The Simpsons Fired Longtime Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years


Variety- Two-time Emmy winner Alf Clausen has been fired from “The Simpsons” after 27 years of providing music for Bart, Lisa, and company. Clausen told Variety that he received a call from “Simpsons” producer Richard Sakai that the company was seeking “a different kind of music” and that he would no longer be scoring the longtime Fox hit. A Fox spokeswoman declined to comment.

Clausen, whose Emmy record includes two wins (1997 and ’98) and another 21 nominations for “The Simpsons” dating back to 1992, has scored more than 560 episodes of the series, starting early in the 1990-91 season. He is believed to be the most-nominated composer in Emmy history, with a total of 30 nominations overall. He has also won five Annie Awards, all for his “Simpsons” music. His long tenure with the series has made him one of the most respected creators of animation music in TV history.

Speculation about Clausen’s dismissal involves cost-cutting measures, which have been ongoing at “The Simpsons” in recent years, despite its massive profits for Fox and executive producer James L. Brooks’ Gracie Films. Clausen uses a 35-piece orchestra every week — something that “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening insisted upon from the start of the show. Including costs of musicians, recording studios, and orchestration, expenses routinely run into the millions of dollars per year. Danny Elfman’s “Simpsons” theme is expected to be retained.

I’ll admit that this news pissed me off way more than it should considering it’s about a person I’ve never met or seen on a show I probably haven’t watched since Robbie Fox was born. But still, how are The Simpsons firing any longtime employee these days? They still have a zillion viewers and are still making money arm over dick despite the show hitting the skids more than a decade ago. If you were working on The Simpsons during the glory days, you should be on scholarship for life. The artists, the voice actors, the composers. It doesn’t matter. If you are a part of The Simpsons back when it was the best show on TV, you get the Dirk in Dallas treatment until you are tired of cashing those checks. And if you are going to get fired, it better be for some creepy reason that makes people’s skin crawl. You can’t just give the heave ho to an OG Simpsons employee for cost-cutting reasons like he’s Lisa going off the script in the opening credits.

And not just any OG but the OG that was responsibly for some absolute BANGERS back in the day. As someone that played Songs In The Key Of Springfield over and over in the family minivan until the laser burned through the disc during my formative years, this one hits especially close to home. I mean look at some of the heaters Alfy Clau Clau came up with (Source: A veryyyy quick Google search and glance at Amazon).

The Stonecutters “We Do” song, which many people consider the GOAT Simpsons song.

Kamp Krusty

The Itchy And Scratchy theme, which is sooooo fucking good yet soooo fucking simple

The Canyonero song, which is peak Merica


The super addictive and spicy Señor Burns song

The criminally underrated Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?

Dr. Zaius (Which is on my Mount Rushmore of Simpsons songs)

See My Vest (Which is on my Mount Rushmore as well alongside Happy Birthday Lisa and Talkin’ Softball)


Plus a TON of others.

However I will admit that being named Alf did Mr. Clausen no favors. If you think there is even a remote chance that you are going to lose your job, you gotta start going by Al, Fred, or Alfred. Being named Alf was probably always weird but his ability was able to shine past the fact he shared a name with everyone’s favorite Melmacian.

But again, I don’t know how you fire a guy because you want to change up the music. Nobody is watching The Simpsons because of the music these days. I don’t think they are watching it for the humor either unless things have changed drastically recently. But it’s not the music.

Anyway best of luck to Alfy boy. I will now devote the rest of my day listening to Songs In The Key Of Springfield, or at least the ones that YouTube has, as I pump out mediocre-at-best blogs.