News broke today that Harry Shearer, one of the voice actors on the Simpsons, has left the show. Here is some of his most memorable work.
The voice of characters as utterly brilliant as Otto the bus driver, Mr Burns, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Rainere Wolfcastle and Ned Flanders, Shearer’s voice is perhaps more recognisable to people of about four generations than any other.
I remember Sunday nights when I was a kid as the greatest of the week, knowing a new The Simpsons episode would air on Sky One.
There was that year the summer holidays broke up the biggest cliffhanger in history, separating the two parts of Who Shot Mr Burns.
Of course, the show isn’t still punching at the same weight as it once was, but then again when you set the bar as high as the moon, you tend to fall short thereafter.
Anyway, here are some of Harry Shearer’s characters at their absolute best.
There’s Ned Flanders, telling his children to pray for penis:
Or Ned distracting Homer with his ultra-tight ski ensemble:
There’s Otto’s consistent, unsubtle glam-rock love, portrayed well in this snippet of Black Sabbath adoration:
Or the sexually confused, deeply troubled yet utterly adorable Smithers. Here are some of his gems:
There’s Skinner absolutely losing it as a bus driver:
Or the greatest pronunciation of his name ever:
There’s the entire McBain film, which featured in tiny snippets throughout The Simpsons’ earlier run:
There’s Kent Brockman, whose advice should always be heeded:
And then we get to Mr Burns, the finest evil character in TV history. He’s basically Cartman, fromSouth Park, but with far more money to fund his evil escapades.
He gave us The Simpsons’ greatest-ever joke:
And all of humanity’s greatest-ever song:
It’s a fond farewell us Simpsons fans bid to Shearer and, through Twitter, he has responded:
Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.
— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Here are just some of the many Tweets from fans around the world:
I always imagine Harry Shearer darting from one end of a recording booth to the other when doing a Burns/Smithers scene
— Matt Lavendurrr (@mjlavender) May 14, 2015
@BigHeadSports @TheSimpsons @theharryshearer @HankAzaria “Plus, they can replace them, and no one can tell the diddley-ifference!”-Flanders
— Dan Schaefer (@HWKIDAN) May 14, 2015
Harry Shearer has brought untold belly laughs to millions of people who don’t have a clue he even exists. https://t.co/jirm0pIXZ7
— Swanni (@SwanniOnTV) May 14, 2015
omg harry shearer is leaving the simpsons…???? my life is over ?????
— marbel (@leafyjelly) May 14, 2015
Lets hope Harry Shearer’s new project is another Spinal Tap! #simpsons
— Andy Maddock (@TheAndyMaddock) May 14, 2015
Harry Shearer image, via Bryan Ledgard on Flickr