Thank Jeebus! I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Mr. Burns or Otto or Stupid Sexy Flanders just yet. Two months after he declared he was done-diddly-un with The Simpsons, Entertainment Weekly says Harry Shearer has changed his mind and has agreed to return for the 27th season.
Harry Shearer originally decided to walk away from The Simpsons and a $14 million 2-year contract because he wanted the freedom to do other work and didn’t like his cut of the merchandising dollars, but something must have changed during negotiations. My guess was that FOX threatened to release the hounds or the robotic Richard Simmons, but it sounds like it came down to money. EW says that Harry Shearer has signed the exact same contract as everyone else, which means he’s locked in for the next four years and will make more than $300,000 per episode. Each season usually has about 22 episodes, which means Harry Shearer is looking at more than $26.4 million. I hope the first word out of his mouth when he looked at that number was a Mr. Burns-style “Excellent.”
No word on whether or not he’ll see any merchandising money, but I’m sure he could always ask Fat Tony to shake down the folks at Butterfinger for a couple bucks if he really wants them.
A four year contract means a ton of money, but it also means everyone has to stick around if the writers hit the 600 episode mark and really start to run out of ideas. At least they can crawl into a giant pile of dollars in the event they sit down for a table read and see the words “The Simpsons Do…Something. Go to Mars? Buy a kangaroo? IDK” written on the top of the script.