Last year, the Emmys corrected one of their worst oversights by finally bestowing an award on legendary comedian Bob Newhart, but there’s another major blind spot that needs to be addressed. Harry Shearer, who has voiced multiple characters on “The Simpsons” for a quarter-century, is still without an Emmy. He’s nominated again this year. The TV academy shouldn’t make him wait any longer.
Shearer’s snub is surprising in and of itself, but even more so when you consider how many other “Simpsons” actors have won voice-over Emmys. They are as follows:
Nancy Cartwright (1992)
Julie Kavner (1992)
Jackie Mason (1992)
Yeardley Smith (1992)
Marcia Wallace (1992)
Dan Castellaneta (1992, 1993, 2004, 2009)
Hank Azaria (1998, 2001, 2003)
Kelsey Grammer (2006)
Anne Hathaway (2010)
That accounts for every original cast member except Shearer. He wasn’t even included when the Emmys awarded six cast members back in 1992, including guest star Jackie Mason as Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky and recurring performer Marcia Wallace as Mrs. Krabappel.
Kelsey Grammer also won for a recurring role – he has voiced villainous Sideshow Bob sporadically since 1990 – while Anne Hathaway took home the gold for her work in one episode as Princess Penelope; the actress has guested in just three episodes total since 2009.
There are no excuses this year, especially since the TV academy split voice-overs into two categories: Best Character Performance and Best Narrator. In the Character category, Shearer faces a trio of Emmy-winners: Seth Green (“Robot Chicken“), Maurice LaMarche (“Futurama“), and Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy“).
Joining them are first-time nominees Chris Diamantopoulos (“Disney Mickey Mouse”) and Stephen Full (“Dog with a Blog”).
This year, Shearer is being considered for his work in the episode “Four Regrettings and a Funeral,” in which several Springfield residents reminisce about moments in their lives they wish they could do over again. Mr. Burns (voiced by Shearer) regrets missing his chance at love as a younger man, while reporter Kent Brockman (also Shearer) regrets not pursuing a job opportunity in cable news. Shearer plays a third role in the episode, Burns’s loyal assistant Waylon Smithers.
Shearer voices other famous “Simpsons” characters including Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy, and bus driver Otto. Is it finally time for the Emmys to give him his due? Click here to discuss Shearer and the rest of this year’s contenders in our forums.