Fans of The Simpsons are on edge this year, as executive producer Al Jean teased back in October that the axe will fall on a character in the season 26 premiere. The only clues? The character has appeared more than twice on the show and is voiced by an actor who won an Emmy for playing the role (or roles).
While everyone scrambles to place their bets on the identity of the unlucky victim (the latest in a long line of offed characters including Maude Flanders, Fat Tony, and Bleeding Gums Murphy), Hank Azaria dropped a major clue about the Springfield resident who will kick the bucket in next fall’s season premiere.
“I honestly didn’t know who it was going to be, and now I do know…I can say that it’s not one of mine,” said four-time Emmy winner Azaria, who stopped by EW’s TV Editors Hour on Sirius XM to chat about Fatherhood (his new AOL docuseries in which celeb dads offer parenting advice to father-to-be Azaria).
So which characters does that rule out? It’s good news for the big names on Azaria’s voice roster: Apu, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Carl, Cletus, Captain McCallister, Officer Lou, Bumblebee Man, Superintendent Chalmers, Duffman, Professor Frink, Snake, Dr. Nick, Kirk Van Houten, and Disco Stu (plus dozens more).
With Azaria’s characters out of the running, there are still dozens of possibilities for the show’s looming casualty. Consider this: Series regulars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith have all won Emmys for their voice-over work on the show, as have Anne Hathaway, Kelsey Grammer, Jackie Mason, and the late Marcia Wallace (whose character Mrs. Krabappel is also not in the potential pool). It stands to reason that almost anyone who’s set foot in Springfield (more than once, at least) is still on the chopping block.
Catch Azaria’s full interview on The Simpsons and Fatherhood on Sirius XM 105 at noon Friday.