The genius behind one of the most distinctive features of The Simpsons — its Broadway-style, parodic orchestral musical acts — has been fired after 27 years of service.
Alf Clausen, who won 2 Emmys and got another 21 nominations for the show, told Variety he received a call from producer Richard Sakai telling him the company was seeking “a different kind of music.”
Clausen confirmed the news on Twitter.
Mashable has reached out to Fox for comment.
Referred to as the show’s “secret weapon” by creator Matt Groening, Clausen scored more than 560 episodes of the series, starting early in the 1990-91 season.
Here’s what musician Doug Adams said of his incredible versatility on Film Score:
The show provides him the opportunity to score realistic drama, overblown comedy, gritty urban jazz, Broadway-worthy show tunes, and some of the most clever and loving parodies of cheap-o television news themes, ’70s action music, and feature film scores ever done.
Clausen uses a 35-piece orchestra every week, as per Groening’s will since the start of The Simpsons.
His last complete score for the series was for the season finale of Season 28, which aired in May.
It is unclear why Clausen was dismissed, but it seems related to cost-cutting measures at The Simpsons in recent years.
To honor Clausen’s departure from the world of Bart, Lisa, and Homer, here are four of the best pieces of television music ever created: