Thursday, May 14, 2015

Harry Shearer Quitting The Simpsons

Image from source, CNN
Well, this was inevitable. For show that has been on for over 25 years (with characters that have been around longer than that), sooner or later, an major voice actor was bound to retire, die or quit. Harry Shearer's characters (perhaps only surpassed in number by Hank Azaria's) are too central to The Simpsons to kill them all off, or write them out. So, as was bound to happen, Shearer will be replaced. Very probably by multiple voice actors, rather than just one, as Mel Blanc was. Of course, Mr. Smithers, Mr. Burns, Seymour Skinner, Otto Mann, Dr. Hibbert, Reverend Lovejoy and Ned Flanders all have a distinctively Shearer sound to them, so maybe one guy could do them all, though I'd bet FOX would rather pay two or three guys a few hundred grand a piece rather than depend upon one guy again.

Anyway, Shearer has been instrumental to the success of the show, and will be missed, though you've got to imagine that The Simpsons in its current incarnation has to end altogether, eventually. Like The Flintstones and other popular cartoons, it will almost certainly live on in other formats, and with wholly different actors at some point. Shearer will likely start a slow exodus that leads to the end of the original series though. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Season 30.


'Simpsons' Mr. Burns walking away from $14 million deal
"As the Simpsons continues its 27th and 28th seasons, Harry Shearer will not be within the show," showrunner Al Jean said in an email message to CNNMoney. Besides the evil Mr. Burns, Shearer also voices Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, the Rev. Lovejoy and Kent Brockman. "We do not plan to 'kill off' his characters," Jean added, "but replace them with the most talented members of the voice over community. . ."

Read more at: CNN

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