It was announced this week that Harry Shearer, one of the main voice actors of The Simpsons is leaving the show. I’m sure there are people wondering why this is a big deal, well as a huge fan of The Simpsons from the first episode let me say…..THIS IS A FUCKING HUGE DEAL!!!!
Yes, the show has lost people before. When Phil Hartman died, we lost both Lionel Hutz and the great Troy Maclure. Tragic and heartbreaking to those who watched those characters. But the show survived.
Then Marcia Wallace died. That hurt. Ms. Krabappel wasn’t always there but then she married Ned Flanders and we thought she was there always…….RIP Ms. K. But the show survived.
This is different. Harry voiced over 20 characters in The Simpson universe. We are talking Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders , Otto, Rainer Wolfcastle, LENNY!, Dr. Hibbert, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, Rev. Lovejoy, Kang, Judge Roy Snyder, Eddie the cop, Dewey Largo…etc.
The show survived before because we lost a character or two. This is a huge loss. What made The Simpsons what it was is that it wasn’t just about the Simpson family. It was about their entire life in Springfield. Every supporting character has meaning in this world. Harry leaving the show cuts out a huge portion of the Springfield universe. The show is signed on for at least two more seasons but how many fans that are still hanging on are going to watch without that huge portion of the cast that we love?
It’s getting to the point where the FXX marathons are what we look forward to….not the new episodes that haven’t lost their spark but get lost in the crowd.
Sunday nights aren’t what they used to be; Al Bundy is now married to a Latina on Modern Family, the jokes of Family Guy that used to be so funny in 2000 are now same ole/same ole. For a show that started in 1989, to still get this kind of press in 2015 is impressive. What I want is the show to end on a good note and not to fade away. Harry leaving the show is putting a much closer end date on something that most people can’t imagine ending.
There are not many guarantees in life. But for those of us who grew up in the ’90’s, the idea of The Simpsons ever ending wasn’t a thought to us and the idea of a Sunday night without knowing that at 8pm there would be a Simpsons episode on is the most tragic thing out of this.