No cartoon today. Last night I was putting in some long hours on a website. However, time this morning to quickly write about the news that Harry Shearer is leaving The Simpsons.
Normally I’d greet such news like I’d trapped my thumb in the dentist's door. I was and still am a big fan of The Simpsons but, truth be told, I’ve not been a regular viewer in a long time. It’s easy to say that The Simpsons isn’t what it once was yet I don’t necessarily think that’s true. The times I have seen it recently, the show has still been strong. What it is, perhaps, is too familiar. I watch so very little TV these days that it takes something special to make me move outside of my usual routine. There are lots of shows I love but I don’t get around to seeing. I’ve not seen the new series of Mythbusters, Veep, or even the new Vic and Bob comedy for the BBC. I’ve guess I suffer a bit from the increased fragmentation of TV in the UK. I don’t have the time to study the thousand channels to spot when my favourite shows are being broadcast.
However, one thing that did make me move out of my usual routine and search the channels was last year’s Nixon’s The One. Nixon’s The One is the main reason I’m not too upset that Shearer is leaving The Simpsons. Shearer is better than The Simpsons and has always been better than The Simpsons.
Of course, people usually nod when you say something like this and say ‘Spinal Tap’ but Spinal Tap isn’t my favourite Shearer moment. My favourite Shearer moment is the close of The Mighty Wind, a film I prefer over Spinal Tap simply because the songs are so damn catchy. He’s great too in the other Christopher Guest movies he’s been in but it was the Nixon show last year that made me hope for more from him. Nixon’s The One might well have been my favourite show of last year. It was a very odd little drama but so compelling. Shearer was astonishing it it too and seemed to have channeled the spirit of Nixon.
Leaving The Simpsons might be the sign that it could happen. He must be as wealthy as Elon Musk’s nanny’s butler and able to afford to make anything happen. It’s bad news for fans of The Simpsons but Harry Shearer fans should probably be happy today.