[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the The Simpsons premiere. Read at your own risk.]
The Simpsons has killed off a Springfield resident.
On Sunday's Season 26 premiere, the long-running Fox comedy said goodbye to Krusty's father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, voiced by Jackie Mason. After the opening credits assured viewers that the anticipated death would not be Homer, the story turned to Krusty the Clown, who was depressed after being roasted by comedians. As he was visiting his disapproving father for advice, his dad dropped dead mid-sentence while saying, "You've always been ehhhh..."
When asked why the show chose to axe the character, executive producer Al Jean told TVLine, "I just thought it would be a good story about someone who's had a tough relationship with his father — having Krusty's father die without him ever getting that warmth or connection he really wanted, then finally finding it in a surprising way. If we could get a sweet moment out of that, that's all we wanted. We didn't want a crazy death, or anything shocking, just true human emotion."
As for any future deaths, Jean added, "We're never going to kill off Homer, or even Krusty. This show is always running in syndication, and we don't want you to feel bad every time you see an old character that you loved. ... Totally inadvertently, and very sadly, now whenever I see Mrs. Krabapel [her portrayer, Marcia Wallace, passed away in 2013], I'm always a little sad, where I never was before."
Rabbi Krustofsky first appeared on The Simpsons in 1991 and has been voiced both by Mason and Dan Castellaneta, who voices Homer and Krusty, among others.
Were you sad to see the Rabbi go?
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