Goodbye Mr Burns: Harry Shearer to leave The Simpsons

A look back at some of Mr Burns' best bits from the past 25 years of The Simpsons


Harry Shearer, the actor behind some of the most memorable voices in The Simpsons, has announced on Twitter that he is leaving the show.

Shearer performs a number of characters including the Simpson family's Christian neighbour Ned Flanders, school head teacher Principal Skinner and Springfield's nuclear power tycoon, Mr Burns.

After 25 years with the show, Shearer has assembled an impressive body of work. Here are some highlights of everyone's favourite money-hungry factory owner, Mr Burns.

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Mr Burns takes on the unions

The episode Last Exit to Springfield has been widely acknowledged as one of the series' best ever and, not unusually for classic Simpsons episodes, it is built around Montgomery Burns. When Homer becomes the union president for the power plant he has to negotiate a new dental plan with Mr Burns. What follows may be the best Charles Dickens reference in TV history as Burns shows Homer his latest money-making idea.

Ketchup or Catsup?

When Mr Burns loses his fortune, he's forced to move in with his assistant Smithers – much to Smithers' delight. After offering to help with the grocery shopping, he’s left with one very difficult decision.

Mr Burns on Ether

Homer's relationship with Mr Burns was a highlight of the early seasons, and the episode Team Homer showed a slightly different dynamic between the pair. When Homer comes across an anesthetised Mr Burns he decides to ask him for a favour and the result leads Homer to memorably declare: "Hey everybody! If you wanna ask Burns for a favour, now is a good time! He's all doped up or dying or something..."

$pringfield's Mr Burns

When the economy takes a downturn in Springfield, Mayor Quimby listens to the advice of Principal Skinner and looks towards legalised gambling to turn the town's finances around. Mr Burns inevitably ends up running the new casino and the smell of money in the air turns the old man a little crazy.

Mr Burns the benefactor

The episode Lisa the Vegetarian features a cameo from Paul McCartney but even the input from a musical genius can't stop Mr Burns stealing the show. When Lisa gets angry at the lack of support for her vegetarianism, she proceeds to throw Homer's roast pig off the side of a slope, just as Mr Burns is making a startling prophecy.

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