Even if you don’t watch The Simpsons anymore, by now you’ve probably heard that Harry Shearer is leaving the show. While some minor characters have lost their voice actors, via contract issues or death, the loss of Shearer is a major blow. He was the voice of such notable characters as Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and God. Shearer is right up there as one of the most important voice actors on the show, so his loss really shakes things up.
Over the years, Shearer has had the occasion to sing while on the show. This was not a difficult task for him, as he has been part of some music based projects, most notably This is Spinal Tap. He’s done some good vocal work on The Simpsons. There are a couple of smaller moments when he sang as Skinner that were particularly funny, such as the time he sang “The Lion Sings Tonight” with exciting new lyrics to try and woo Edna Krabappel back. Plus, let us not forget Waylon Smithers’ Malibu Stacy musical.
However, when you think Harry Shearer and Simpsons musical moments, nothing compares to “See My Vest.” From the episode “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds,” the song is a parody of “Be My Guest” from Beauty and the Beast. During Burns’ big number, in which the legendarily old and frail man shows some unusual spryness, he regales Smithers, and thereby the audience, of his affinity for clothing made out of animals, and of his plan to turn the Simpsons’ greyhound puppies into a fur tuxedo (and maybe some clogs).
It’s a delightful number, and one of the most famous in the history of a show with a litany of beloved songs. We shall hear Harry Shearer sing no more on The Simpsons, but we will always have “See My Vest.”