Fans of The Simpsons who thought they'd be yelling "Doh!" last night were ranting "Dud!" this morning. Viewers had been warned for months that what was rumored to be a major character would be killed off during the premiere of the show's 26th season last night, the Los Angeles Times reports. There was a character who kicked the cartoon bucket, but it wasn't exactly a major one: It was Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, Krusty the Clown's dad, voiced by comedian Jackie Mason, a character that only appeared in "a handful" of episodes, the Times notes.
Reaction to the "Clown in the Dumps" episode ranged from mild, NPR-style disappointment to outright irritation:
- Tim Donnelly writes in the New York Post that the death (and preceding teasers) were "a lame play for attention by a show desperate to stay relevant."
- One Twitter user quoted in the Times complained, "Krusty's dad died... Um, Krusty had a Dad? Never heard of him. Wasted anticipation."
- Producer Al Jean insists he has always said the untimely death was "overhyped" and that he never promised it would be one of the more-popular characters. "I never said it’s an iconic character—I never used those words," he tells Entertainment Weekly. In fact, he assures fans that favorites will never be purposely annihilated before series' end. "We're never going to kill off Homer, or even Krusty," he tells TVLine. "This show is always running in syndication, and we don't want you to feel bad every time you see an old character that you loved."
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