Why was one of the longest-running employees still with The Simpsons let go this week? And who will replace him?
Variety reports that Alf Clausen, who has composed the musical score for the long-running series since its second season, has been laid off. Alf told the trade paper that according to his conversation with producer Richard Sakai, Fox was looking for “a different kind of music” to score the cartoon.
What Fox means by “different” is unknown at this time, but we would guess they mean “cheaper.” Clausen’s score is achieved through the use of a 35-piece orchestra, which has always been one of the most expensive things about making The Simpsons. Matt Groening has insisted that The Simpsons be traditionally scored for much of its run, but he did buckle in the case of his other cartoon, Futurama, which used a fake orchestra when it resumed production in 2007.
Clausen’s career on America’s longest-running scripted series has been a fruitful one. He’s won the Emmy twice for his work, and been nominated 30 times in all, making him the most-nominated composer in Emmy history. Altogether, Clausen scored over 560 episodes of The Simpsons.
Whatever the show will sound like from this point, it won’t take long to find out. The music score is one of the last elements to be added to a Simpsons episode, so we’ll hear the work of Clausen’s replacement for the first time when the series returns next month on Fox.
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