Following on from voice actor stalwart Harry Shearer‘s announced exit from ‘The Simpsons’ yesterday, the show’s executive producer Al Jean has confirmed that Shearer’s portfolio of characters will be recast in future seasons.

Harry Shearer’s Characters To Be Recast On ‘The Simpsons’, Says Al Jean

Shearer’s repertoire of characters on ‘The Simpsons’ is the third-most extensive on the show: Shearer is behind 23 of Springfield’s characters, including Ned Flanders, Mr Burns, Smithers, Otto, Rainier Wolfcastle, Lenny, Skinner, Scratchy and Jebediah Springfield, among others.

Al Jean claimed there will be “no yellow wedding” in Springfield following Shearer’s exit, as his slew of characters would find new voice actors in recasting:

News surrounding Harry Shearer’s announcement on Twitter has been prefaced with a series of “ifs” on Twitter by other Simpsons staff – executive producer Al Jean claimed on Twitter that Shearer’s exiting was not a “money” issue; he also admitted Shearer’s reasoning to leave the show was confusing:

Similarly, on twitter, James L Brooks was hesitant to make the news official:

Recasting Harry Shearer’s characters would be a first for ‘The Simpsons’. Edna Krabappel was retired from ‘The Simpsons’ in 2013 following voice actor Marcia Wallace‘s death; in 1998, Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz were also retired, following the death of voice actor Phil Hartman.

Replacing Shearer’s expertise in 23 characters will be no mean feat, to say the absolute least.

At least we can take comfort in Dan Castellaneta, voice actor of Homer, who can valiantly put his hand up for the role of Mr Burns.