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Artie is very confident yet nerdy, self-centered and pretentious, believing himself to be the best at everything - he said that it "would damage the town" if Marge told people about his "busy hands", and once imagined a can-can chorus and audience made up entirely of himself. He is Jewish, and once commented that if people don't like him it's because they're Anti-Semitic. He holds a deep obsession over Marge, and has done since high school: His appearances mainly revolve around his plans to seduce her away from Homer, with the exception of his final encounter with the Simpson family.
 High School
Artie was a student at Springfield High School. He was a member of the school Debate Team (where Homer mooned him for rebuttal), and at the end of the year took Marge to the prom. He ruined a wonderful evening with his "busy hands" in the back of his car, his urges resulting in the shoulder strap of Marge's dress being torn, followed by a slap to the face and a swift end to their date. He drove Marge home.
Many years later, Artie was revealed to have become a software billionaire, becoming the fifth richest man in the country. His wealth came from a device that transformed modem noise into easy listening music. Despite his riches, Artie's life was not complete: He lived alone, and the collection of Marge-resembling art around his mansion showed that he never got over Marge's rejecting him on prom night.
Artie claimed that he would offer a small fortune for a weekend with his childhood love, Marge, in a parody of the movie Indecent Proposal. She accepted, as the money would come in handy, and he seemed harmless. He managed to trick Marge into kissing him at a full recreation of their high school prom (including most of the original guests), which Homer witnessed. She slapped Artie and left. After a fruitless search for Homer, who left believing that they were having an affair, she enlisted Artie's help, using his helicopter to find Homer and bring him home. When they found him, Artie finally admitted defeat to Homer, saying that winning Marge's love was something that he could never accomplish, even with his billions.
Some time later, the Simpsons discovered that Artie was living in their attic. He revealed that he ran his company, Ziffcorp, into the ground spending investors’ money on such extravagant items such as solid gold underpants. He was left penniless when the "dot-com bubble" burst, and secretly moved into the Simpson home to avoid capture. Homer won 98% of the company from Ziff in a game of poker; seconds later, SEC agents came to take Ziff, but they took Homer into custody instead (as he had just become the majority shareholder).
When Artie Ziff finally turned himself in, one of his first acts upon arriving in prison was to begin extinguishing other prisoners' cigarettes with a squirt bottle—for the benefit of their health, whether they wanted it or not. Marge told the children to take a good look at Artie, as his actions dramatically lowered his chances of survival. The family's last view of Artie was of him continuing to squirt other prisoners' cigarettes while an ever-growing angry mob advanced on him.
 Behind the Laughter