Alf Clausen, who composed music for The Simpsons for 27 years, has been fired. D’oh! Alf talked about his departure to Variety magazine, stating: “Thank you for all of the support…unfortunately, the news is true…”
Thank you for all of the support…unfortunately, the news is true… https://t.co/jBQH0b40cz
— Alf Clausen (@TheAlfClausen) August 31, 2017
He began his career in season 2, around 1990-91. Overall, he composed for more than 560 episodes. He would conduct a 35-piece orchestra each week and his last score was for the season 28 finale. He also composed for productions including Moonlighting, The Naked Gun and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Alf’s work hadn’t gone unnoticed, as he won two Emmy Awards for his work on The Simpsons for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics. He has also won five Annie Awards for his work.
Despite Alf’s clear hard work and dedication to the show, producer Richard Sakai informed him that the show wanted “a different kind of music”. Not really a nice move on their part, we think, as The Simpsons and even the music is very sacred.
There was also speculation about Clausen’s dismissal centring around cost-cutting measures, which have apparently been taking place on the show in recent years, despite the huge profits the show still makes. Alf’s weekly 35-piece orchestra costs millions of dollars every year, though creator Matt Groening insisted on it from the very beginning, in order to have a full sound.
Seth MacFarlane, creator of the animated show Family Guy, tweeted: “Sad news of Alf Clausen. He reinvented the sound of prime-time animation. I hope The Simpsons keeps the orchestra. Big part of a great show.”
Sad news of Alf Clausen. He reinvented the sound of prime-time animation. I hope The Simpsons keeps the orchestra. Big part of a great show.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) August 31, 2017
When asked by E! News to comment on Alf’s dismissal, the producers of The Simpsons gave out the following statement: “We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to The Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain committed to the finest in music for The Simpsons, absolutely including orchestral. This is the part where we would make a joke but neither Alf’s work nor the music of The Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us.”
The Simpsons are due to return for Season 29 on October 1st. Though, at this point, it’s questionable why the show is still running, since there’s been a major decline in quality over the years. It’s doubtful new music will revive the show, but that’s another topic for another day.
While it’s a shame that the producers have dropped such a big talent for the show, we’re sure Alf will move on to compose more great pieces in the future. We predict feature film work for Alf, as talent knows no age in the face of experience and expertise.
<Story by Emily Clark>
Featured Photo Credit: Flixist