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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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D'oh! The Simpsons' Favorite Catchphrase, By the Numbers
Fox
Fox

Between the iconic main characters and the dozens of offbeat supporting roles, the twisted citizens of Springfield have all given us plenty of quotable lines to use in our everyday lives over the years. But the most recognizable is also the shortest—Homer Simpson’s trademark “D’oh.” This three-letter utterance of annoyance became so universally beloved that it has made its way into both the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Dictionary, being defined as a word “used to express sudden recognition of a foolish blunder or an ironic turn of events.”

As The Simpsons celebrates 29 seasons on the air, the show continues to travel into uncharted waters for a comedy series. The folks over at TonerGiant—a company specializing in printing supplies—have decided to celebrate The Simpsons’s longevity by creating an infographic dedicated to all things “D’oh.” Here, you can learn how many times the catchphrase has been uttered, which episode it appears in most, and other assorted facts, including a bit on the show’s eerily accurate predictions for the future. Plus, if you’re looking to really become a student of Simpsons quotes, you can find out how much it would cost to print out every script from the show’s first 28 seasons.

So if you want to learn more about "D'oh," and some obscure Simpsons facts for your next trivia night, take a look at the infographic below:

Printing the classic Simpsons catchphrase
Provided by Toner Giant

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15 Facts About the First Episode of The Simpsons
FOX
FOX

On December 17, 1989, The Simpsons premiered on FOX. Nearly 30 years later, the Simpson family and their fellow Springfield residents are still going strong. Let's look back at where it all started—"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire."

1. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO PREMIERE IN SEPTEMBER.

The Simpsons was originally planned to premiere earlier in the fall of 1989, but because of animation problems, the series began on December 17 with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire." The original pilot, "Some Enchanted Evening," later aired as the season finale.

2. MARGE WAS SUPPOSED TO GET DRUNK.

According to Al Jean, the original premise of the episode was that "Homer was worried that Marge was going to get drunk at a party and get him in trouble at the office."

3. IT'S LACKING THE SERIES' NOW-FAMOUS OPENING SEQUENCE. 

The episode lacked the now-famous opening sequence, which was added in the second episode, "Bart the Genius," because creator Matt Groening thought a longer opening sequence would mean less animation.

4. GWEN STEFANI'S BROTHER PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN ITS CREATION.

One of the layout artists for "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was Eric Stefani, brother of Gwen Stefani and a founding member of No Doubt.

5. BARNEY LOOKED A BIT DIFFERENT.

In the first episode, Barney had yellow hair, which was the same color as his skin. This was later changed because the people behind the show thought that only members of the Simpson family should have yellow hair.

6. LISA REALLY WANTED A PONY.

Lisa asks for a pony six times on her Christmas list (it's her first line in the series). She would later get her pony in the season 3 episode "Lisa's Pony."

7. PART OF IT WAS INSPIRED BY MATT GROENING'S SECOND GRADE SCHOOL REPORT.

According to the DVD commentary, the "Santas of many lands" portion of the Christmas pageant was inspired by a second grade report Matt Groening did on Christmas in Russia.

8. IT DIDN'T INVENT THE ALTERNATE VERSION OF "JINGLE BELLS."

Additionally, Groening claims that this episode has been incorrectly credited with creating the "alternate version" of "Jingle Bells." (Bart sings, "Jingle Bells/Batman Smells/Robin Laid an Egg...")

9. IT WAS ONLY THE SECOND ANIMATED SERIES TO AIR IN PRIMETIME SINCE THE FLINTSTONES.

The Simpsons was just the second animated show to air in primetime since The Flintstones went off the air 23 years earlier. (The other was Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, which aired from 1972-1974.)

10. THE IDEA WAS CONCEIVED UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL.

According to executive producer James L. Brooks, "The Simpsons series began like many things begin: with an animator getting drunk at a Christmas party ... We were already doing Tracey Ullman, and David Silverman, who was with us then and would go on to direct The Simpsons Movie, cornered me and poured out his heart about what having a primetime Simpsons show would mean to animators."

11. LISA WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A "LITTLE HELL-RAISER."

The Simpsons in 'The Town'
Fox

According to Al Jean, in the original shorts, "Lisa was supposed to be this little hell-raiser like Bart, but their character differentiation was wider when we went to full series."

12. YEARDLEY SMITH AUDITIONED FOR BART.

Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa, originally auditioned for Bart. "That lasted a good eight or nine seconds," Smith recounts, "It was like: "Cut, cut, cut! You sound too much like a girl!"

13. A SECOND CITY PERFORMANCE GOT DAN CASTELLANETA AN AUDITION.

Dan Castellaneta was invited to read for Homer Simpson after Tracey Ullman saw him perform a sketch comedy bit about a blind, crippled comedian at Second City in Chicago.

14. IT WAS MILHOUSE'S FIRST APPEARANCE, BUT HE ALREADY EXISTED.

"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" is the first time Milhouse appeared on the show; however, he was featured in a Butterfinger commercial in 1988.

15. SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER WENT MISSING.

Because "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was originally meant to be the eighth episode, Santa's Little Helper is mysteriously absent from the next episode ("Bart the Genius"). According to DVD commentary, the creators of the show received letters of praise for heightening the awareness of the abandonment of racing dogs even though they didn't know it was a real problem when they created the episode.

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