The Simpsons fires composer after 27 years

Longtime Simpsons composer Alf Clausen has been fired from the show after 27 years with the FOX animated comedy.

Clausen is the man behind such gems as We Put The Spring in Springfield, You’re Checkin’ In, We Do (The Stonecutters Song) and The Land of Chocolate.

Clausen has told Variety that he received a call from producer Richard Sakai that the company was seeking “a different kind of music” and that he would no longer be scoring the series.

Clausen has scored more than 560 episodes of the series, starting early in the 1990-91 season winning 2 Emmys for his work. He is believed to be the most-nominated composer in Emmy history, with a total of 30 nominations overall.

Of note, Clausen uses a 35-piece orchestra every week, something creator Matt Groening insisted upon from the start of the show. But with costs of musicians, running into the millions of dollars per year it remains to be seen if that will stay.

“I look at the orchestra as another actor, another player. I think everybody else really feels that as well. They always tell me that there’s another player involved with the orchestra, and it adds a lot to the story line and color,” he once told CoS.

Danny Elfman’s theme is expected to be retained.

FOX declined to comment.

Update: Producers said, “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.”


  1. I wish they fired Al Jean instead. In the golden seasons, the show would have a new EP (or EPs) every season or two to keep the show fresh. Al Jean has been the EP since season 11 (that’s 19 seasons!), the same point that the show started going down the toilet, from which it never recovered.

    In the old days, almost every other episode was a classic. Now, we would be lucky if we get a couple of episodes a year that rise above mediocrity.

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