When the 29th season of The Simpsons premieres later this year, it will, for the first time in decades, be doing so without its longtime musical contributor, Alf Clausen. His last complete score was for the final episode of the 28th season.
His two Emmys for the show came from the songs, "We Put The Spring In Springfield", and "You're Checking In".
Details on what prompted Fox to make that decision are unclear, and a spokeswoman for the company denied a request for comment from Variety. Clausen used a 35-piece orchestra every week.
In tribute to a man who has been such an integral part of the show since nearly the very beginning, why not have one more listen to one of his more famous offerings...
Variety speculated the sacking was a cost-cutting measure to avoid the expense of paying for musicians and recording studios. He also won five Annie Awards between 1997 and 2007. Though the show's quality has waned as it approaches its 30th birthday, it did average a decent 4.1 million live plus same day viewers previous year, according to TV Series Finale. A replacement has yet to be announced, although Variety noted Danny Elfman's theme song will remain. The season 29 premiere is scheduled for October 1, but it's not clear who will score that episode or what Clausen's new role will be.
When asked by effect of Sound what it's like working on a show that covers multiples genres, from burlesque to barbershop to grunge, Clausen replied, "I think that's one of the reasons they've kept me all these years".