Troy McClure

troy_cowIn the 1990s washed-up “B” movie actor Troy McClure featured on The Simpsons.  Voiced by Phil Hartman the character quickly became one of the most popular secondary characters on the show.

Based on Troy Donahue and Doug McClure combined with physical characteristics of Phil Hartman the often desperate Troy McClure would accept any acting job to keep his career alive.  A typical introduction would include a list of his screen credits.

“Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such classics as Invasion of the Giant Lobsters or Mice-Men From Mars.”

Doug McClure expressed his liking for the character.  Troy McClure’s often mocking persona served as a reminder of the fickle and artificial nature of celebrity.  The creators retired the character in 1998 following the tragic murder of Phil Hartman at the hands of his wife.

Author: PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

6 thoughts on “Troy McClure”

  1. In a recent article on The Virginian in a Irish newspaper, it said “According to Simpson’s writer Mike Weiss, Doug McClure’s daughter told him her father was delighted with the affectionate tribute” Affectionate??? If being portrayed as an obnoxious, egotistical, vain, conceited, no-talent actor (Who, if you havn’t geussed by now, isn’t a very nice person) is considered affectionate……?????
    As I’ve said before elsewhere, Doug was VERY good at playing actors like that, Troy is inspired by Doug’s last series character, Kyle X. Applegate, an actor who was…..all of those things I’ve mentioned above, and even said something similar about “You may seen me in….. and then gives a movie title that is enough to tell its one of the worst movies ever made.

    In The Fall Guy, he twice played Anthony Marcus, again a similar character, always preening himself, thinking he’s God’s gift to women, and claiming to Colt Seavers that “I could have done that stunt with one hand tied behind my back” (Which was actually true of Doug, who DID do a lot of his own stunts).

    His Gary Patterson in Murder, She Wrote is more insecure, worrying about his co-star getting more lines than him inn his role of Dr Steve Valiant in Danger Doctor!

    Russell Sinclair in Scarecrow and Mrs King is one of Doug’s best episodic tv roles, the story of a maimed actor killing secret agents because he can’t play his character of Buzz Blade, Secret Spy anymore is a little far-fetched, but Doug managed to make you (and Lee Stetson and Amanda King) feel sorry for him, especially with the emotion he puts into the line “They come to laugh……… throw beer cans at the screen”, refering to the rerelease of the Buzz Blade movie that he thought might give him another chance.

    Doug could play these interestingly differents takes on a similar character precisely because he wasn’t in any way like Troy, Kyle and co, and could play it to the hilt, instead of toning it down , as an actor who detected something of himself in the role might do. Doug also worked with actors who had some of those traits, talent, yes, but also big egos, James Drury early on and William Shatner, for instance.

    We both have commented on Troy McClure, Paul, and I think we both have mixed feelings about him. I think you have said it is an insult to Doug to lump him with Troy Donahue, a somewhat inferior actor. I agree. The one good thing about Troy is that someone looking up the origins of the character will be led to the fine actor and person who inspired him.

  2. I agree Nicholas. I was also surprised when I learned Doug was pleased with this character. To be honest Troy McClure annoys me because Doug McClure was far superior to this parody. Doug did taint his reputation in later years with junk such as “Humanoids of the Deep.” Sadly these later films have overshadowed his earlier work for many younger “fans.” Maybe Doug was just happy to be deemed worthy of inclusion as a character on “The Simpsons.”
    With the greatest respect Troy Donahue was no Doug McClure. Pity they didn’t name the character Doug Donahue.

  3. It just struck me, Paul, looking the image of Troy at the top of this thread, how MUCH more he looks like Doug because of the familar blue shirt and brown/beige waistcoat. The artist who drew it got the colors of Trampas’outfit better than a dreadful colorised postcard I have (Which is on TVAG and I have scanned to post to the Irish forum) in which Trampas’s shirt is a sickly green and his waistcoat blue! Steve’s shirt is pink, but they got the V’s outfit right except for blue trousers!

  4. Yes I’ve seen those colorized photos Nicholas. Many are from the Spanish trading card series. They just took a guess! Awful color sense.
    I was surprised to find this Simpsons art as I’ve never seen Troy McClure in this Trampas style outfit in an actual Simpsons episode.

  5. Something I find annoying and tedious are posters to Youtube, who, when commenting a video of Doug’s, start of with “HI, I’m Troy/Doug McClure, You may remember me from……..” as if they are the first person to think of doing this! Can they not come up with something more original to say and something more useful that adds to our knowledge of Doug? That’s what I try to do when I post a comment.

  6. Better than saying “Who’s Doug McClure?” He is very popular. When nobody talks about you that’s the time to worry. Those campy sci-fi films have a following – like it or not. I prefer to remember Doug from the 1960s and early 1970s. Some of his later work is best forgotten. But there are fans who actually prefer his later work for the monsters and scantily clad females. And last time I heard a certain Caroline Munro is one of your favorites Nic. 🙂

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