Harry Shearer wants to leave The Simpsons.

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Jason Adams, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Jason Adams

    Jason Adams Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Roger Jason Adams
    'Simpsons' Voice Actor Says He'd Like to Leave

    http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/#2

    Humorist Harry Shearer, whose disgruntled attitude in real life (and exhibited on his public radio program Le Show) is often transposed into brilliant comedy in the characters he portrays, has indicated that he is so dissatisfied with the course of The Simpsons that he'd "rather not be there now." Shearer, who voices numerous characters on the animated series, including Mr. Burns, Smithers, and Ned Flanders, also complained in an interview with the Irish Examiner that he has been relegated to essentially walk-on parts on the series. Referring to the fact that he reportedly earns $250,000 an episode for recording only a few lines of dialogue per episode, Shearer remarked, "It's possible to make a very nice living and still get totally screwed." His remarks outraged The Simpsons producer, Al Jean, who told the New York Post: "He's a guy who's been a malcontent, in my view. ... For someone earning millions off the show this year ... I just think it's unfathomable for him to take a shot at us."
     
  2. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm hoping they just write his characters bigger parts.
     
  3. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    4,184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Mikey
    Didn't he just get a raise?
    Oh Brother.
     
  4. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Messages:
    2,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Who is that malcontent?"
    "That would be Harry Shearer, sir."
    "Shearer, eh?"
     
  5. LizH

    LizH Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    0
    After fifteen years, I'm not surprised.
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Messages:
    12,650
    Likes Received:
    549
    Real Name:
    Malcolm

    Al Jean said he was a malcontent already in S4.
     
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    749
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew
    But he's a rich malcontent. He can probably retire to Marlon Brando's old island by now.
     
  8. Britton

    Britton Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2001
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would think the only reason any of the voice actors would stay with the show these days is because of the money and not the quality (which there isn't much of IMO) of the new episodes. That money would be reason enough for me.
     
  9. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Eh, it sounds like he's just venting anger, but will stay because the money is great, and the hours (comparatively) are rather short.
     
  10. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 1999
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let him leave if he's so damned unhappy. Far be it from the producers of the show to stifle his "creativity". If it's really such an issue then, hey, Harry, the door's wide open...

    I've heard LOTS of people who have done perfect renditions of all his characters. One voice actor may not be able to do all the separate characters, but I'm sure that producers would be able to find voice actors to replace Harry's departure.

    The when he finds that the grass is no greener on the other side of the fence, & "Shelly Long"'itis (the inability for one's inflated ego to accept the fact that they've bitten the hand that feeds them) sets in, he'll be wishing he had never left the show. Of course, by that time it'll be too late, and his story will probably change to "they fired me without a good reason".

    We've seen this kind of crap all before... [​IMG]

    Moe.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,879
    Likes Received:
    1,651
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I don't think it's a money issue. It didn't sound like he was troubled about his situation financially so much as creatively. He's seen the show going down like a sinking vessel and he's finally decided that getting paid to go down with the ship isn't work it and wonders where the life boats are.

    Al Jean's attitude seems to show what's wrong with the show right now: "Hey, we're still making the big bucks off the show, so just go along for the ride."
     
  12. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    0
    I interpreted that snippet from imdb.com the same way as Adam. Personally, I have a lot less affection for the series today for about the same reasons.
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,570
    Likes Received:
    115
    I don't know what Shearer is talking about. He has had more to do than just "Walk on Parts" Burns, Flanders, and Skinner have been central characters on episodes last season. Shearer could be right about the show's decline in quality, but he probably should not go around complaining in public. It seems like bad form to me. You don't really see any of the other cast members complaining about the show (except maybe when it comes to their salaries) It is also interesting to see that Jean attacks back somewhat harshly. Perhaps those two never got on that well. I have heard and read things to suggest that Shearer is a pain in the ass.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    749
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew
    He is right about the show's decline. Some of the Season 15 episodes were just plain embarrassing. And now that one of the stars is complaining, they really need to look at it.

    If it were me, I'd stay if the money were good, out of loyalty to fellow cast members.
     
  15. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    5,065
    Likes Received:
    1
    If his complaints are about the quality of the show, that's fine. People need to complain in order to make things better, and there's room for improving "The Simpsons".

    If he's complaining about him not getting enough screen time, he's off base, IMO. He has never voiced any of the show's central characters, but has always been in every episode doing many different important parts. Even if he was somewhat underused last season (I missed Burns and Kent Brockman a lot [​IMG]), he was still in every episode as far as I know.

    Anyone who makes $250,000 a week and complains they're getting screwed is hard to take seriously, IMO.

    /Mike
     
  16. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Messages:
    2,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not many people in the industry seem to like Harry. In the book Live from New York, many cast members recall how Harry was a pain.

    I don't see how getting $250,000 to record very little is him getting "screwed." I think he's just looking for controversy with these remarks.
     
  17. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 1999
    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    0
    It boils down to an employee criticizing his employer in public.

    I don't know about you guys, but if I did that and my remarks were published for all to see then, well, I'd probably be looking for a new job soon.

    Poor quality of the show or not, this is just rude & distateful on Shearer's part and I wouldn't shed a tear if they made an example of his whiny ass.

    Moe.
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,670
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Quentin H
    Yes, the show is in decline - a mere shadow of its former self.

    But, here's a suggestion Harry...instead of taking your QUARTER OF A MILLION WEEKLY CHECK for about 4 hours work and then bitching about the quality of the show - how about you sit your butt down and help do some writing! You're a writer. You're a comedian. You're supposed to be quite talented at both!

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Shut the hell up.
     
  19. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,921
    Likes Received:
    749
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew
    Even if he did contribute to writing it'd probably get watered down and edited.
     
  20. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    9,209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Recently though, within the past couple of months, all 6 acters signed new long-term contracts that included raises in pay and substancial ones at that.

    So, my point is that if he really wanted out that badly, nobody forced him to sign his name on a 3 or 4 year contract extention, I forget the number of years exactly.

    I don't think its a money thing, I just sort of find the timing odd, if you wanted out, don't sign on for 3 or 4 years. That doesn't mean the show will be around for all that time, but again if I were really unhappy I'd probably not sign on to do more. Of course that is just me.

    That's not to say that I don't think he makes some valid points about the quality of the show in recent seasons. Its not what it once was, but then again how many shows that have been on for as long as the Simpsons has can say that they never lost the magic?
     

Share This Page