Skip to main content

No-diddly! The Simpsons’ Harry Shearer turns down $14 million, leaves show after 26 years

harry shearer the simpsons
Albert H. Teich /
After more than two decades as the voice of much-loved characters on the animated program The Simpsons, Harry Shearer has confirmed that he will be leaving the show. Shearer voiced many of the show’s popular characters, including nosy religious neighbor Ned Flanders, greedy and creepy tycoon Mr. Burns, and the awkwardly lonely Principal Skinner. According to CNN, the actor reportedly turned down $14 million dollars for a two-season guaranteed.

Shearer confirmed the news in a series of Tweets, indicating that he wishes to be able to take on other projects. Having been part of The Simpsons team since its start in 1989, the desire for a change in direction is understandable.

Related: Lego Dimensions expands to include The Simpsons, Portal 2, and Doctor Who

Shearer’s loss certainly won’t go unnoticed – the aforementioned characters aren’t just supporting cast members, they’re major players in the program. The Simpsons wouldn’t be The Simpsons without the ever-annoying Flanders and his hi-diddly-doos and constant preaching. Principal Skinner is often the prime target of Bart’s shenanigans at school, and Mr. Burns is the big boss that runs the entire nuclear power plant where Homer “works” (we use the term loosely).

The Simpsons will be going into its 27th season, and producer James L. Brooks has said the show would go on as planned. But with the loss of Shearer, unless they can find both a talented voice actor and spot-on impressionist that can do not just one, but all of Shearer’s major character voices, there’s some clear trouble. Or maybe hiring on three voice actors who can do each of the characters at a third of the price each could make things happen. Still, impressions are impressions – they are never as good as the original.

The Simpsons, which began as a sketch on the Tracey Ullman Show, is the longest-running sitcom on American television, the longest-running animated show, and is the longest-running American scripted primetime TV show, having snagged that title from Gunsmoke in 2009. Perhaps Brooks has been holding on too long anyway. While The Simpsons is still a lucrative money-maker in terms of branding and merchandising, ratings have been dipping.

For Shearer’s part, might he work on a follow up to Spinal Tap, the rock muckumentary he co-wrote and starred in in 1984, five years prior to joining The Simpsons? Might he return to Saturday Night Live, where he was a writer and cast member in 1979? (Likely not since he reportedly did not have a positive experience there.) Or maybe he’ll just focus more on Le Show, a public radio program he’s hosted since 1983. Whatever it is, chances are Shearer’s next move will be “Exxxx-cellent.”

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
The best thrillers on Netflix right now
Willem Dafoe and Denzel Washington in Inside Man.

When it comes to thrillers on Netflix, April is apparently Denzel Washington month. Washington stars in three of our new picks for the best thrillers on Netflix, including Inside Man, Devil in a Blue Dress, and The Little Things. This is clearly a genre that plays to Washington's strengths, as he's been headlining thrillers for decades now.

The other new addition to our list this month is Body Double, a 40-year-old thriller that will hopefully be rediscovered now that it's on Netflix. If you're looking for even more thrills, then keep reading for all of the best thrillers on Netflix right now.

Read more
Like Amazon Prime Video’s Fallout series? Then watch these 5 great movies right now
A woman looks out at an industrial landscape in Fallout.

Amazon Prime Video is wishing everyone a happy apocalypse this month as all eight episodes of Fallout season 1 hit the streaming servic e. But even if this show is a breakout hit that gets an immediate second season order, it could be two years or longer before new episodes arrive. So if you're looking for more postapocalyptic stories, then you've come to the right place.

However, the thing that you need to remember is that there's almost nothing else that shares the exact tone of Fallout, which can be really funny without slipping into farce. Regardless, some of our picks clearly inspired the Fallout games and the TV show. And you can see for yourself as we run down the five great movies that you need to see if you like Fallout.
Six-String Samurai (1998)

Read more
3 great sci-fi movies on Hulu you need to watch in April 2024
A close up of one of the giant robots in Pacific Rim.

One of the things that's become clear with the recent arrival of Hulu on Disney+ is that the former is more of a real streamer than the latter. If you want sci-fi movies on Disney+, there aren't many options beyond Star Wars and a handful of live-action movies that were produced by Disney itself. Hulu, on the other hand, can pull from 20th Century Fox's R-rated sci-fi flicks like Alien and Predator, while also adding an assortment of modern science fiction movies from other studios.

To make things easier for you, we've put together this list of the three sci-fi movies on Hulu that you need to watch in April. Only one of the three films is on loan from a rival studio, which means that it won't be around on Hulu in May. But all three are going to give you the science fiction fix that you need.
The Fifth Element (1997)

Read more