The last D'oh?: "The Simpsons" Theme Composer Says the Show is Coming to an End
Fri, December 3, 2021

The last D'oh?: "The Simpsons" Theme Composer Says the Show is Coming to an End

With three decades on American television, "The Simpsons" is the longest-running TV show in the US. But that streak may soon come to an end after the show's theme composer revealed it would be going off-air in the next few years / Photo by: 360b via Shutterstock

 

Animated shows that cater to adult audiences don't usually last that long, especially if episodes aren't connected to one another. Only a few have defied those odds and the most notable of them is "The Simpsons," which has aired since 1989. With three decades on American television, "The Simpsons" is the longest-running TV show in the US. But that streak may soon come to an end after the show's theme composer revealed it would be going off-air in the next few years.


Unexpected Longevity

"The Simpsons" has aired 670 episodes across 31 seasons since 1989 and it will continue to churn out more episodes after Fox's renewal of the animated sitcom for its 32nd Season. The new season is due to air from 2020 to 2021 and will give the show a grand total of 713 episodes.

But that could also be the final count, as the animated hit's theme music composer Danny Elfman claimed it is coming to its end.

"From what I've heard, it is coming to an end…I don't know for a fact, but I've heard that it will be in its last year," Elfman said in an exclusive interview with Joe.ie. Joe.ie is a news website that provides up-to-date and informed coverage "for news, music, sports, fitness and everything else important that is happening right now."

"The Simpsons" has aired 670 episodes across 31 seasons since 1989 and it will continue to churn out more episodes after Fox's renewal of the animated sitcom for its 32nd Season / Photo by: Loren Javier via Flickr

 

If what the music composer said is true, then the show will go off the air in two years. During the interview, Elfman said he didn't expect that "The Simpsons" would last as long as it has.

"All I can say is that I'm so flabbergasted and amazed that it has lasted as long as it did," he admitted. "So, you have to realize, when I scored 'The Simpsons,' I wrote this crazy piece of music, and I expected no-one would hear it because I really did not think the show had a chance in hell."

Elfman added he expected the show to "run for three episodes and get canceled," prematurely ending the show since it was "so weird at the time" and the theme composer didn't think it would even have a chance.

"So believe me, that is one of the truly big surprises in my life."

It’s Time for the End

In recent years, there have been discussions and rumors that "The Simpsons" has passed its peak. Given its multitude of episodes, as well as a blockbuster movie that grossed $527 million worldwide, it could be time for the show to pull down the curtains and call it quits.

But executive producer and writer Al Jean debunked the Elfman's statement, saying on a Twitter post, "We are all thankful the following article is NOT TRUE," followed by a link to an article in The Guardian about the show's supposed cancellation.

While this is good news for the show's fans, some believe it's best to put it to rest. In her piece on Metro UK, assistant entertainment editor Mel Evans says she welcomes the end of the 30-year run.

"Sure this sounds a little ‘hello darkness my old friend’, however with the last bit of its stellar run mired by controversy and the inability to keep up with the times, despite its history of being progressive in so many other ways (and, somehow predicting so many future moments), it’s time for something new."

When "The Simpsons" first aired, it took on a "smutty, controversial, pearl-clutching cheeky" approach that parents didn't like to the point that they prohibited their children from watching it. 

"In those heady days of teenage obsession the show was just political enough to be funny, it didn’t rely too much on society’s actions for its content, and it drew upon caricatures to aid the story in a tongue-in-cheek fashion," Evans said, adding that the show had range.

"But I don’t think it captures its audience quite [as] it used to, which begs the question of its legacy. As someone who only watched the first decade in 2019, will anyone even care about season 31 in 2030?"

In recent years, there have been discussions and rumors that "The Simpsons" has passed its peak. Given its multitude of episodes, as well as a blockbuster movie that grossed $527 million worldwide / Photo by: Joshua Rainey Photography via Shutterstock

 

The Show Is Showing Its Age

In her piece, Evans notes that the show was soon berated with claims of being culturally insensitive and racist. This is especially seen in the character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, whom many are calling to be removed as "he was clearly offending many with the Indian stereotype of working in a convenience store, and his white voice actor Hank Azaria portraying him with an over-the-top accent."

In a documentary that outlined the issues with the character, comedian Hari Kondabolu acknowledged that Apu was one of the few representations of Indian people on TV during the starting years of the show. But as times changed, the changes in societal view took notice of the distasteful stereotype laced into his character.

"Frankly, Apu’s problematic presence was the most interesting discussion surrounding the show in years," according to Forbes. "The Simpsons died long ago, and the fact that it still can attract controversy is almost impressive."

The controversy was acknowledged within the show but was so quickly dismissed that another round of anger ensued. Matt Groening, the creator of the show, confirmed that Apu won't be written off from "The Simpsons" despite speculations due to the backlash.

Forbes questions if Apu's fate on the show even mattered, saying that the show "seems to exist only to sell merchandise and legitimize the mobile app." The business magazine adds that racial controversy has been the go-to solution for the show to draw attention, noting that "The Simpsons...has nothing left to say," except sparking a debate on social media.

"Like Apu, The Simpsons is really showing its age, and to be fair, thirty seasons is more than enough to kill any pop-culture juggernaut. The show has been suffering a slow death; finally taking it off the air might be considered a mercy killing."