Is The Simpsons killing off Krusty the Clown?

Simpsons executive producer Al Jean suggested that the show might kill off long-running character and fan favorite Krusty the Klown in the 26th season premiere episode on September 29.

Jean announced last year that a major character would die during the show’s 26th season. Since then, all has been speculation and mystery (and a lot of both).

Speaking to a panel on Fox comedies during the Television Critics Association press tour, Jean said that the title of the season premiere is “Clown in the Dumps.”

The title drew gasps from the crowd.

Jean responded, “I didn’t say I was killing Krusty….I didn’t say I wasn’t.”

The only other clue of significance that fans have to go by is that the person who voices the character has won an Emmy. That leaves out the following:

-Dan Castallaneta (who voices Krusty, as well as Homer)
-Julie Kavner (Marge)
-Hank Azaria (Moe and Apu)
-Nancy Cartwright (Bart)
-Yeardley Smith (Lisa)
-Kelsey Grammer (Sideshow Bob)

Strangely enough, Harry Shearer, who voices Mr. Burns, Mr. Smithers, Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy, and Ned Flanders, has never won an Emmy. If you’re a big fan of those characters, you can breathe easy.

Also of note: Marcia Wallace, the voice of Ms. Krabappel, died last October. Her character was retired in honor of Wallace’s memory.

The Simpsons has run for 552 episodes–a record for animated shows, as well as for sitcoms.

So: who do you think will bite the dust? Whose time has run out? Which character is going to that big Korean animation factory in the sky?

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