Al Jean, executive producer of The Simpsons, spoke out about the character death in the season 26 premiere, and complained that there was overhype by the media. The problem led to a number of fans being severely disappointed in the end to find out that Krusty’s father, Rabbi Krustofski, was the one to see the end come.
During the summer, Jean announced that a character would see a permanent end. It had only happened once on The Simpsons in the past, when Maud Flanders died. The show was getting to the point where a major change needed to happen, and a death would spice it up. However, fans were warned in good time, and given clues to try and figure it out.
Once the initial clues were given, everyone started to wonder which “major” character would die. Based on the clue of an Emmy award-winning voiceover actor being involved, thoughts were that Marge, Bart or even Homer Simpson would see the end. That was likely too major, and people started to wonder whether Grandpa Simpson would die.
Then the title of the episode was shared. Jean says that the title should have been a major clue, but the media took it and ran off in a direction unexpected. A Clown in the Dumps instantly became the “clue” that Krusty was going to be the one to die. The show’s executive producer still has no idea how that happened. Everyone knows that being “in the dumps” means that a person is sad.
After all the hype, fans were extremely disappointed about the death of the rabbi. Executive producer Jean says that the media overhyped The Simpsons character death, and it is to blame for fan disappointment. There was no need to run away with the clues and make it into something that it really was not.
The media was reporting that it was going to be an iconic character, which led to all the speculation. Jean explained that he had never said that, and was constantly complaining about the overhype. However, during the summer months there was little that came from the show runners to stop all the hype. Instead, more clues were given, and it was something that The Simpsons writers were excited about having in the show.
The “iconic” phrase came from Jean’s use of the word “beloved.” However, the character was not quite the beloved character people were expecting. It seems the term “beloved” actually referred to the original voiceover actor for the rabbi.
Jean made it clear that an iconic character, especially someone lovable like Krusty, would not see a permanent end. He explained that he is not a show like that, possibly hinting at the complaints Family Guy received last year after killing of Brian temporarily.
There is also room for Krusty’s dad to come back. He may come back as dreams, in flashbacks and even as a ghost. There are a lot of opportunities with shows like this. Fans should not be disappointed with the show runners for the character death. They should be disappointed with the media, which caused character death overhype on The Simpsons, according to producer Jean.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham