It's a sad day in Springfield.
Voice actor Harry Shearer - the vocal talent behind the likes of Mr Burns, Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers, Principal Skinner, Dr Hibbert, Kent Brockman and a host of other characters - has announced that he is parting ways with the animated show.
Having voiced key characters since its early episodes on The Tracey Ullman Show, the cause of Shearer's departure stems from an apparent contract dispute that limits the amount of extra work the voice actor is able to take on.
Here's what Shearer tweeted on 14 May:
from James L. Brooks' lawyer: "show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.". (1/2)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work.— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015
Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)
According to Hollywood Reporter, Shearer - who won an Emmy Award for his voice-over work last year - was the sole actor to hold out during recent contract negotiations with FOX, with the rest of the cast signing for seasons 27 and 28.
With a replacement yet to be announced, we thought we'd give FOX a helping hand by finding some real life replacements for Shearer's reoccurring parts (and no, it's got nothing to do with their vocal similarities). Feel free to give post your own replacements in the comments below.
Vladimir Putin - Mr Burns
Ed Miliband - Reverend Lovejoy
Jon Snow - Kent Brockman
Nigel Farage - Principal Skinner
Gary Oldman - Ned Flanders
Slash - Otto Mann
Jason Bateman - Waylon Smithers
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Rainier Wolfcastle
Tom Selleck - Jebediah Springfield
Morgan Freeman - God
(Images: Rex, All Star)