As well as being the longest-running American animated series, and the longest-running American sitcom, The Simpsons is notable for largely having the same voice actors since it first aired in 1989.
One of the show's staples is actor and comedian Harry Shearer who has been part of the cast since the very beginning, voicing over 30 characters including some of the most frequently utilised recurring fixtures of the animated series.
Following a chance meeting at a newsstand in the mid-80s where they realised they were both fans of each other's work, Simpsons creator Matt Groening later contacted Shearer to see if he wanted to be a part of this new animated series he was working on, and the rest is history.
Voicing a wide range of characters including a grumpy newscaster, a long-haired bus driver, an evil billionaire and his sycophantic man servant, Shearer is one of the most versatile voice actors in the business! Whilst in The Simpsons he might not be seen on screen, his voice has given us a host of memorable moments, unforgettable catchphrases and sublime one-liners that have left an undeniable mark on this beloved show.
Which of these characters stands amongst the very best? Let's take a look at the options...
Amongst many other things, The Simpsons is of course known for its "show within the show", the violent cat-and-mouse cartoon called Itchy & Scratchy, which appears as part of The Krusty the Clown Show.
Riffing on the popular cartoon Tom & Jerry, Itchy & Scratchy is a hyper-violent and bloody parody showing the mutilation and demise of a black cat named Scratchy at the hands of the malevolent blue mouse, Itchy.
Whilst Scratchy is a cat of few words, his blood-curdling screams are a huge part of what makes this character so memorable, and we have Harry Shearer to thank for that. This may well be the most indistinguishable character that he voices, so whilst he is worth mentioning, he doesn't quite have the same standing as some of the other Shearer-voiced characters.