Negotiations with Harry Shearer appear to have hit a wee bit of a snag, as the longtime Simpsons cast member has apparently announced he’s leaving the show.
Shearer made the announcement on Twitter late last night, quoting an imaginary press release from James L. Brooks’s Lawyer, for some reason. Take a look:
Then he seized the opportunity to plug his new comedy song about cops. Hey, why not?
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For over two decades, Harry Shearer (voice of Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Reverend Lovejoy, and Maggie Simpson) was the only primary cast member to have never won an Emmy for his work in The Simpsons, but this grave injustice was finally rectified last night at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Not bad for someone who’s been phoning it in for years! Unfortunately, he couldn’t show up to collect his prestigious orange blimp award in person, because he’s currently stuck in 1974 after Quantum Leaping into President Nixon.
Oh, and Bob’s Burgers won its first-ever Emmy for the episode “Mazel Tina.” [Deadline]
How did multi-millionaire actress and shoe mogul Yeardley Smith celebrate her birthday? By showing up to her gynecology appointment, of course! The voice of Lisa Simpson recounted her 49th birthday in a minute-by-minute breakdown on her Tumblr blog:
9:05 AM–Drive to the gynecologist. (Note to self: Do not schedule any more appointments with the gynecologist on your birthday!)
It’s probably a good idea to schedule as many gynecology appointments as possible before women’s health is outlawed, particularly in Texas.
Anyway, here’s a fun factoid to add to the “Jesus, Just How Long Has This Show Been On?” pile: Yeardley Smith has voiced Lisa for more than half her life.
Yesterday, Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, Lisa) survived a close encounter with inhabitants of the notorious investigation-hindering and pony-fetish forum Reddit long enough to answer some of their burning questions. Frankly, his AV Club interview from several years ago was a lot more illuminating and in-depth if you really wanna know more about the Hankster, but nevertheless, here are the highlights from his “Ask Me Anything” interview so you don’t have to navigate Reddit’s terrible comment layout.
First, he tackled the obvious question, whether or not he’s ever seen Dan Castelleneta choke Nancy Cartwright to get the Homer-strangling-Bart scenes just right:
i have never witnessed it, but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to prove that it has happened.
In a rather shocking development, it turns out he still likes the show that pays him millions of dollars each year:
mostly i’m too close to the show and love doing it so much to have an objective opinion. i do what i’ve always done, which is show up and enjoy making what they’ve written come to life. the show still really makes me laugh. i’ve certainly seen online over the years, and elsewhere, people criticizing the show. it reminds me of the beatles anthology. there’s this section where people are talking about how the white album isn’t so good…that it was too long and that a lot of the tracks didn’t work, and you see various people saying it wasn’t up to snuff. and then, they cut to paul mccartney who says “yeah, i’ve heard people don’t like the white album, but i say it’s the bloody beatles white album. it’s fucking great.” that’s kind of how i feel about the show.
Panda rape & talking rags? Same thing as the White Album, basically.
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Oh boy, it’s that lovely time every three years or so when the Simpsons cast re-negotiate their contracts with Fox! And this time the stakes HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGHER. The Daily Beast reports that this time the voice actors are asking for a pay cut, instead of their usual pay raise. Say whaa??? Have we wandered into Bizarro World??? No, while they’re asking for a 30 percent pay cut, it’s because they want a piece of that hot, hot syndication and merchandise action worth billions of dollars in CA$H MONEY. Fox doesn’t want to give up that money (after all, their parent company News Corp. has tons of phone hacking victims to pay off), and this time they’re threatening to CANCEL THE SIMPSONS.
Difficult bargaining is nothing new for the show, which was created by James L. Brooks and Matt Groening. Fox studio execs have occasionally threatened to replace uncooperative cast members with sound-alike actors. But for the first time in nearly a quarter century of haggling, the executives have insisted that if the cast doesn’t accept a draconian 45 percent pay cut, The Simpsons will die an abrupt death as a first-run series.
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Just how nice is Dan Castellaneta, voice of TV’s Homer Simpson? He is so nice that he will give you his house, if you ask him.
His best friend in the whole wide world, Simpsons co-worker Hank Azaria (Apu, Moe, etc.), was in the market for a new mansion after selling his home. Hearing that his good friend was now homeless, Castellaneta stepped up to his plate, and sold him his current mansion, the place where he lives and sleeps, because that is how nice a guy he is. Now, some people might let you stay in the guest room for a couple days or something, but Dan Castellaneta will just straight up give you his house.
So where are the Castellanetas going to live now? Nobody knows, maybe they will live in their car from now on. Only time will tell. [Los Angeles Times]
Now that Aflac has dumped Gilbert Gottfried as the voice (quack?) of its disyllabic duck character, who should replace him? timlowell, a commenter (commentator?) over at The Awl suggests Simpsons thespian Harry Shearer as a possible candidate:
Harry Shearer does a regular bit on Le Show where he mimics Gilbert Gottfried’s Aflac duck, except he changes it to “AF-PAK”, as in what the military calls the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. I e-mailed him, but he hasn’t responded.
Here’s the most recent “News of AFPAK” segment, so you can judge for yourself.
Yeardley Smith, voice of Lisa Simpson, is launching a new line of designer shoes called Marchez Vous (that’s French for “you walk”) YS, with the goal of marrying comfort and style.
That’s all nice and good… but can she compete with these kicks???
Unlucky message boarder “JowTSJY” was forced to attend a table reading for an upcoming episode wherein Marge becomes a foodie, and he shared his horrifying ordeal with the good people at Simpsons Collector Sector with photographic evidence.
Some interesting observations:
Five of the six main voice actors were in attendance: Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, and Hank Azaria. Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden were also providing their voice acting skills, while Harry Shearer was represented by a speaker phone in the middle of the table. I was informed that Harry Shearer rarely attended the table reads, instead “phoning it in” from home. In fact, I was also informed that Shearer rarely came in to record his lines in the studio. He does that from home over the phone, too!
To be fair, he’s in a different recording studio using ISDN, but it’s still funny to imagine Harry Shearer as Charlie from Charlie’s Angels.
At 10AM the table read began as a man (whose name I didn’t catch) announced that The Simpsons had been renewed for its 23rd season. During the table read, this man narrated the non-dialogue portions of the script
Presumably, this man is showrunner Al Jean, who mysteriously doesn’t appear in any of the photos. That guy is craftier than Arthur C. Korn.
On our way back across the Fox lot, we saw Nancy Cartwright driving away in her Lexus. Her license plate read “4EVER10,” a reference to the fact Bart never ages. Someone mentioned that her old license plate used to read “I DO BART.” If that’s true, I can understand why she changed it!
hahahaha [Simpsons Collector Sector via No Homers Club]
According to a “blind item” over at the reputable-sounding BlindGossip.com, a “bratty actress” on a TV show wanted more money than her fellow cast members, which made TENSIONS SIMMER. Then they REACHED ONE HUNDRED DEGREES CELSIUS when she “used her character to promote an organization with which she is associated.” Now things are all awkward, so she tries to avoid working with her fellow actors whenever she can, and the producers are totally cool with this.
The general consensus in the comments section of both this site and the one over at Gawker (and really, who better to trust than people who post in comment sections on blogs?) is that the actress in question is Nancy Cartwright, voice of TV’s Bart Simpson. You might remember her from such controversies as that time last year when she used Bart’s voice on some robo-calls to promote the Church of Scientology, which would definitely fulfill the “promote an organization” part of the criteria. Other points to consider: the use of the adjective “bratty” (Bart is an anagram for brat, which is one of the fun facts that are obligated to appear in every article about The Simpsons), it’s really easy to avoid fellow cast members if you’re a voice actor (in fact, Maggie Roswell avoids coming into the recording studio altogether by doing all her lines from Colorado), the actors all got a pay raise somewhat recently, and there’s a stupid little doodle of a yellow-skinned lady-pacman. THE PIECES ALL FIT, except for the part where it mentions a “set” which musta been thrown in there to throw us off the scent.
Or it could be Pauley Perrette or something, who knows. [BlindGossip.com]