Comic Book Guy and Professor Fink will live on, as Hank Azaria suspects The Simpsons will easily hit 40 seasons and possibly beyond.
With nearly 34 complete seasons and just under 750 episodes, The Simpsons holds the record for being the longest-running animated series, scripted primetime series and sitcom. And, as it goes, it is showing no signs of slowing down, with one of the show’s most prolific talents, Hank Azaria, saying The Simpsons has its sights set on season 40.
“I wonder about that, too,” Hank Azaria told People of The Simpsons‘ run. “You know, we’re doing season 35 and 36. I would guess that it would probably go to 40. It seems to be doing well.” While Azaria specifically cites season 40, there’s a feeling he means it will go to at least 40. “Whatever the standards are now, we seem to be doing well. People still enjoy making it. They seem to want the show. So I imagine we keep going. The voices don’t really age. So we can keep doing it. And the animation doesn’t age. The animation does get better–and quicker.”
Through The Simpsons‘run, Hank Azaria has voiced a litany of characters: Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Professor Fink, Snake, and more. And of course there is Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who Azaria stepped down from voicing as more critics began expressing their disapproval of Azaria’s interpretation, saying it was a racist stereotype. As season 32 neared its finale, Azaria stated, “I apologize for my part in creating that and participating in that. Part of me feels like I need to go around to every single Indian person in this country and personally apologize. And sometimes I do when it comes up.” Azaria would also step down from voicing police sergeant Lou, Lenny’s BFF Carl and TV personality Bumblebee Man, all characters of color (that is, not yellow).
But losing supporting characters hasn’t slowed Hank Azaria down much, saying he’ll continue to be part of The Simpsons cast as long as they let him. “I’d be silly to leave because they pay me, first of all.” And it’s evident that the show is willing to pay him and the rest of the core cast for an undetermined number of future seasons, already confirmed for enough that will help it hit 800 episodes.
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