2019 saw the culmination of a couple of gigantic global franchises in the form of the series finale of Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame. Now, a new source has claimed that arguably the longest-running global franchise of modern times, The Simpsons, may be ending soon as well. And the source behind this information is none other than the show’s theme composer Danny Elfman, as he revealed the following during an interview for Joe.ie:
“Well, from what I’ve heard, it is coming to an end,” Elfman said. “So, that argument will also come to an end. I don’t know for a fact, but I’ve heard that it will be in its last year.”
Obviously, this news is hard to digest for a few reasons. For one, the animated sitcom has been a staple of pop culture satire and western television for so long that it’s hard to imagine the cultural landscape without it. Also, despite a never-ending stream of complaints that The Simpsons has grown stale and new seasons don’t measure up to the brilliance of earlier episodes, each new run still commands a huge audience and the show was recently renewed for seasons 31 and 32 as a result.
It’s hard to imagine why the series would be taken off the air now when it shows every sign of being able to chug along comfortably for the foreseeable future while still making healthy profits. Elfman further revealed though that he frankly never expected the animated adventures of Homer and his family and the larger town of Springfield to last even as long as it did, saying:
“All I can say is that I’m so flabbergasted and amazed that it has lasted as long as it did. So, you have to realise, when I scored The Simpsons, I wrote this crazy piece of music, and I expected no-one would hear it, because I really did not think the show had a chance in hell.
“Really, I expected it would run for three episodes and get cancelled, and that would be that, because it was so weird at the time, and I just didn’t think it had a chance. So believe me, that is one of the truly big surprises in my life.”
Elfman’s views are only further proof of how boundary-pushing The Simpsons was when it first aired, and how rare its kind of success was back then and is still for an animated sitcom. But after decades of being the edgy counter-culture viewpoint, to now becoming in some ways the establishment that other, newer entries in the genre try to out-do, like Family Guy and South Park, perhaps it’s finally time for everyone’s favorite yellow family to bid farewell to their fans and for the sun to finally go down for good on the town of Springfield.