Post Mortems

The Simpsons Post Mortem: EP Explains [Spoiler]'s 'Surprising' Death

The Simpsons Season 26

As promised, The Simpsons‘ 26th season premiere saw the highly anticipated demise of a “beloved” Springfield resident on Sunday.

So now, we gather here to mourn the loss of Krusty’s father, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky (voiced by the great Jackie Mason), who’s been a part of the Simpsons universe since reuniting with his estranged, red-nosed son in 1991.

RELATED Family Guy Meets The Simpsons: 14 Photos From the Crossover Episode

Let’s begin with what I’m sure is the first question on all of your minds: Why Krusty’s dad?

“I just thought it would be a good story about someone who’s had a tough relationship with his father — having Krusty’s father die without him ever getting that warmth or connection he really wanted, then finally finding it in a surprising way,” executive producer Al Jean explains to TVLine. “If we could get a sweet moment out of that, that’s all we wanted. We didn’t want a crazy death, or anything shocking, just true human emotion.”

The Simpsons Rabbi KrustofskiAnd even though The Simpsons doesn’t serialize things too often, Jean acknowledges that Krusty’s father’s death is likely to have an impact on the character moving forward.

“One of the reasons Krusty’s been such a loose cannon is because his father disapproved of him, and he never felt like he got that sort of love that he wanted,” Jean says. “He might have a little more confidence now that he has that. … A little more.”

RELATED The Simpsons EP on Season Premiere Death: ‘It’s An Emotional Story’

But fear not; despite this highly publicized death, Jean says the show is not going to go on a stunt-killing spree. In fact, as long as The Simpsons team is putting yellow pen to paper, your favorites are safe.

“We’re never going to kill off Homer, or even Krusty,” he admits. “This show is always running in syndication, and we don’t want you to feel bad every time you see an old character that you loved. … Totally inadvertently, and very sadly, now whenever I see Mrs. Krabapel [her portrayer, Marcia Wallace, passed away in 2013], I’m always a little sad, where I never was before.”

So… Were you surprised by the season premiere’s big death, or did you already guess the victim? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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49 Comments
  1. Amber says:

    “Surprise”

  2. Josh Emerson says:

    Lame. Can you really call him a “beloved ” character? Of course not.

  3. “Were you surprised by the season premiere’s big death, or did you already guess the victim?” Not surprised and yes, yes I did.

  4. TV Gord says:

    I’m disappointed in the over-hyped “beloved character” death. Beloved? A character who’s only been on the show eight times in the last 25 years? For this, they made is wonder for the better part of a year? (…and while I’m ranting, about that U2 download…) ;-)

  5. tabularasalocke says:

    Sounds like everyone just giving this an F because it wasn’t a big enough character. Honestly, this was a good episode that just wrapped everything up too quickly. But it was actually a great bookend to his father’s first appearance.

    • Adam says:

      Because the EPs where hyped this death. Can you really call Krusty’s father “beloved”?

      • tabularasalocke says:

        Uh, yes. Especially given his first episode is one of the best of The Simpsons.

      • Reality says:

        There aren’t many characters I would describe as “beloved” on The Simpsons, not even Marge. But yes, I would call Krusty’s dad “beloved” because it didn’t matter that he was only on for a handful of episodes, he left a lasting impression.

  6. Adam says:

    Krusty’s father is not a “beloved” character, nor is his death “big”.

    • S. says:

      It is if it causes a change in Krusty, like the article says it will.

      • nightwin6 says:

        What kind of a change is it going to have? The article says that Krusty may gain a little more confidence now. ‘A little’, Krusty’s character will probably change the amount that Lisa’s did when Bleeding Gums Murphy died. Which is little to none.

        This episodesucked!

  7. alistaircrane says:

    I’m glad they didn’t kill off anyone important. TV shows are too kill-heavy these days and end up offing popular characters, which is not a good thing.

  8. Cobra says:

    The Simpsons hasn’t been good in years. Much like Saturday Night Live, it’s grown stale and is no longer funny.
    Thankfully, classic old episodes are now being shown on FXX so we can relive the days when the show was good and could actually garner laughs.

    • alistaircrane says:

      *crickets*
      I’m tired of people whining that the Simpsons supposedly isn’t as good as it used to be. I bet you don’t even watch! The show is nice, warm dish of comfort food and that’s a good thing.

      • You have to realize that I can understand why older Simpsons fans think this. Many of the innuendos and such are for the newer generation and there’s a strong disconnect. This is probably the same reason I really don’t like the real early ones (Seasons 1-4 or 5ish at least). The jokes fly over my head because I wasn’t born until numerous seasons in so political and other satirical jokes are lost. Everyone has their opinion. I like the newer ones, though this episode really disappointed me.

  9. Fran says:

    I do think “beloved” wasn’t the right word to use. But after reading the article the other day where the EPs said it was hyped up more by the media, I wasn’t expecting anyone big to go. I still don’t think this is as bad as Brian “dying” on Family Guy.

  10. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I gave it a C. I thought it had a few great jokes on it. Better ones than I’ve heard in recent seasons. But that character death. All that hype over the last year and it just turned out to be Krusty’s dad??? That was so lame of you, Simpsons. They shouldn’t have hyped it the way they did. If they had just let it happen instead of advertising it so heavily, it could have been a really bittersweet episode. The massive hype just ruined it completely.

  11. Joey Padron says:

    Disappointing season premiere. Krusty’s dad wasn’t a beloved character on the show. He wasn’t on the show that much. Producers hype up the death of a character for nothing.

  12. Canuck 703 says:

    Sorry Krusty”s dad wasn’t a beloved character & his death wasn’t that “surprising” either. Now if it was Krusty (himself) Milhouse . Nelson or Carl or Lenny that could be considered described by those terms !!

  13. While I was disappointed after the amount of hype that was generated, I still think that it was a very good episode. The most recent seasons of the Simpsons have, in my opinion, lost their focus and became more about guest appearances. This was a really simple and relatable storyline that touches on something that most people can relate to and sets up a primary character for a lot of changes that could possibly affect the rest of Springfield.

  14. Uzziel says:

    It was shocking nor surprising. They kill off a character than barely even appears on the show (it would be shockier if they killed Hans Moleman or Sideshow Mel or even Bumblebee Man) but they sold it as a “shocking death”. This is sad, seeing how the runners of the show rely on cheap publicity to promote their lazy writing.

    The saddest and strangest thing is, that for the last couple of seasons, writers seemed scared to change or alter these characters futures in any way, leaving them in a limbo when nothing happens. But, at the same time, they don’t seem to care in changing their pasts by giving us stupid and constantly mutually-contradictoy backstories to characters we actually care about and love. So, even if it would be surprising if they killed Krusty or Burns, it wouldn’t be strange that on one episode they come out to be related, or that Burns is his real father and he gave it away to the rabbi because they fought together on the Vietnam war or some stupid story like that. And that is even worse than killing them.

  15. Ezzy says:

    I honestly thought it would be Sideshow Bob.

  16. Alfred Kumwenda says:

    It’s sad that Krusty’s father’s dead. It gives him a sense that what purpose hasn’t he achieved from it. But there’s one thing tat confuses me: Is Krusty really retiring from his show for good?

  17. Theodore Miller says:

    It took me a little while after Rabbi Krustofsky died to realize that that was the episode’s character death.

  18. jenna says:

    while I think the death element was definitely overhyped overall this was a pretty good episode. Had the vibe of an episode from an earlier season with lisa’s fear of losing her father and krusty feeling like a disappointment in his fathers eyes (like a previous commenter said what a great throw back to rabbi krustofski’s first appearance). It probably won’t be one that i’ll want to rewatch time and time again but there was some great writing and heart in this episode

  19. derp says:

    just kill this show off already instead

  20. Frederick says:

    “Wow! Big suprise! Krusty`s dad is dead! oh my Gosh!” I have to say I wasen`t supirsed and I was not Tramatized by he`s death… However if Dr. Nick Riviera died it would be cooler…

    That was my opinion… (Terminator quote) I`ll be back!

  21. John says:

    It was subpar. If I wanted to watch “human emotions” I’d watch a drama, not The Simpsons.

  22. Daniel says:

    How could you be disappointed with this episode revealing the “big mystery character death,” and it’s not a big character at all, but a really really minor one? At least our favorite characters are still alive! Think about it, Many of you heard of what happened when Family Guy decided to kill off Brian [temporarily]…Fans lost their minds, and went on to threaten the creators for killing him off. The Simpsons creators knew we would threaten them if they killed off Comic Book Guy, or Mr. Burns, or Smithers, Lenny, Karl, or any character that was popular. In other words, You’re disappointed that this “mystery character dying” was just someone minor, but you get sad/furious when a popular character gets killed off. Think about that. It’s a double-standard.

  23. enrique says:

    when that will come out this episode

  24. Jen High says:

    I was just glad Sideshow Bob didn’t die! I absolutely love him, and Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of him.

  25. I mean, it was no Bleeding Gums Murphy death, but it is the loss of a somewhat notable and (though seldom used) established character.

    3/10 for overall impact, but 7/10 for effort.

  26. Ivor says:

    I thought it would be someone like Groundskeeper Willie or maybe even Grandpa. Maybe it’ll make Krusty change, give up his kids show and take up stand up full time or something. Modernize a bit.

  27. Way for them to hype up the death of a character nobody cares about.

  28. How was he a major character. I really am getting why people think the Simpson’s isn’t just worse – is bad now a days.

  29. julio c says:

    I call shenanigans on this episode! I demand satisfaction!!

  30. jmaeshawn says:

    Considering the father of Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Krusty) passed away just recently, it makes perfect sense as to why they chose to have Krusty’s father pass away as well, and I feel this is a good episode to commemorate his life and influence on his son. Hopefully while voicing this episode, it also helped Dan to recover from what must be a terrible loss for him.

  31. I was REALLY dissappointed by this episode. The storyline wasn’t funny, the secondary story was lame and whatever happened to Lisa and Homer? They look like they were lobotomised in the summer! I thought that season 25 episode with the rag was super lame, but perhaps this was even worse. I hope the other episodes are not like this.
    PS. I have only been dissapointed 2 times so far and I have seen all the 553 episodes twice so far. So don’t think that I like what I say, but that’s the sad truth.

  32. Mark says:

    its not a “major character” if they only appeared in one episode….