Composer Alf Clausen Fired From ‘The Simpsons’ After 27 Years
In a shocking move, it was announced on Wednesday that Emmy-winning composer Alf Clausen had been fired from The Simpsons after 27 years.
Clausen, who’d been with the long-running series since its second season, confirmed his firing to Vanity Fair. According to the publication, the composer “…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.”
Clausen said on Twitter that the musicians who comprised the orchestra had been let go as well, though there’s no official confirmation on that as off press time.
They have sadly been let go as well…
— Alf Clausen (@TheAlfClausen) August 31, 2017
While Danny Elfman composed the show’s iconic theme, Alf Clausen’s background music – recorded weekly with a 35-piece orchestra – proved to be a defining part of over 560 episodes of the series.
Clausen also arranged many of the original Simpsons songs that have gone on to become iconic. In total, he won two Emmys (of a record-setting 30 nominations) and five Annie Awards for his work on the series.
When the news of Clausen’s dismissal broke, many fans took to Twitter to vent about the decision.
Alf Clausen is a musical genius. I’ll always be in awe of his ability to elevate the most sentimental scenes. https://t.co/iRQNDb3jva
— : – ) ALLIE GOERTZ (@AllieGoertz) August 30, 2017
— Dani Stover (@danigray) August 31, 2017
Alf Clausen was the undersung hero of THE SIMPSONS since Season 2. Convinced this is a budget cut and they’re slowly shriveling to oblivion. https://t.co/1C7kGPf6IV
— Mariani @ Dragon Con (@NotTheWhosTommy) August 31, 2017
Television writers got into the act as well, with former Simpsons showrunner Bill Oakley and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane among the many who commented.
WE LOVE YOU ALF!
— ??Bill Oakley?? (@thatbilloakley) August 31, 2017
Sad news of Alf Clausen. He reinvented the sound of prime-time animation. I hope The Simpsons keeps the orchestra. Big part of a great show.
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) August 31, 2017
Following the uproar, Simpsons producers have released a statement reading:
“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.”