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The Simpsons says goodbye to a beloved character and actor

Katie McKay-Phillips is a freelance writer and the creator of Ruffled Feathers, an online wedding and event style brand. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son and two English bulldogs. Katie is a Highland Games competitor and streng...

Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons, but will the show survive without him?

Say it ain't so!

Harry Shearer isn't a name you might be immediately familiar with, but his voice definitely is one you'd recognize in a split second. Shearer is part of the bedrock of the fictional Springfield community, which houses the Simpsons, and he gives voice to some of the town's best-known characters, such as Montgomery C. Burns, Principal Skinner and Simpson's neighbor Ned Flanders.

He has been a part of the show's production for 26 years, 582 episodes and one movie. He was the voice for a whopping 31 characters.

Shearer just announced, via Twitter, that he will be leaving the show. It had been rumored in the days proceeding this bombshell that Shearer was having contract disputes and had been holding up the production of the next two seasons because of it.

He tweeted in two parts, "'from James L. Brooks' lawyer: 'show will go on, Harry will not be a part of it, wish him the best.' (1/2)." He then continued, "This because I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work. Of course, I wish him the very best. (2/2)."

Despite the Fox Network continuing to press forward, fans and the internet are freaking out and trying to figure out how on earth it will replace such an integral part of its operation. They are calling for the entire show to be canceled, effectively lighting their torches and getting their pitchforks.

The show has had questionable years but continued to stay at least mildly funny. Whatever rocky patches came or went, The Simpsons managed remain a heavy anchor in the lineup of animated shows for Fox. So the question might not be, "How will the show survive?", but what will Fox's animated lineup look like in the wake of such a transformation or cancellation?

Not sure if many people will stick around to find out without Shearer around.

More on the Simpsons

6 Ways The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon championed animal rights
The Simpsons cast is trying to keep the show alive

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