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Harry Shearer, Wundervoice of ‘The Simpsons,’ Moves On

Remembering Skinner, Flanders, Monty Burns, Kent Brockman, Rainier Wolfcastle—and so many more—who will be voiced anew

Jonathan Zalman
May 14, 2015
(Shearer: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Skinner: Fox)
(Shearer: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images; Skinner: Fox)

Well, this is un-excellent news.

Harry Shearer, the voice of some of the most iconic Simpsons characters in the program’s now 26-year history, including Seymour Skinner (personal favorite), Dr. Hibbert, and Otto Man, will not be renewing his contract with the show, reports CNNMoney.

“As the Simpsons continues its 27th and 28th seasons, Harry Shearer will not be within the show,” Simpsons producer Al Jean confirmed via email to CNNMoney. “We do not plan to ‘kill off’ his characters but replace them with the most talented members of the voice over community.”

Shearer, an original cast member who appeared on the first full-length Simpsons episode, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire,” which aired on December 17, 1989, was apparently in contract negotiations for a reported total of $14 million over two seasons. But Shearer decided that he wanted “the freedom to do other work.”

So be it, Mr. Shearer. Thank you. You gave us a world of entertainment…

…as Ranier Wolfcastle (“Master your ass”):

…as Principal Seymour Skinner (“That’s your third helping young man—it’s making you fat and soft and tender”):

…as Ned Flanders (“…Harry Potter went straight to hell for…”):

…as Dr. Hibbert (“Oh man, is this gonna hurt…”):

…as Otto Man (in which he hums Black Sabbath):

…as Montgomery Burns (“Oohhhh, I need some more ether…”)”

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.