Aside from quirky protagonists and outlandish storylines, the most prominent signature of The Simpsons has always been the music. If you're a Simpsons fan, odds are you've had the show's music stuck in your head at one point or another, and one of the people you can thank for that is Alf Clausen.
Ever since Season 2, Clausen has brought his unique composing style to Springfield. He scored over 560 episodes and also composed hits like "Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?", "We Put The Spring In Springfield" and "Ode To Branson." His work even earned him two Emmy wins and 21 nominations. Unfortunately, his impressive tenure with the show has come to an end.
Yep, you heard that right. Clausen revealed to Variety that he got a call from producer Richard Sakai, who delivered the news that #Fox was letting him go from The Simpsons, putting an end to his 27-year tenure. The reason? The company was looking for "a different kind of music." Clausen's last musical contribution to the show was the Season 28 finale, which aired on May 21, 2017.
What Exactly Happened?
Details on what prompted Fox to make that decision are unclear, and a spokeswoman for the company denied a request for comment from Variety. However, seeing how Fox has been trying to cut down the show's cost (which seems to be an ongoing issue) one rumored answer is the high price tag that came with the music.
Unlike the majority of #TV series out there, #TheSimpsons has always been known for its use of a 35-piece orchestra in every episode, which was requested by creator of the series, #MattGroening, from the very beginning. According to Variety, Fox's musical spendings have been in the millions each year. But hold on, because the story gets more interesting.
Shortly after Clausen's firing, The Simpsons' producers released a statement through Deadline, informing fans that the composer would stay involved with the show in an undisclosed capacity, and the orchestra would remain in place:
"We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to the Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain committed to the finest in music for the 'Simpsons,' absolutely including orchestral. This is the part where we would make a joke but neither Alf's work nor the music of the Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us."
What kind of role #AlfClausen will have moving forward is unknown at this point, but we'll hopefully get an answer in the near future. Now, before you get worried about the Simpsons' classic theme song, worry not. Reportedly, Fox isn't planning on making any changes to it. While it's great to know that, I'm quite curious to see what kind of new direction the company has in mind for the series in terms of the score, especially with Clausen being partially involved. Hopefully, the change won't be too jarring for longtime fans.
The Simpsons will return for Season 29 on October 1, 2017.
How do you feel about Alf Clausen being fired from The Simpsons? Let me know in the comments!