As reported by Variety, longtime composer for The Simpsons, Alf Clausen, has been let go from the FOX animated juggernaut. While the official reason has yet to be confirmed by FOX or the showrunners, it appears Clausen was told the show wanted a different, new sound for the new season, which premieres Oct. 1.
Clausen has been with The Simpsons since 1990 and served as its sole composer through its 28th season. While he did not compose the iconic theme song (that credit goes to Danny Elfman), Clausen is responsible for the many musical styles featured on the show during its long tenure as a FOX staple. No new replacement has been announced as of the time of this reporting, though whoever steps into Clausen’s shoes will have quite a bit of work to catch up to. Barring the show changing how their sound is recorded, composing had operated on an episode-per-week basis. Moreover, it remains to be seen how the audience will react to what could potentially be a dramatic shift in sound after 28 years of familiarity.
Thanks to his work on The Simpsons, Clausen won Emmys in 1997 and 1998, and also received a whopping 21 nominations for the show. Of the five Annie Awards he has won, all of them have been for his work on the show. His other previous projects include providing additional music for features films such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dragnet, and The Naked Gun, and work on television for shows such as Alf, Fame, and Moonlighting (for which he also received Emmy nominations in 1986 and 1987, as well as 1988 and 1989).
Sound off on your thoughts below. What new direction do you think the show is pursuing? And how would you react to a major sound shift on a show you’ve been watching for years?