This weekend the voice of Ned Flanders and many more other beloved The Simpsons characters has announced that he will be leaving the show.

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Voice of Ned Flanders

Harry Shearer has been on The Simpsons since its debut in 1989. Shearer took to Twitter to announce his departure:

Shearer has been the voice of Ned Flanders and these iconic The Simpsons characters for the past 26 years:

  • Principal Seymour Skinner
  • Mr. Burns and his assistant, Waylon Smithers

Voice of Ned Flanders

  • Otto

Voice of Ned Flanders

  • Reverend Lovejoy
  • Lenny Leonard
  • Jasper Beardy
  • Scratchy

As well as cameos like:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • The Devil
  • Adolf Hitler
  • God

  • Bill Clinton

With Shearer being the voice of Ned Flanders and many other main characters, many fans wondered whether The Simpsons would be killing off these characters in its upcoming 27th season. This would’ve been major news because a character hasn’t died in The Simpson since schoolteacher Edna Krabappel, who was the wife of widower Ned Flanders, in 2013 following the passing of voice actor Marcia Wallace.

But creator Al Jean has assured fans that the major characters would be re-casted and the other minor characters would just not make an appearance again or would be voiced by another actor/actress. Jean stated that:

Harry Shearer was offered the same deal the rest of the cast accepted, and passed. The show will go on and we wish him well. We do not plan to kill off characters like Burns and Flanders but will re-cast with the finest voiceover talent available.

Adding jokingly that:

Maggie took [the news of Shearer leaving the show] hard.