'The Simpsons' Fans Blast Mr. Burns' Changing Voice: 'Let These People Retire in Peace'

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Currently in its 35th season, The Simpsons has aired a whopping 767 episodes to date. And while it may or may not be true that "they'll never stop The Simpsons," fans are starting to notice that the voice actors aren't sounding quite as fresh as they did back when the series premiered.

Case in point, a clip from a recent episode went viral on X, formerly Twitter this week, after a viewer noticed that Mr. Burns, who has been voiced by 80-year-old Harry Shearer since 1990 (the character was voiced by actor Christopher Collins in its first season) sounded noticeably different.

"Burns’ voice is just brutal man. Let these people retire in peace," wrote user @dropchrismurphy.

The clip was from the Oct. 29, 2023 episode, "Thirst Trap: A Corporate Love Story," that sees Mr. Burns fall in love with Persephone Odair (Elizabeth Banks), the owner of a questionable company that turns salt water into drinking water. When social media users call out Persephone for being a potential fraud, Mr. Burns buys the company, noting that "it was a bargain, the previous owner had to sell it after his self-driving Mars rocket crashed into the International Space Station."

As the clip went viral, plenty of people weighed in. "Harry Shearer now sounds too old to play a 100-year-old man," pointed out one fan, while another added, "I was not prepared for how bad this would be, it sounds like a fan dub."

A number of others noticed that Julie Kavner, 73, who voices Marge Simpson, has also evidently seen better days. "I heard everyone saying how good new Simpsons was this season, heard Marge’s poor destroyed voice and didn’t want another episode," said another user. "It takes me out of it."

However, be that as it may, with the principle cast, including Shearer, Kavner, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Hank Azaria making an estimated $300,000 per episode for a handful of lines, it seems unlikely that they'll step away anytime soon. In the meantime, The Simpsons has been renewed through season 36, at which point it will pass an eye-popping 800-episode mark.