We’re getting kinda done around here with “Bart Gets a Z”. (Not a moment too soon, as far as I’m concerned.) But there was one final thing I wanted to point out: you cannot keep these characters from aging. Biology won’t let you. “Bart Gets a Z” had a lot of Mrs. Krabappel, who is voiced by Marcia Wallace. But the 2009 version of Mrs. Krabappel’s voice is very different from the one we all grew to love in the 1990s. It’s gotten noticeably deeper and a tad raspier.
I noticed a similar thing last year with Lenny (voiced by Harry Shearer) in “Double, Double, Boy in Trouble”. The beginning of that episode is very Lenny heavy and his voice, like Krabappel’s, has gotten significantly lower and less crisp in its pronunciation. It’s getting to a point with both of them where they sound like imitations of themselves, good imitations, to be sure, but not the genuine article.
Why is this? Well, Wallace is 66; Shearer is 65; there are very few people whose voices don’t appreciably change between their mid-40s and their mid-60s. That’s not a knock on their work, it’s just the way of the world. Maybe this is more apparent to me on account of I rarely watch Zombie Simpsons and I watch the old ones all the time. But going from one to another, from, say, the Krabappel of “Bart the Lover” (1992) to “Bart Gets a Z” (2009), or the Lenny of “The Last Temptation of Homer” (1993) to “Double, Double, Boy in Trouble” (2008), is really jarring.
Remember to bring this up the next time someone tells you they don’t like the first two seasons because the voices don’t sound right. Many of them are further off the mark now than they were then.