‘The Simpsons’ To Kill Off A Major Character; Betting Now Open In Our Dead Pool
Animated institution The Simpsons will be killing off a major character sometime in the coming season, according to series producer Al Jean:
“We’re actually working on a script where a character will pass away,” Jean said. “I’ll give a clue that the actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing that character, but I won’t say who it is.”
As the LA Times’ Meredith Blake points out, that hardly narrows down the possibilities:
Nearly every member of the core ensemble of voice-over performers has won an Emmy, including Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Barney, Krusty), Julie Kavner (Marge, Patty, Selma), Hank Azaria (Apu, practically everyone else on the show), Nancy Cartwright (Bart) and Yeardley Smith (Lisa).
Even a few guest stars have picked up Emmys for “Simpsons” appearances, including Anne Hathaway for voicing Princess Penelope and Kelsey Grammer for Sideshow Bob.
In addition to temporarily snuffing characters in the Halloween “Treehouse of Horror” sketches, the show has permanently killed other running characters, such as Lisa’s jazz idol “Bleeding Gums” Murphy and next-door neighbor Maude Flanders, as well as one-shot characters like Grandpa Simpson’s love interest Beatrice Simmons or Frank “Grimey” Grimes, the only competent person to ever work at the Springfield Nuclear Plant.
So, who’s it going to be? Since this isn’t The Walking Dead, we’ll assume that the core family is safe, and the list of Emmy-winning characters is actually fairly limited:
- Rabbi Hyman Krustofski — Emmy for Jackie Mason, 1992. Seems like Krusty the Klown’s father is a long shot, since he’s only been in a few episodes, but it would make for Big Tears.
- Edna Krabapple — Emmy for Marcia Wallace, 1992. Kill off Bart’s teacher? Unpossible! Or is it? She married Ned Flanders, so that could be a death sentence and running gag all in one.
- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon — Emmy for Hank Azaria, 1998. The Kwik-E-Mart manager is a bucket of culturally insensitive stereotypes, so some might want to see him gone. On the other hand, Apu has been shot by robbers at work so many times that he may be nigh-invulnerable.
- Robert “Sideshow” Bob Terwiliger — Emmy for Kelsey Grammer, 2006. We’re leaning toward a final exit for Bob, whose homicidal-maniac act has been feeling played out in recent seasons. The problem with killing this character is that since he’s already faked his death once, how would the producers convince fans that he’s dead dead?
- Princess Penelope — Emmy for Anne Hathaway, 2010. Who? We had to look her up on the wiki, so we’ll just assume that killing her off would not create enough buzz to boost ratings. She’s probably safe, if only due to lack of interest. Like how I leave my 1973 Impala unlocked sometimes — nobody’s dumb enough to steal it.
The wild cards, of course, are Hank Azaria and Dan Castellaneta, who have both won Emmys for “various characters,” so we could be looking at about eighty squidzillion possibilities with that loophole, including Grandpa Abe, Krusty, Groundskeeper Willy, Barney, or Mayor Quimby (Castellaneta); or maybe Chief Wiggum, Carl, Lou the cop, Comic Book Guy (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!), Professor Frink, or Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel (Azaria).
Please feel free to speculate wildly.