Bernard "Barney" Gumble is the Springfield town drunk, the most prominent of several alcoholic Springfielders and Homer Simpson's best friend. He is also friends with Carl, Lenny, Moe, Dr Hibbert, Apu and Rev. Lovejoy.
Barney was born on April 20, 1960, and is said to be 43 years old. His father, Arnie Gumble, died in a 1979 parade float accident along with Sheldon Skinner, Iggy Wiggum, Etch Westgrin, and Griff McDonald, all of whom had served in Abe Simpson's WWII squad, the Flying Hellfish.
As a teenager, Barney showed much potential. He was Harvard-bound until Homer introduced him to beer on the night before they had to take the SATs. He took to drinking after his high-school sweetheart Chloe Talbot left Springfield to become a successful TV reporter.
Later on, with Homer, he was a member of The Be Sharps barbershop quartet, in which his stellar Irish singing voice was discovered.
Barney is almost always seen in Moe's Tavern, where he is a regular. His desperation for alcohol has been the source of many jokes. He has a quavering, slightly broken voice and a distinctive loud belch, as well as a characteristic wandering eye. He remains friendly and good-natured despite his unfortunate condition. Heavyset, slovenly, and unmarried (though occasionally seen with women), he lives in a very untidy and sparsely-furnished apartment.