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Watch Harry Shearer Perform his Simpsons Voices

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After 26 years, Harry Shearer and The Simpsons have parted ways. The actor has had a complicated relationship with the show for a large bulk of that time, and he announced that he was leaving on Twitter, citing an inability to work on other projects:

After 26 years, any relationship starts to show wear and tear, but Shearer has had issues with The Simpsons for well over a decade. In 2001, he spoke with East Bay Express about the show's wavering quality:

It depends on the script. There are writers' names that, when I see them on a script, I get very happy and look forward to the week, because I know there's gonna be a pretty sound script that is satirical but smart and not just sort of pointlessly parodic, if I may. And there are other writers' names that make my heart sink. It's sort of unavoidable this far along that that's going to be the way it is.

Shearer's voice talent made much of Springfield what it is, and we have him to thank for Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Principal Skinner, Rainier Wolfcastle, and a whole battalion of other characters.

During the cast's appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, Shearer held court as Burns, Smithers, Skinner, and Wolfcastle:

Those characters will remain, but they won't be the same. Alan Sepinwall spoke with Simpsons showrunner Al Jean, who confirmed that a replacement actor (or actors) will be brought in. "Burns and Flanders will not die," he says. "They are great characters and will continue."

Considering the network has threatened to replace the voice actors during previous contract negotiations, this move isn't surprising. It sure is disappointing, though.  

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Courtesy of REPLAY Lincoln Park
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entertainment
A Chicago Bar is Dressing Up as Moe's Tavern for Halloween
Artwork from the Moe's Tavern pop-up bar in Chicago
Artwork from the Moe's Tavern pop-up bar in Chicago
Courtesy of REPLAY Lincoln Park

This Halloween, fans of The Simpsons can dress up like Homer and drink like him, too. As the Chicago Tribune reports, REPLAY Lincoln Park—an arcade pub in Chicago—has transformed its rear bar into a Moe’s Tavern-inspired pop-up.

The Moe's Tavern pop-up bar at REPLAY Lincoln Park in Chicago
The Moe's Tavern pop-up bar at REPLAY Lincoln Park in Chicago
Courtesy of REPLAY Lincoln Park

Patrons can enjoy “Duff Beer” and themed beverages like the “Flaming Moe” and “Frozen Squishee” while watching segments of Channel 6 newsman Kent Brockman on old-school TVs. Pay $1 extra, and you can even upgrade your beer to Skittlebräu, according to Chicagoist.

When visitors aren’t drinking, rabble-rousing, and griping about Ned Flanders, they can play classic Simpsons arcade and pinball games, free of charge. Before heading home, make sure to grab a free Duff Beer koozie, pose for a picture with a live Duffman impersonator, and admire the Simpsons-inspired wall and floor art.

Decorations and details in the Moe's Tavern-themed pop-up bar at REPLAY Lincoln Park in Chicago
Decorations and details in the Moe's Tavern-themed pop-up bar
Courtesy of REPLAY Lincoln Park

REPLAY Lincoln Park opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at 3 p.m. Friday, and at noon during the weekend. Swing by any time through Halloween to experience Moe’s (although we don’t recommend making any prank calls first).

[h/t Chicago Tribune]

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The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

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