One of the most iconic voices of one of The Simpsons has announced that he’s leaving the show. The genius behind Mr.Burns, Principal Skinner and Ned Flanders said on Twitter that the show will be going on, just without him. Shearer, also known for his role in Spinal Tap, thanked fans of the show for their support. According to CNN, he walked away from a $14 million deal to stay on the show.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. In Addition to Doing the Mr. Burns Voice, He Also Did Mr. Smithers
Perhaps his greatest feat on the show was performing the voices of two characters who interact with each other. Almost all of Mr. Smithers’ interactions are with his evil boss Mr. Burns, and both were voiced by Harry Shearer. Previously, he described the Burns voice as cross between Lionel Barrymore and Ronald Reagan. Shearer added that Burns is tough to do because his voice is rough on the vocal chords. According to Simpson’s lore, Shearer was able to record the conversations between Burns and Smithers in one take.
2. Harry Shearer Was the Voice of Springfield’s Arnold Schwarzenegger Equivalent
Shearer did the most regular voices on the show. Of his best known characters on the show, excluding, Burns, Flanders, Smithers and Principal Skinner, Shearer performed as Otto, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr Hibbert, Kent Brockman, Jasper, Rainier Wolfcastle, and Jebpediah Springfield. One of his characters, psychiatrist Dr. Marvin Monroe, had to be retired after season seven because his voice was just to coarse on Shearer’s throat.
3. Shearer Was the Last Cast Member to Win an Emmy for His Work on the Show
Every member main cast member of The Simpsons has won an Emmy for their role. Shearer was the last to do so in 2014 for his work on the episode “Four Regrettings and a Funeral.” It was his first such award for The Simpsons.
4. In 2004, He Openly Criticized the Show’s Declining Quality
During a controversial interview back in 2004, Shearer stated that “” He also lambasted the show’s writers for the episode, “The Principal and the Pauper,” in which we learn that one of Shearer’s characters, Principal Skinner, was an impostor. He said about it “That’s so wrong. You’re taking something that an audience has built eight years or nine years of investment in and just tossed it in the trash can for no good reason, for a story we’ve done before with other characters. It’s so arbitrary and gratuitous, and it’s disrespectful to the audience.”
5. This Has Been a Tough Time for the Show’s Cast With the Death of Marcia Wallace in 2014
The voice of Ned Flanders’ wife on the show, Mrs Krabappel, Marcia Wallace, passed away in 2014 after a 28-year battle with breast cancer, reported Entertainment Weekly.