Alf Clausen Fired from “The Simpsons”

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Composer Alf Clausen (L) speaks with host Jon Burlingame at “SCORE! A Concert Celebrating Music Composed for Television” presented by the Television Academy at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television AcademyAP Images)

Strange as it may sound, this story may have had the widest global repercussions of any story I’ve ever written for Variety. I learned that composer Alf Clausen, after scoring more than 550 episodes and winning two Emmys for his music, had been fired from The Simpsons after 27 years on the job. It was shocking, but after talking with Alf about it, we decided to go public on Aug. 30. I filed the story at 11:50 a.m., Variety posted it at 12:15, and within hours virtually every outlet in the world was repeating the news. It even made the front page of the BBC. Fox declined comment at the time, and was clearly unprepared for the worldwide outrage that would follow. Clausen is not only highly respected within the musical community, he earned nearly two dozen Emmy nominations for his work on that show alone — and is believed to hold the record for scoring the most episodes of a prime-time network series in television history.