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I have seen multiple references to this character, mainly in cartoons.

What movie is this character originally from?

The character is a paranoid, sleep deprived old man with long hair and long nails who's constantly watching the surveillance camera.

I have seen a reference to him on The Simpsons, which looked like this:

enter image description here

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

This is usually artistic license in the depiction of someone with a severe phobia of germs. In the particular case where the individual in question is very rich, as with Mr. Burns in The Simpsons, it is almost certainly based on Howard Hughes rather than on any movie.

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In fact the plane model that Burns develops in this episode consolidates the Howard Hughes reference even further. – Napoleon Wilson Aug 11 '13 at 16:55
And even further than in "Springfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)" in "Midnight Rx". – James McLeod Aug 11 '13 at 18:05
@Tom - where I live, "license" is a always verb, and "licence" may be either a noun or a verb. – James McLeod Aug 12 '13 at 23:39
Never seen it spelled that way (neither as noun nor verb.) But if you believe the edit is erroneous, roll it back or re-edit it. – Tom Aug 13 '13 at 7:31
I'm bilingual - I can live with the American English spelling. – James McLeod Aug 13 '13 at 13:01

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