After an astounding twenty-nine seasons on network television (FOX, specifically), not much has changed about the beloved animated sitcom, The Simpsons. Sure, over the years, they have received a feature film and a theme park, but the characters and the people behind them have remained largely the same. A major change is coming to the show now, though, as the seventy-six year old composer for the show, Alf Clausen, is being let go from the show after composing the music for it over the course of the past twenty-seven years.
One of the producers of the show, Richard Sakai, told Clausen the bad news recently, citing the reason for this change as the show wanting “a different kind of music.” However, this might not be the whole truth, considering the fact that in 2011, the cast of the show (including Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria) were requested by producers to reduce their salaries per episode.
Since Clausen had a thirty-five piece orchestra, it is likely safe to assume that a perceptually ballooning budget could simply not sustain the cost that music can tend to have. Regardless of the reasoning for the ousting, it is safe to say that every Simpsons fan will sorely miss Clausen and the amicable tunes he brought to one of their favorite shows.
Even though it might seem on the surface like Clausen is not as integral to the show as the voice actors who play our beloved characters are, his absence will certainly be noticeable (even if it is not outwardly apparently initially) when you watch the people of Springfield get up to their usual hi jinks without the quirky, jaunty music following them around wherever they may go. I am sure, however, that the creators of The Simpsons and its many producers are grateful for all the work that Clausen did for them.