The Simpsons has fired its longtime composer Alf Clausen, after 27 years of service. Statistically, most American adults change jobs at least a few times in their lives, and jobs that last for all or even the majority of one's working life are exceedingly rare nowadays. To work successfully at the same job for nearly 30 years is definitely a big accomplishment, and it's a distinction Alf Clausen has earned by composing music for The Simpsons for nearly its entire run.
Clausen has been the FOX animated institution's sole composer since 1990, starting from season 2's 'Treehouse of Horror', the first in The Simpsons' long tradition of Halloween specials. Surprisingly enough, though, despite scoring some 567 episodes of the series, Clausen was not tapped to do the music for 2007's The Simpsons Movie, with that honor going to Hans Zimmer. Still, most fans assumed that Clausen's job was more than safe at this late juncture, and that he'd likely continue providing music for the show until it eventually ends.
That won't be the case, however, as Variety reports that Clausen has been abruptly fired, just weeks ahead of The Simpsons' season 29 premiere. The only explanation for this change so far comes from Clausen himself, who says that he received a call recently from Simpsons producer Richard Sakai informing him that his services would no longer be required, and that show was looking for "a different kind of music."
Despite the season 29 premiere episode -- entitled 'The Serfsons' -- being just over a month away, Clausen's departure appears to be immediate, with the season 28 finale 'Dogtown' serving as his last effort for The Simpsons. The identity of the composer that will replace him has yet to be revealed, but their first work for the show will definitely be heard during season the 29 premiere. FOX has yet to offer an official statement on the matter.
Clausen stands as one of the most respected composers working in animation, having earned a whopping 23 Emmy nominations -- winning twice -- for his contributions to The Simpsons. He's also received 7 additional Emmy nominations for other projects. Some of Clausen's other credits include Alf, The Critic, and Moonlighting. It'll be interesting to see where he ends up next, as he's likely to get several offers.
The Simpsons season 29 premieres October 1 on FOX.