SONGWRITERS’ CORNER: The Simpsons Fires Musical Composer Alf Clausen After 27 Years
The Simpsons might sound a little different when the Fox cartoon returns for Season 29 this fall. Alf Clausen, who’s served as The Simpsons’ musical composer for 27 years, has been fired, according to our sister site Variety. Clausen tells Variety he received a call from producer Richard Sakai, who told him the show was looking for “a different kind of music.” (Fox hasn’t officially commented on the firing.)
Clausen has been composing music for The Simpsons since 1990, making his debut in Season 2’s first-ever “Treehouse of Terror.” Virtually ever song and piece of music heard on The Simpsons since then is Clausen’s work, from background instrumentals to memorable songs like Season 5’s “Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart?” Season 6’s “We Do (The Stonecutters Song)” and the soundtrack to Troy McClure’s Planet of the Apes musical in Season 8. (Clausen won a pair of Emmys in 1997 and 1998 for his Simpsons musical compositions.)
So why fire Clausen now? It’s speculated that the move may be part of a larger cost-cutting effort at The Simpsons. (Clausen did use a 35-piece orchestra to perform the score for each Simpsonsepisode.) But don’t worry: The iconic Simpsons theme song should be staying put. That was composed by Danny Elfman, not Clausen.