'The Simpsons' Composer Alf Clausen Has Reportedly Been Fired

31 August 2017 | 10:37 am | Staff Writer

Clausen had worked for the show for more than 25 years, scoring more than 550 episodes and writing some of its most famous melodies.

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Alf Clausen, the longtime composer for The Simpsons, has reportedly been fired from the show after a 27-year stint, during which he scored more than 550 episodes.

According to Variety, Clausen confirmed to them that he had been told in a phone call from producer Richard Sakai that the show was looking for "a different kind of music" as it looks towards its 29th season.

Clausen started with the show in 1990 — with the first-ever Treehouse Of Horror — and had served as its sole composer (aside from Danny Elfman, who is the man behind the series' iconic theme song) ever since.

He was responsible for creating the music for 560 episodes during his tenure, the last of which was May's season-28 finale, Dogtown, written by J. Stewart Burns.

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While Fox has not commented on the apparent dismissal, the prevailing (albeit unconfirmed) suggestion is that Clausen was let go for financial reasons; despite the show's large profits, he utilised a 35-piece orchestra — the costs of which annually numbered in the millions — in creating The Simpsons' distinct sonic palette.

During his time on The Simpsons, Clausen won two Primetime Emmy Awards, both in the Outstanding Individual Achievement In Music & Lyrics category (We Put The Spring In Springfield, 1997; You're Checkin' In, 1998), won a further 13 awards and was nominated 30 times across a multitude of categories for his work on the show between 1992 and 2011. He also won five Annie Awards between 1997 and 2007.

His voluminous Simpsons catalogue has been released across three albums — Songs In The Key Of Springfield (1997), Go Simpsonic With The Simpsons (1999) and The Simpsons: Testify (2007).

Along with general musical cues, Clausen composed most of the series' best-known and best-loved original numbers, including We Do (The Stonecutters Song), Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?, We Put The Spring In Springfield, The Garbageman, A Boozehound Named Barney, Cut Every Corner, the songs of in-universe musicals Oh, Streetcar! and Planet Of The Apes, See My Vest, Springfield, Springfield, Señor Burns, The Amendment Song, all the thematic spins on Elfman's end credits music (i.e. Hill Street Blues version, Afro-Cuban version, Dragnet version, The Addams Family version, etc) and more.

Aside from his work with The Simpsons, Clausen has also scored and/or conducted for films and TV programs including ALF (1986-90), The Beastmaster (1982), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), Weird Science (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and The Naked Gun (1988), among others.

There has been no word on who will replace Clausen when The Simpsons returns for its 29th season in October.

Well, nothing much else to do but forget our troubles with a big bowl of strawberry ice-cream some of Alf Clausen's greatest Simpsons hits.