No More Neighboreeno? Goodbye to Harry Shearer??

Hey there Hoppereenos!

By now the sadness heard in the Simpsons community has been spreading by wildfire around to Simpsons Fans worldwide. It seems one the favorite and most beloved voices of many Characters in the Simpsons TV Series may decide to not continue on with the show. Harry Shearer.Harry Shearer

(Getty Images)

While bouncing round the birds last night (Twitter), I stumbled across some very strange Tweets from one of my beloved Actors, Harry Shearer. (I re-tweeted these to you from our TSTO Twitter Account last night.)Harry Shearer Tweet 2

Confused and hoping just a joke, I tried to seek out more information. Was this true? Was he leaving? Many others were also trying to figure out if what we were seeing was in fact accurate and not just some “internet prank” to all of us Simpson Fanatics. Sadly, it seems there is some questionable activity with his new contracts and an agreement just was not met.


Is there still hope he may stay? I just know that I for one will miss his awesome and amazing voice should this be the final word on it all. It does seem there MIGHT still be hope… so keeping fingers crossed that SOMETHING may still happen. This coming from the guy who’s Lawyer seems to have sparked the conversation leading to the Tweet from Harry last night…James L Brooks

Looks like some negotiations may still be left to make. I am hopeful they do work out. Seems James L. Brooks, one of the shows Producers, still wants to talk it over.


Why is this such a big deal? Just what does this mean for the show? WHO does it impact? Well, let’s take a look at just WHO in the Simpsons TV Series Harry Shearer provides voices for.

Ned Flanders
Mr. Burns
Principal Skinner
Rev. Lovejoy
Dr. Hibbert
Kent Brockman
Dr. Marvin Monroe
Dewey Largo
Judge Snyder

As well as some “celebrity voices” like…

Bill Clinton
George H.W. Bush
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Al Gore
John Travolta

And so many more just random Character voices that the list just goes on n on n on…


What happens to all those Voices if the negotiations aren’t met? Well, we saw this too…


His fans responded in many numbers to the word of all this and he wrote back last night to them on his Twitter…

Harry Shearer Tweet 1

Why the conflict?  It really is hard to know just all what goes on in those legal negotiations until they are released for public viewing. This wouldn’t be the first dispute in Simpson TV Series History.


What are your thoughts on all this? Did you realize just how many voices he does in the show? If he goes, how do you think the voices in the TV Series will change? Do you think the Fans rallying around him will help the effort to keep him? Let us know.


92 responses to “No More Neighboreeno? Goodbye to Harry Shearer??

  1. If he ends up having to be replaced, it would take a team of people to do ALL the many voices Harry’s been doing all these many years!
    Hoping he’ll stay on and be allowed to ‘act’ in other roles as well! The man is so much more than just a voice!

  2. As I read this I thought “how could the Simpsons go on? New voices? The voice makes the character!” But after a few minutes I remembered all the drawing changes over the years. We have already (subconsciously) allowed our beloved characters to be altered & yet keep their “character” personalities. I think this will follow suit & the show will continue just fine.

    I also can not help but think of Robin Williams. Shearer has brought so much joy to so many through his work with the Simpsons. He deserves to happily pursue whatever future ambitions he has. The very last thing I as a fan would want is for him to feel obligated to continue. Perhaps he will work on a new project. Perhaps he will just improve his golf game. Either way I wish him the very best of luck!!

  3. pinballinggrrl

    It’s mindboggling to think of the show without him. No next-door neighbor, no boss, no principal… you’d almost have to move the Simpsons to another town and start over.

    Orrrrrrrr, maybe Homer blows up Springfield and it has to be rebuilt from scratch, like in this really cool game I play on my tablet. 😛

  4. Am I the only one who notices that Shearer’s work has changed considerably over the years? I mean, I love Harry for the part he’s played in a show that has brought me such joy over the years, but when I think of the Simpsons, I think primarily of seasons 4-9, and maybe some of 10. Go ahead and listen to Mr. Burns’ voice in a classic episode, like “Homer The Smithers,” and listen to his Burns now. I swear, they’re not even close. I don’t really watch the new stuff, BECAUSE of some of the clear voice differences. Sometimes when Hulu is on autoplay, it will play the last week’s Simpsons episode. The other day, it was halfway thru when my girlfriend was like, “What is the matter with Burns’ voice?” Again, because it’s changed sooo drastically from what it was in the “good old days.”

    TL; DR: At this rate, if they recast him, they might actually be able to find voice actors CLOSER to his classic Simpsons characters than he himself currently is.

  5. Anyone else find it ironic that the timing of this story with Mr. Burns in the game? We have Mr. Burns just throwing money away. Now with respect to Mr. Shearer IMHO he has the right to do what he wants with his career and his characters are iconic with his voice but at the end of the day even with replaceable voices the show will go on. Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and the list continues are examples of how a show can gracefully continue beyond an original voice cast. Who knows, the Simpsons may go the way of Looney Toons and 50 years from now new generations will still be having stories told in Springfield. The town is really timeless and despite the current cast, I hope the town and characters live on in more episodes, movies, media, and games. It has been done before with the above examples and I hope the Simpsons will be no exception. There are some who say the show has left it’s prime and that’s always a matter of opinion. People’s views of humor change as they age and the show has writers who always find a good balance of humor and heart, unlike any other animated comedy out there. With a show going on this long this was inevitable so I just hope that the town, and the hundreds of characters I have grown up with and come to love survive.

  6. As much as I respect The Simpsons for retiring characters whose voice actors have passed, and as much as I love Shearer’s work… I’ve been watching The Simpsons in both the original and a translated/synchronized version (I actually grew up with the synchonized episodes), and I can tell you the changing voices are not the end of the world. I go back and forth between the two right now, and it doesn’t bother me at all.

  7. Things have to change eventually…we’ll get over it

  8. Harry Shearer – he has every right to question the contract that Fox is asking for him to sign in order to continue doing the voice acting work for the Simpsons over the next two seasons.

    As I looked online, it appears he accepts the same payment as the rest of the Voice Cast receives (per episode), but he brought up an important point regarding being compensated for his voice acting being used in game apps and video games and theme park attractions (I agree that every voice acting talent on The Simpsons deserves to be financially compensated if their voice acting is used outside of the animated TV series).

    As a fan of The Simpsons, do I think the series should go on without Harry Shearer? Absolutely not! Fox / Viacom threatened to replace the entire voice acting talent on Futurama, I believe found support for the voice acting talent worked in their favor (and I think fans can do it again to voice their support of Harry Shearer)!

    If the other issues disclosed ( regarding allowing an actor to work elsewhere when not recording characters for The Simpson) then shame on Fox!

    TSTO will be an epic fail without the voice acting talent of Harry Shearer remaining in the game app.

    BB King died yesterday too so this is a double Sad Day 🙁

  9. Just somewhat related: I am watching A Mighty Wind (not as great as I remember it but the line about Sweden, “Upp och hoppa lilla gumman”, still is the best part of the whole film ) where he does his Skinner voice. Is that his normal voice?
    This whole thing feels a little bit fishy btw…

  10. OK after some deliberations Here are some options that could infuse some new interest in the show & diversify it a bit
    1) Elon Musk & Kodo’s convince Mr Burns & Smithers to take a one way trip to Mars & plan for world domination there & at some point return to conquer earth (periodically show scenes of them terraforming Mars in a comedic manner & constructing doomsday devises & use existing dialog files) Throw in some occasional guest appearances by Futurama members time traveling or something , laying the foundation for Earth in 3000
    2) Otto dies of a drug overdose (seriously) Having dealt with people dealing with substance abuse issues it could be a poignant episode & for once hollywood doesn’t glamourize drugs or make tripping look cool & shows some real consequences for a dramatic episode leaving an indelible impression
    3) Consuela (or a clone of) from Family Guy becomes the bus driver
    Family Guy has copied enough Simpsons for them to return the favor
    4) Skinner gets fired for incompetence. Sign Kelsey Grammer for 2 years & he becomes the new principle opening up opportunities for him to deal with Bart , set traps etc.
    5) Lovejoy gets arrested for stealing from the flock sent to prison (set up by Jessica & Jessica morphs into a formidable Villain
    6) Ned retires to Florida, he is 65 after all & has made peace with Homer
    Rod & Todd go to private boarding school
    7) Ancillary characters like Hibbert , Lenny Dewey , Rainier , Scratchy , Legs , Kang etc use new voice talent. (Or have Dr Hibbert retire & Lenny move away & replace Lenny with a new character….&/or reintroduce Barney as Homers best buddy like it was early on in the show)
    8) Kent Brockman who’s already won the lottery retires. The station hires a new Female anchor, maybe snatch her from Al Jazeera adding a funny/different spin to the reporting.
    9) Have the Chinese buy the Nuclear Plant introducing their efficiency culture clashing with homer, ( he’s already been there setting up a plant)

    So in essence retire the Iconic Character & freshen up the cast.

    “this is Kent Brockman with my 2 cents”

    • woah…sorry to say that some of your ideas made me cringe…whilst others I was applauding yay. Or nay…

    • I could be wrong (and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am), but I think the only drug that Otto does is pot, which people don’t generally OD on. (Far more people end up in the hospital, or dead, from alcohol poisoning than from smoking weed…not even sure that, barring an allergy or three pot being laced with something more dangerous, people almost are hospitalized from smoking it. The odds may be somewhat higher from ingestibles, but smoking it is pretty self-limiting.)

  11. I’m sure, despite all the voices, that his job takes no more than a week or two a year. He’ll come back if Fox drives to his house with a large enough truck full of C notes.

    If he does not come back, that is a lot of characters they have to kill off, like they did with Edna Krabappel when Marcia Wallace passed away. Maybe they’ll say they all took a Malaysian Arline flight together. Maybe they’ll do something like what “South Park” did with the character Chef after Isaac Hayes got his jimmies rustled and quit?

    • I’m not sure the issue is not having enough *time* to do other things, it may be an exclusivity clause that’s at issue (prohibiting him from doing voice acting on other projects while he’s under contract for The Simpsons). And, if that’s what’s important to him, more money (which he probably doesn’t need anyway), may not make a difference.

      However, given the very limited info that’s been made public so far, it’s impossible to know what’s really going on, other than that it’s NOT just about money, since neither Shearer nor Brooks (the producer) are claiming that it is.

  12. What? Schwarzenegger didn’t play himself?!!! That’s unusual : D

    Fair play to the man so talented…I had no idea…

  13. Hopefully the show won’t give those character a sendoff comparable to what southpark did with chef 😮

  14. Since a lot of folks are posting (in fun) some pretty farfetched solutions, I’ll add mine…. With over 25 years of recordings of him doing all of those various voices, perhaps the have enough phonemes to enable a computer to replicate any future lines of dialog that they might need for his characters! 😉

    • He would have to agree to that, and the royaly amount.. Talent and his critical role to the show aside, if this is boiling down to contract negotiations over numerations and they cannot be agreed on, then it is likely that one of the parties involved would not agree to the audio sampling.. However often, it is not them money that is important, but rather the contract behind it.. There are often big limitations on contracts. But everything always boils down to c.n and an actors self worth. I worked on a show a few years ago called breakout kings, the official reason for the cancellation was viewing figures, but in reality it was limitations of the contractual renewals.. It sucks.. But the entertainment world is a fickle place.

      • I remember Breakout Kings – I used to watch and enjoy that show. I was sorry when they cancelled it and even sportier to hear why now. (Kinda surprised they’d have contact renewal issues so early into a show, though, especially one that wasn’t some kind of “runaway hit.” What did the actor(s) involved think they were singing up for when they agreed to be in a TV series?

      • Oh, and I forgot to ask… What did you do on that show? I’ve always been interested in TV stuff, which is why I got my undergraduate degree in it! 🙂

    • That could be funny for a joke like in South Park (South Park did it! :-P) but if it were to be longer, that would be very disrespectful. My idea would be to build a time machine, and go back in 1992 or around the show’s golden age to ask the past Harry to go to the future (we are in 2015 so now, I’ll call the present TheFuture) to continue assuming his role. And also maybe take some of the mos talented screenwriters from the show with me and make myself Emperor of Canada whil I’m at it. I have a time machine I do what I want with it!

      • I was *joking* – that’s why I prefaced it with “far-fetched ideas.” Of course it would be disrespectful!

      • X-o (<– d'oh) Of course, if his contract forbid him to do other jobs, that's also disrespectful, I mean what kind of contract would forbid you to have two works except if it's to keep industrial secrets secret (you couldn't work for Pepsi if you're already working for Coca Cola)? If it is the issue that is.

  15. It is unfortunate. I am 34 years old so I have grown up with the Simpsons since the beginning, wearing my, “I’m Bart Simpson who the hell are you.” t shirt in grade 3. It feels like I am losing something. But when you think about all the other things going on in the world, it’s really not that big of an issue. In a week we will all have moved on.

    • I also remember growing up with “eat my shorts!” and “don’t have a cow, man”. In the early seasons, it was all about Bart!

  16. Thanks for posting about this. Yes it’s very sad news indeed. But Mr. Brooks’ tweet gives me hope because it’s clear that both parties want to find a way to compromise. You know, twitter still shocks me: it’s like the whole world is privy to a private conversation of the rich and famous! I’m not sure if it was professional for Shearer to publicise the issue, but his plan seems to have worked because the public is on his side: myself included! He’s so talented.

  17. This is both sad and terrifying at the same time. If he really doesn’t come back and the show goes on without him, then it will absolutely devastate the legacy of what was once the finest example of scripted Television.
    I’d hate to see season 27 absolutely bomb in the ratings and then hastily be cancelled (despite the 2 year renewal). What kind of memory will that be for something so amazing which such amazing heritage.
    If he really won’t budge, then the show needs to end now.
    Make one final movie as a farewell for the fans and negotiate a separate contract with Harry to do that, which would require much less commitment on his part but allow him to stick to his decision.

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