Hank Azaria Implies Zombie Simpsons Is Stale


Hank Azaria is starring in a new sitcom called Free Agents.  He plays a depressed PR man who, if the poster image is anything to go by, sleeps with his partner.  Wackiness and sexy results no doubt ensue.  (It premiers tonight at 10:30 on NBC.)  More importantly, he did a promotional interview with Vulture, and said some interesting things:

How much of a drain on your career is The Simpsons at this point?
It’s about four hours a week.

Do you have any new characters in you?
Really, no. A few years ago, I kind of … ran out. I’ve done literally 100, 150 different characters. Some of them have only appeared for a line or three. But the point is, every sound I can make has been harvested for the show at this point. It used to be — like in year ten — there were a couple of new ones a week. Now, one or two or year. I have no new voices — they’ve all been used.

So, according to Hank Azaria, voice of Moe, Wiggum, and Comic Book Guy himself, the show has been less interesting since Season 10.  He’d be a fool to walk away from all that cash – for just four hours a week, no less – so he keeps doing the same old things over and over again, but he’s willing to admit in public that he has no new voices.  The kicker comes at the end though:

Are there parallels to any Simpsons character?
Do you remember the episode that has Frank Grimes in it? Remember that show? Kind of a one-off character. This guy comes to the Springfield the nuclear power plant, works for Homer and gets really jealous that everything works out for Homer even though Homer is an idiot. There’s a lot of Frank Grimes in Alex — nothing works out for him and he’s tremendously sad and yet somehow, hopefully, it’s funny.

Even one of the main voice actors has to reach all the way back to Season 8 to plug his new show.  Truly, nobody cares about Zombie Simpsons.  Sincere good luck with Free Agents, Hank. 

9 Responses to “Hank Azaria Implies Zombie Simpsons Is Stale”

  1. 14 September 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I was just going to link to that AV Club interview, too! He makes some similarly telling remarks: “I made it to, like, 15 years of doing The Simpsons before I felt I was kind of tapped out.” Then later, he says that there’s probably going to be another Simpsons movie, because the first one was just too profitable — not because there’s any creative need for it.

    The interview also has some great insights into the history of the show. I love Azaria’s interview style: he’s tactful, but still candid.

    • 3 Philip J Reed
      15 September 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Worth pointing out, too, that he mentions in that article that there have been rumors among Simpsons personnel that the show might be ending soon. Not within the next year or two…but that’s all he says for sure.

    • 4 D.N.
      15 September 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Yeah, he’s pretty honest when it comes to his feelings about “Herman’s Head”!

  2. 5 Mr. Incognito
    14 September 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I also find Hank’s choice of words both interesting and damning…saying that his voice has been “harvested” implies a lack of care on the part of those running the show. It also implies a lack of enjoyment on the part of Azaria, in that it sounds like he only does it to pay the bills and nothing else.

    I wonder if, in the event that any of the voice actors get big* just up and leaves, never to return until the Grand Finale.

    *For example, if Free Agents got popular, I wonder if Hank would just up and leave.

    • 15 September 2011 at 6:35 am

      Hank’s done the most notable “outside the show” stuff for years. And considering he gets paid $400,000 per episode for a few hours of work he can do over the phone anyway, if I were him, I wouldn’t leave. If anyone leaves, it’ll be Harry, but seeing as he has no problem criticising the show publically and just phones his lines in, he’ll probably stay till the end as well.

  3. 7 Homibart
    15 September 2011 at 7:48 am

    A Polish arctilce about what you call “Zombie Simpsons” from about five months ago :

  4. 8 Homibart
    15 September 2011 at 8:26 am

    Ow, and here is one more about the Simpsons movie Polish dubb… One of worst in History if you look how crappy work they did on translating the jokes

  5. 9 Mr. Snrub
    15 September 2011 at 11:55 am

    That interview really didn’t imply anything about the show being stale. I think I read another interview where he said he didn’t have any new voices in him not because the show wasn’t making new characters, but because he had like, stretched his voice to its limit and couldn’t make any different sounds. So that really doesn’t imply Hank thinks the show is stale.

    And him referencing Homer’s Enemy… well, that’s because it’s a very memorable (and good) episode. It doesn’t really say anything about the quality of the show nowadays, and if it does it’s very very light and certainly not post-worthy. Honestly, it may not be the case but this post just sounds like a desperate attempt to criticise “Zombie Simpsons” (cringe) even further. If you’re going to criticise the show, criticise it based on solid facts, not just faux “implications”.

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