Greta had run afoul from.
In the film, he was depicted as Mushmouth's translator, and despite his clumsiness, he was actually pretty good at basketball.
Character Inspiration[edit | edit source]
Though Bill Cosby called Harold his childhood best friend, it remains unknown who was the inspiration for the character of Weird Harold.
Cosby first told about Weird Harold in the story "9th Street Bridge", from his Grammy-winning 1967 album Revenge. In the story, Cosby talks about how he and Harold would frequently go to a movie theater to see horror films, but they were too scared to watch the monsters when they came on screen, so they spent most of their time hiding on the floor ("We used to go home with a hundred black Jujyfruits all on our backs").
One night, during a horror movie festival, after Bill's mother fails to come and pick them up (she warned them she wouldn't), they are faced with the terrifying dilemma of having to walk home alone at night, which includes passing under the completely darkened 9th Street Bridge, which is the only way to get home. En route, Bill and Harold, clinging onto one another for dear life as they walk under the bridge, unknowingly encounter what they believe to be a monster, but turns out to be a wino.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In season 8, Harold has a girlfriend, Violet from the episode, "No Place Like Home."
- In the film, Weird Harold is depicted as a translator for Mushmouth. This was never present in the 1970s cartoon. It really wasn't that hard to make out what Mushmouth was saying, anyway.
- As seen in the ending of the live action movie, the man Weird Harold is based off of is shown with the rest of the gang paying their respects to the Albert Robinson's grave.
- His snake-like pupils are likely just a stylistic choice, as many characters in the cartoon have exaggerated physical features. Within the context of the show, they're never pointed out as being anything unusual.