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The Nutty Professor (1963)

    Julius Kelp/Buddy Love 

Prof. Julius Kelp

Played by: Jerry Lewis
A kindly and brilliant, but physically weak and highly accident-prone college professor. His attempts to create a formula to improve his physique end up improving just about everything else about him, creating his alter-ego Buddy Love.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Rarely thinks through the consequences of his actions before he does things, usually with disastrous results.
  • Butt-Monkey: While a lot of the anger he gets from the other characters is understandable given his accident-prone nature, he also gets treated very badly by others even when he isn't causing accidents, with his humiliation at the hands of a football player being what causes him to create his formula.
  • Establishing Character Moment: No sooner have the opening credits ended than a demonstration to his class ends up causing a massive explosion felt halfway across the campus.
  • The Klutz: As you'd expect from any character played by Lewis. Not only is he physically very clumsy, but he has a nasty habit of creating massive explosions whenever his experiments go wrong.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Like a lot of Lewis's other characters, he somehow manages to hold onto his job despite the massive disasters he causes, including one in his first week where he caused an explosion that injured a colleague so badly they were in bandages for two years.
  • Wall of Blather: While he actually has some Motor Mouth habits even before becoming Buddy, they mostly come out in the form of him going on long, rambling speeches about trivial matters.

Buddy Love

Played by: Jerry Lewis
Julius's alter-ego, who emerges whenever he takes his formula. He's physically near-identical to Julius (apart from having nicer teeth), and charismatic, but also very arrogant.
  • Jerkass: While he might not cross the line into being outright villainous, he's certainly not a nice person, putting down and even picking fights with people who annoy him.
  • Take That!: His charismatic and initially likeable personality, which ends up giving way to arrogance, is thought to be a stab at Lewis's former comedic partner, Dean Martin, who he was decidedly not on good terms with at this point.
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    Other Characters 

Stella Purdy

Played by: Stella Stevens
One of Julius's more talented (and good-looking) students. Though their teacher-student relationship would normally make it inappropriate for the two to get involved, Julius's turning himself into Buddy eliminates that little obstacle.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite getting into a relationship with Julius at the end, it's also revealed that she's kept two bottles of his formula, presumably so as to transform him into Buddy if ever she feels like it.
  • Punny Name: "Purdy" sounds a lot like "Pretty", which Julius certainly considers her to be.

Dr. Warfield

Played by: Del Moore
The head of the science faculty at Julius's college. He puts up with Julius for his skill as a scientist... but only just.
  • Dean Bitterman: Technically he's only the faculty head rather than the dean of the college, but he otherwise fits this trope, frequently berating Julius for his incompetence and also snapping at his secretary at the slightest provocation.

The Nutty Professor (1996) and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

     The Klump Family 

Prof. Sherman Klump

Played by: Eddie Murphy
The protagonist of the films. He's very intelligent and very kind, but he's not comfortable with his looks. He invents a potion to make himself thin turning him into a thin man called Buddy Love. However, the potion doesn't last long and Sherman creates more. When Sherman becomes Buddy, he appearance doesn't just change, his personality does too.
  • Acrofatic: During his exercising montage, he gains a realistic degree of agility.
  • Big Eater
  • Catchphrase: "Oh my goodness."
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He has a history of being this.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Joe College", courtesy of his brother, Ernie Klump.
  • George Jetson Job Security: Sherman seems to be fired in each movie before being hired again later.
  • Mama's Boy
  • Nice Guy
  • Southern-Fried Genius: A professor who develops serums which transform fat people into thin people, turn split personalities into physical beings, and reverse aging. He can even do complex arithmetic in his head.
  • Straight Man: Debatably and most surely. Even though he's just as fat and kind of rugged looking as the rest of them, unlike how his enemy, Buddy Love looks, Sherman is the only one of all the Klumps who behaves most decent and most respectfully and is always good intentioned in all of his blunders.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Played for Drama: By removing Love from his DNA triggered a deterioration of his brain. He can't teach his class, articulate his words, and is a bit of a bumbler. Towards the end of the movie, he loses his memory, and breaks up with Denise, not wanting to burden Denise by being dumb. He his able to recover his brilliance by reabsorbing Buddy.
  • Virgin in a White Dress: Gender Inverted: Grandma Klump mentions that because "Sherman's never had relations", he can wear a white tuxedo.

Cletus "Papa" Klump

Played by: Eddie Murphy
"If I want to put a trumpet in my ass and run around this restaurant and blow, then "Hallelujah! Yankee Doodle!" that's my business!"
The father of the family. Says whatever he wants and does what ever he wants, that includes farting at the dinner table when there's guests. Constantly argues with Grandma.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Cletus doesn't hold back his obnoxious personality even when company is over. It doesn't help that he is under the impression that Sherman is getting married to Carla when he brings her over for dinner.
  • Appeal to Nature: He's angered by how everyone is trying to lose weight, because everyone is supposed to be different sizes.
  • Berserk Button: Mentioning his performance issues in the bedroom.
  • Big Eater: All of the Klump family are this, but he appears to be the biggest of them all, as indicated by his having the largest meal in his "retirement" dinner.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
  • Gasshole: A mild example; he's more acerbic than outright assholish, but he more than fits the gassy part of the trope. He openly demonstrates his gasshole tendencies on both family dinner scenes in the first movie, resorting to deliberately breaking wind and utterly destroying any tracks of conversation that preceded it. Much to Ernie Junior's vast amusement.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Somewhat in the first film; a lot more pronounced in the second film, thanks to the combination of his getting laid off from his job, and his impotence.
  • Jerkass: Mostly aimed towards his mother-in-law, though he tends to argue with his wife about minor things, and loudly proclaims his right to break wind at the table.
    • Jerkass Has a Point: Cletus tells Sherman that he's not going to be happy until he accepts who he is and how fat he is.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Clearly cares a lot about his family, no matter how much he may mouth off at them.
  • Large Ham
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: A subplot of the second film involves his anxiety about aging and its effect on his bedroom life.
  • Manchild: Cletus dresses like a gigantic toddler at home, and farts to troll his wife.
  • Papa Wolf: When Jason reveals that Buddy Love is trying to kill Sherman, he reveals that he brought a knife.
  • Potty Failure: When he craps his pants by accident after trying to fart in the first family dinner scene.
  • Troll: Cletus is definitely one of these, whether it be insulting Grandma Klump or farting at the dinner table.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Sherman unwittingly sets him off on one after he mentions that he's trying to avoid the calories in the fat and skin of the chicken dinner they've prepared.
  • Meaningful Name: "Klump" is German for a clumsy, rude, and fat person. Cletus certainly fits the bill.

Anna Pearl "Mama" Klump

Played by: Eddie Murphy
"Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!"

The mother of the family who gets over excited.


  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: She doesn't help matters when arguing with Cletus about where they Sherman and Carla will get married.
  • Berserk Button: Cletus saying bad things about her mother and farting loudly during dinner.
  • Catchphrase: "Fabulous!", "Sherman! Sherman! Sherman!" and "Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!" usually with her clapping.
  • Large Ham
  • Mama Bear: When Jason reveals that Buddy Love is trying to kill Sherman, she reveals that she brought her razor.

Ernie Klump Sr.

Played by: Eddie Murphy
"Happy day, happy day, happy day, my ass."

Sherman's brother, and the father of Ernie Jr.; unlike Sherman, he's proudly blue-collar and constantly jibes at his brother's college background, until the end of the second film.

  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Ernie Klump reveals that he "can relate" to when Grandma "relates" to herself.
  • The Generic Guy: He's the Klump family member who we know the least about, other than that he seemingly takes more after his father, whereas Sherman takes more after their mother. An off-hand comment to Grandma (and Ernie Jr.'s mother not being seen or mentioned in either film) also indicates that he's divorced.
  • Jerkass
    • Jerkass Has a Point: Ernie mentions that Sherman can eat more heartily if he exercises, which Sherman takes to heart.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At the end of the second film he sings at Sherman's wedding. He breaks down and says "I love you, Joe College!"
  • Large Ham

Grandma Klump

Played by: Eddie Murphy
"Keep insultin' me." [picks up a knife] "I'll toss this between the crack of your ass."

Anna's mother, and a very horny Grandma who is always at war with Cletus.


  • Cool Old Lady: The way she pulls a dinner knife and prepares to throw it at Cletus, you'd better believe it.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: "Sometimes, when I'm alone, I relate to myself."
  • Dirty Old Woman: While she talks about sex a lot in front of Carla in the first film, it's taken Up to Eleven in the second when she orders a stripper for Denise's batchelorette party, and then forces herself on Buddy when she mistakes him for said stripper.
  • False Rape Accusation: After Grandma strips off her clothes, she threatens to scream if Buddy doesn't give her a kiss.
  • Fan Disservice: That garage scene with Buddy.
  • Jerkass: She could be considered one because of how she not only talks the most cross of all the Klumps, but also because she is the least classy and is most crude and vulgar of them all. Even with the way she always insults Cletus and making them verbally always at each other's throats trading back and forth personal insults which always bothers Anna (Sherman's mother.) Not to mention how vulgar she is by going as far as the stunt she pulls on Buddy Love thinking that he is a male stripper which actually is bad enough to gross out a vulgarly perverted man like him to the point of making him vomit. These along with all the examples with her show you that she has the least moral conduct of all the Klumps.
  • Large Ham
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: Gender Inverted.
  • Troll: Loves needling Cletus about his performance issues.

Ernie Klump Jr.

Played by: Jamal Mixon
Ernie's son and Sherman's nephew
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Mama Klump calls him "The Baby".
  • The Hyena: While he's normally quiet, he'll be left in stitches when Cletus farts or when Grandma begins talking about having relations.
  • Junior Counterpart: To Ernie Klump.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The only Klump family member not to be played by Eddie Murphy, instead being played by then-child actor Jamal Mixon.
  • The Silent Bob: He has no dialogue in the first film, apart from laughing at his grandfather's flatulence. His only lines in the second film are "Hey, how come Uncle Sherman is talking funny?" and "Now, that's cool. That's real cool." In an extended version of the restaurant scene, he says "How are you doing, Mr Issac?"

     Supporting Characters 

Buddy Love

Played by: Eddie Murphy
Sherman's alter ego. He seems to be the answer to all of Sherman's problems until he takes over Sherman's life. In the second film he's separated from Sherman's body in an experiment, and gains his own body after a mishap involving a dog.
  • The Ace: He's got all of Sherman's intellect, and none of the qualities that hold Sherman back. Though in the second film, his occasionally acting like a dog occasionally proves troublesome, and ultimately leads to his downfall.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original Buddy was pretty obnoxious and conceited but doesn't do anything villainous. In this film, Buddy starts out this way, but starts to become truly evil as the film progresses, eventually attempting to make the transformation stable and permanent which would cause Sherman's identity to be entirely consumed and replaced by that of Buddy (as opposed to Sherman's being killed outright).
  • Evil Laugh: Has a very loud one that he lets out whenever one of his plans comes to fruition.
  • The Hyena: Initially he acts like this deliberately so as to annoy Reggie Warrington, but soon starts doing it unironically, mostly whenever he gets one up on someone.
  • Jerkass: Initially he's not so much this as brash and confident. As time goes on, however, he starts becoming more outright evil, to the point of eventually plotting to permanently change himself into Buddy.
  • Large Ham: Just watch the scene where he throws a tantrum at Carla when he arrives to the club an hour late.
  • No Indoor Voice: He speaks with a loud voice.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: Like his 1960s counterpart, he's a lot more confident and outgoing. However, he also has the benefit of shedding over half of Sherman's body mass.
  • Troll: Being Sherman's hedonistic id, it's not surprising that he takes pleasure in getting on peoples' nerves.
  • Villain Protagonist: At first, until it becomes clear that he's a completely separate persona and plans to take over Sherman's life.

Carla Purty

Played by: Jada Pinkett-Smith
Sherman's girlfriend in the first film
  • Meaningful Name: Purty sounds a lot like "Pretty", which fits given how attractive she is.
  • Punny Name: A little more on-the-nose than her 1960s counterpart, with her name being even closer to "Pretty".
  • Put on a Bus: The second film indicates that she and Sherman decided that they were Better as Friends, and that she returned to Chicago.
  • She's Got Legs: How the audience — and Sherman — is introduced to her, as we see from Sherman's POV as he looks up from the floor (where he was picking up a sweet wrapper) and looks up her legs to the rest of her body.

Denise Gaines

Played by: Janet Jackson
"You reach over here again, you're gonna pull back a nub."

Sherman's girlfriend, and later fiancée and then wife, in the second film.


  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: By the end of the second film, she gets married to Sherman, who weighs probably more than twice as much as she does.
  • Male Gaze: Sherman stares at her cleavage at the beginning and he gets what appears to be an erection (which turns out to be Buddy erupting from his crotch).
    Reverend: If anyone knows why these two should not be married, let them speak now. Or forever hold his penis."
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Aside from one or two minor differences in her character and backstory — she's implied to have been a former childhood friend of Sherman's, and is a fellow professor instead of a grad student — she's essentially the same character, note-for-note as Carla.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Gets along just fine with the obnoxious overweight Klump family.

Dean Richmond

Played by: Larry Miller
The greedy Dean at Welman College who hates Sherman and makes fun of his weight.
  • Berserk Button: Mentioning his unfortunate incident with Petey the hamster.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Cruelly inverted with a giant hamster.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mildly so in the first film, where this is limited to his unknowingly drinking coffee laced with hamster droppings and then getting a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Buddy near the end. Much more pronounced in the second film, courtesy of his encounter with Petey.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Shown in his first scene with Sherman, where
  • Dean Bitterman: Zig-zagged; while he does show a lot of the jerkish qualities associated with this trope, most of the time it's aimed specifically at Sherman, mostly because of how many rich donors his mishaps have driven away.
  • Jerkass: While he does acknowledge Sherman's ability as a scientist, he also doesn't hesitate to poke fun at his weight, or threaten to fire him.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite this, he did ally with Sherman Klump to stop Buddy Love from stealing the patent for the fountain of youth formula in the climax of The Klumps.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Harland Hartley actually calls him a "professional butt kisser."

Jason

Played by: John Ales
Sherman's assistant
  • Butt-Monkey: Holds this role in the first film, where he gets taken on a dangerously fast ride through Hollywood Boulevard by Buddy as he reverts to Sherman, then gets locked in a storage closet by Buddy, and then gets involved in a punch-up with him at the end. Less so in the second film, where Dean Richmond more holds this role.
  • Only Sane Man: Shares this role along with Carla in the first film, and Denise in the second. He's usually the person who points out the danger that Sherman's experiments are putting him in.
  • Undying Loyalty: Helps Sherman out of the various problems he brought upon himself.

Reggie Warrington

Played by: Dave Chappelle
"Enough! Silence! I can't take this shit no more. Now, you done talked about me enough, boy! I tried to be peaceful, but now it's time for Reggie to ""karatasize"" your ass!"

A comedian at the nightclub "The Scream" who makes fun of Sherman for being fat.


  • Berserk Button: He doesn't take kindly to being upstaged by Buddy Love.
  • The Bully: Crosses the line from being a caustic comedian into this when he goes from quickly poking at people's flaws to insulting and belittling Sherman non-stop.
  • Hypocrite: He loves making fun of people, but doesn't take kindly to people making fun of him.
  • Jerkass: One could have argued that his insults were just him being a typical comedian, but his behavior towards Sherman pushes him well into this trope.
  • Large Ham
  • Laser-Guided Karma: First Buddy roasts him terribly. Then when Reggie snaps, Buddy decks and throws him into a piano.
  • Meaningful Name: Named after Reginald Hudlin and his brother Warrington, who he allegedly had a falling out with after appearing in Boomerang.
  • Nice Hat: It covers what Buddy Love calls his "shitlocks".

Lance Perkins

Played by: Eddie Murphy
"I'm a pony! I'm a pony!"

A crazy TV workout guy who is based on Richard Simmons.

Issac

Played by: Gabriel Williams
Papa Klump: "Well, if it isn't the world's oldest living Negro! Hey, how's things going on the Underground Railroad, Isaac?"

Grandma's boyfriend in the second film.


Alternative Title(s): The Nutty Professor 1996

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