Harry Shearer To Leave “The Simspsons”
Imagine my shock when I wake up this morning to the news that Harry Shearer, one of the original voice actors on “The Simpsons” is about to leave the show. Shearer-voice to dozens of regular Springfield residents like Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns, Mr. Smithers, Lenny, Otto, Dr. Hibbert, Reverend Lovejoy, and many more-is playing hardball making his new contract disputes public. He posted on his Twitter his dismay. Apparently, this is all because his new contract stipulates that he wouldn’t be allowed to do any other creative work. Shearer has been part of a show in the UK for the last four years as well as performing on the London stage and doesn’t intend to stop.
In all honesty, the showrunners of one of the most iconic TV shows of my childhood (and TV history) are being a bit petty to say the least. Why is it so important to them that they limit Shearer’s ability to get other work? He’s been doing it for the last four years already so we know it doesn’t conflict with his recording schedule. And who’s to say he actually has to be in the Fox studio anyway? He can record from anywhere.
This is also a very awkward time for all this to come out to say the least because the show has just been signed on to two more seasons and it looks like the show’s producers have every intent of moving forward WITHOUT Shearer even if an agreement isn’t reached.
“The Simpsons” are now about to conclude their 26th season. This wouldn’t be the first time the show has had to cope with the loss of a cast member. Phil Hartman (several characters) and Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel) both suddenly and tragically passed away and the show has gone to great lengths to adjust with their departures. Now, Shearer isn’t dead, obviously, but if he is unable to reach an agreement with the show, I think the show would just have to go off the air. There is no way that the show can be the same if they were to lose the plethora of characters that have been given a soul by Harry Shearer for the better part of my life.
I would hate for this to be the way “The Simpsons” are taken off the air after the revolutionary boundaries they’ve set and then broken in animation, television, comedy, and pop-culture. But all good things must come to an end. If this is the beginning of the end for one of the greatest TV shows of all time, let me just start by saying thank you to everyone involved in the show for the last nearly three decades. “The Simpsons” have been a tremendous part of my life. Maybe it will be sooner than later for me to start seriously thinking about that Top 10 Episodes Of All Time list.