How Will 'The Simpsons' Handle Harry Shearer Leaving The Show?

What Does Harry Shearer Leaving ‘The Simpsons’ Mean For The Show?

Harry Shearer and The Simpsons both confirmed that the voice actor would be leaving the show. He will not be in seasons 27 and 28 of the animated program, meaning that a number of characters will go without a voice. It has led to many fans questioning what it will mean for the show, and whether it will survive.

While none of the Simpson family will be affected by Shearer’s disappearance, there are other major characters voiced by him. Ned Flanders is one of the most popular on the show, being there from the first season in 1989. The Christian, overly-happy neighbor to Homer and Marge, has been a constant fixture. Fans mourned with him after Maud’s death, and then cheered when he was able to find short-lived happiness with Edna Krabappel.

Harry also does the voice for duo Mr. Burns and Mr. Smithers. It will be difficult to have The Simpsons without at least the main antagonist. However, it may be time to kill off the billionaire, and this may give the show the perfect reason. It could also work out with Mr. Smithers then leaving due to grief.

Reverend Lovejoy, Principal Skinner and Lenny were also voice by the actor. It is possible that a new actor will come in to do some of the voices. There are just too many to take out in one go, unless The Simpsons goes the route of other shows and stages a major accident that involves all of them. It would really cull the cast down, considering the amount of voices Harry does.

The questions about the fate of The Simpsons come after Buzzfeed confirmed that Harry Shearer had tweeted that he was leaving. The voice actor shared part of a letter from lawyer James L. Brooks, which said that the show would go on but Shearer was out.

CNN states that it may not mean the end of the characters completely. Harry said that he did not want to leave the show. The reason given was that he wanted the “freedom to do other work,” which he says he has always been able to do. He went on to say that it would be up to the producers whether he came back or not, indicating that he had been fired and was not leaving due to contract disputes or choice. Harry Shearer did thank the fans of the show for the support when they tweeted him about the news, so he has not confirmed or denied anything yet.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

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