Actor/comedian Harry Shearer has quit long-running cartoon The Simpsons after more than a quarter century.
Shearer has voiced popular Simpsons characters like Ned Flanders, Mr. Burns and Principal Skinner, plus hundreds of other minor roles, since the animated comedy first hit screens in 1989.
His future with the show recently came into question when he became the only cast member not to have signed a renewal contract with bosses at America’s Fox network, and Shearer has now confirmed he will not be returning to the fictional town of Springfield.
The funnyman announced the news on his Twitter page by quoting a lawyer representing The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks, writing, “From James L. Brooks’ lawyer: ‘Show will go on, Harry will not be part of it, wish him the best.'”
Shearer adds, “This because (sic) I wanted what we’ve always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best… Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support.”
The actor went on to declare his decision “wasn’t about money” and insist he has no plans to retire, adding, “No retirement in sight. On to new stuff…”
J-Connection: Harry Shearer is the son of Jewish immigrants.