|Birth name||Armin Tamzarian|
|Other names||W. Seymour Skinner, Spanky, Principal Skinner|
Seymour Skinner (born Armen Tamzarian, 1953) is a fictional character on The Simpsons, voiced by Harry Shearer. He is of Armenian heritage.
Skinner is a stereotypical educational bureaucrat, the principal of Springfield Elementary School. He struggles to hold the crumbling school together and is constantly engaged in a battle against the school's inadequate resources, apathetic and bitter teachers, and largely rowdy and unenthusiastic students -- Bart Simpson being the standout example. He often tries to exploit Lisa Simpson's genius to make the school look good. Seymour Skinner's father, Sheldon Skinner, fought on Abe Simpson's WW II squad.
Seymour Skinner's personal history, like that of many Simpsons characters, is somewhat convoluted. It was long known that he was a Vietnam War veteran; having been a prisoner of war, he often goes into flashbacks of how the guards mistreated him. He lives alone with his domineering elderly mother (his father having died in a parade float accident in 1979, along with Arnie Gumble, Iggy Wiggum, Etch Westgrin, and Griff McDonald, all of the Flying Hellfish). However, in the episode "The Principal and the Pauper," it was revealed that Skinner is actually Armen Tamzarian (Armenian). Armen was a troublesome orphan until he joined the Army and was befriended by Sgt. Skinner, whom he came to idolize. Believing himself responsible for the real Skinner being killed, he returned to Springfield to tell Skinner's mother, but she mistook him for Seymour. At the end of the episode, Judge Snyder granted Tamzarian Skinner's "name, and his past, present, future, and mother," and decreed that no one will mention his true identity again under penalty of torture (this, after the Springfielders ran the real Seymour, voiced by Martin Sheen—who had been alive after all—out of town by way of railroad). This bears some resemblance to the tale of Martin Guerre. The Simpsons writers have occassionally mocked the subsequent inconsistencies themselves in later episodes, most notably when Lisa buys Snowball V but: "To save money on a new dish, I'll call you Snowball II." Skinner says: "Isn't that a cheat?" to which Lisa replies: "I guess it is, Principal Tamzarian." (see Reset button technique)