The entire voice cast of The Simpsons will be back this fall on Fox, and that includes Harry Shearer!
Fox has announced that Shearer, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, and Hank Azaria have all signed two year deals that will cover the upcoming 27th and 28th seasons of The Simpsons. And there was much happiness in Springfield! For as Fox has duly noted, “every main cast member has won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance at some point in the show’s run.”
But more importantly, these performers inhabit their roles so completely that it’s difficult to imagine anyone who could replace them on a full time basis. The Simpsons cast has been together for over a quarter century now, which is an unparalleled run on television.
Back in May, Shearer stunned Simpsons fans and producers alike when he said that his departure came “because I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work.”
Simpsons showrunner Al Jean responded “He’s saying it’s not the money, and it can’t be money because there’s not going to be a different offer he’s going to get… It can’t be the availability to do other projects, and it isn’t that the deal is different than his other cast members… If he said, ‘I want freedom to do stuff,’ he has it. If he wants a deal different than the cast, he can’t get it. I don’t know what else you could want with this job.”
From there, the negotiations appeared to have played out behind closed doors, as neither Shearer nor Jean tipped this announcement ahead of time. In retrospect, we should have suspected something was up when The Simpsons producers weren’t publically searching for voice over artists who could mimic Shearer’s Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Kent Brockman, and the several other Simpsons character that he plays.
The Simpsons Season 27 will begin this fall on Fox.
Simpsons fans, are you happy to hear that the entire voice cast is back? As the man says, “Throw up your hands and raise your voice!” That’s what the comment section is for!