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‘The Simpsons’ will retire Edna Krabappel

simpsons-krabappel

The producers of The Simpsons plan to “retire” Bart’s jaded yet hopelessly romantic teacher Edna Krabappel following the death on Friday of voice actor Marcia Wallace.

“I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” showrunner Al Jean said in a statement issued Saturday. “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

Introduced in 1990 in the second episode of the series, the cigarette-smoking Edna has been not only Bart’s frequent foil but the longtime on again, off again girlfriend of Principal Skinner. After dating many of Springfield’s least-desirable bachelors — Skinner, Comic Book Guy, Moe, Krusty, Lenny, Carl, et al — she finally married Ned Flanders in Season 23.

Jean noted that the retirement of Ms. Krabappel has nothing to do with a widely discussed potential storyline in which a regular Simpsons character will pass away. “Marcia’s passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her,” he said.

Before her Emmy-winning performance on The Simpsons, Wallace was best known for her role as receptionist Carol Kester on the 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show and as a fixture of such television game shows as Hollywood Squares, Password Plus and The $25,000 Pyramid. Wallace passed away at age 70 due to complications from pneumonia.

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Comments

24 Comments

Huge loss. :-(

Edna deserves a happy ending but unless Neddy rides off into the sunset with her I can’t see how they could pull that off.

:(
This will make Ned a widower for the second time won’t it? His first wife left him and then passed away, right?

@AirDave

She didn’t leave him but she was killed….by t-shirt cannons.

Maude, Ned’s first wife, was killed by Homer shooting a tshirt cannon. Yeah, poor Ned.

The voice actor passed which is sad but don’t see a need to retire the character. Was the actor writing Edan’s lines? Mapping her story arcs?

Is it really so horrible a thing that they retire one of the hundreds of characters that appear on “The Simpsons”? The character (and the actress who voiced her) have been around since pretty much Day One, so are you really going to get all huffy if the writers and producers pay their respects by not letting someone else voice Edna Krabapple? Get a grip.

@BG

I guess you just dont get it.

So sad, best episode was when Bart got her struck off and she opened a bakery, gonna miss her cynical HA catchphrase. Bye Mrs K.

Easily one of my favorite characters. RIP, Ms. Wallace :-(

@BG:

They did the same thing with Troy McClure after Phil Hartman died. Being a voice actor is a double edged sword. If your character takes off then everybody will recognize your voice. Once people do recognize your voice, replacing you becomes that much more difficult.

The practicality of it is, yes, you can get somebody else to do Edna’s voice. However, you can never replace Marcia Wallace. It sends the wrong message by trying to replace her on the show. She was not some bit player who showed up once in the series. This is a woman who worked with them for nearly 24 years. Out of respect, the safest bet is to retire the character. It says, “Marcia, you will always be Edna.”

I’m sure that the only character of hers that will live on with be the cat lady. It’s easy enough to recycle her nonsensical, incoherent rants from one episode to the next. Edna though… She’s done.

How does the show get rid of the character? That’s a more important question. They can’t simply forget that she existed, like they did with Lionel Hutz. She’s the next door neighbor now. My preferred option? Treat Edna like Cheers treated Vera or Big Bang treats Howard’s mom. Refer to her, but somehow never have her appear on screen again. This way, the comedy of Edna lives on, but off screen.

I think they should do a funeral episode, dedicated to Marcia. And never again mention her relationship with Ned.

They should have one of Bart’s misfit buddies bring an assault rifle to school and have her die trying to save him. Something caustically relevant, as usual.

@Rob — When they retired Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, they still appeared on-screen but simply had no further speaking lines. Perhaps they will do something similar this time.

A good decision, I say.

if nothing else they should sadly have Edna wind up with a job out of state and ned not wanting to move with her. or worse Homer with out meaning too whacks her with another shirt cannon either way now Ned is either a widower or single again. for its only a nice way to honor Marcia for contribution as Edna

Wait a minute. Bart’s teacher is named Krabappel? Oh, I’ve been calling her Crandall. Why didn’t someone tell me? Ohhh, I’ve been making an idiot of myself!”

They should retire the writers. The Simpsons was the greatest show on television… until 1999.

@Rob: The Cat Lady’s voiced by Tress Macnielle anyway. Great post though man, completely agree with everything else you said.

Such a great loss for the show. I believe the show should do a funeral episode, at least to honor the character. Plus, the plot course they could take with Ned being a a windowed twice now. How would Ned handle it? Could be pick himself back up? Would his faith take another hit like it did when Maude passed away?

Wait, Edna married Flanders?

I was not even aware of that. But then I haven’t watched the show in years.

They could save themselves the trouble and retire the show, with what little remaining dignity it has left since the decline of 1999.

The voice of Bart’s new teacher should be done by artist Molly Crabapple.

Retiring the character is the right call. I only hope they do it right. I’m just not sure it can be done.

Anthony, Homer didn’t shoot the T-Shirt cannon. He yelled asking for a t-shirt and the next second got distracted by food on the floor (iirc) and bent down to pick it up leaving Maude, who was behind him, vulnerable to the t-shirt which pushed her over the edge.

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