For almost a year, Simpsons producer Al Jean has been teasing that a character would die at the beginning of the show's 26th season. "The actor playing the character won an Emmy for playing that character," said Jean — leading fans to fret over the fates of characters like Abe Simpson, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Sideshow Bob.
In the end, the ill-fated Simpsons character was one who had made only occasional stopovers in Springfield: Rabbi Hyman Krustofski, the father of Krusty the Clown, voiced by 83-year-old comedy legend Jackie Mason. The premiere, "Clown in the Dumps," marked Mason's seventh guest appearance as Rabbi Krustofski.
"For about six months, I've been saying this is overhyped," said Jean in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. People said it's an iconic character [who dies], but I never said it's an iconic character. I never used those words." Jean added that death might not even mark the end of Rabbi Krustofski's appearances on the show; when asked if he could return in flashbacks or dream sequences, he deemed it "likely."
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