Last October, Simpsons showrunner Al Jean announced that his long-running animated staple would be killing off a major character – one whose actor received an Emmy for their work on the series. Ever since that grim tease, fans have been theorizing about who the doomed Springfield resident could be: Princess Penelope (Anne Hathaway)? Perhaps demented favorite Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer)? But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jean offered a major hint during a Sunday panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour: "(The episode) is called 'A Clown in the Dumps'," he said, reportedly to audience gasps.
Jean didn't show his spoiler cards at first, maintaining that the character's identity was "obvious" and repeating the Emmy clue. But the "Clown" title all but cements the fate of Springfield's resident wise-ass TV host, Krusty (voiced by Emmy winner Dan Castellaneta, who also gives live to Homer's iconic "Doh!"s). "It turned out bigger than we thought it was going to be," Jean said of the episode, which is set to air on September 28th. "It's not going to be this blood bath where they all get murdered."
September 28th will be a major day in Simpsons history, as the series will be featured in a crossover episode with fellow Fox series Family Guy. In related news, the Simpson family will appear live on stage for the first time for The Simpsons Take the Bowl, a trio of special performances (featuring never-before-seen clips and live orchestral music) at the Hollywood Bowl on September 12th, 13th and 14th; Hank Azaria — the versatile voice behind fan favorites such as Apu Nahasapeemapetilon and Moe Szyslak — will host, with a number of special guests set to appear.