Alf Clausen, a Simpsons composer for 27 of the series' 29 seasons, across 568 episodes, was let go this week, his agent John Tempereau confirmed to NPR. Clausen himself wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening that the news was "unfortunately" true. Tempereau declined to comment on the reason for Clausen's dismissal.
A statement from the series' producers says they "tremendously value Alf Clausen's contributions to The Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show," continuing that "this is the part where we would make a joke, but neither Alf's work nor the music of The Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us."
Clausen is highly respected in Hollywood and has drawn the most Emmy nominations of any composer — including 23 for The Simpsons. (He's won twice.)
Clausen also contributed to the shows Alf ("no relation," his website notes), The Critic and Moonlighting, as well as the film Half-Baked.
"There are few things we always counted on," Temperau says, "death, taxes and Alf Clausen on The Simpsons."
While Clausen didn't write The Simpsons' famed opening song — that distinction belongs to Danny Elfman — he departs with some true classics in his wake. Below are three favorites.