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The Simpsons Brought Back The Voice Of Marcia Wallace For A Final Appearance As Mrs. Krabappel, Here's How They Did It

The producers used two older voice lines from a past episode to give Mrs. Krabappel a final send-off.


The February 21 episode of The Simpsons was a special one, as it brought back the late Marcia Wallace to voice Edna Krabappel once more to give the character a proper goodbye. To do this, the producers used two lines that Wallace gave for a previous episode, and these were cleared by Wallace's estate, which was also compensated, according to Variety.

In the episode, "Diary Queen," Bart finds Mrs. Krabappel's diary and, upon reading it, learns how she actually felt about him. He reads about how Mrs. Krabappel actually believed in Bart and wanted him to succeed, and this inspires Bart to be better.

"Remember, if you can teach one kid one thing, then today will be a success," Wallace as Mrs. Krabappel says in the voiceover.

Producer Al Jean told Variety that it was decided to bring back Mrs. Krabappel and use old voice lines to pay homage to Wallace and give the character a proper send-off.

"I didn't know she was that ill until very close to when it happened," Jean said of Wallace. "So we never got the chance to give sort of a proper goodbye to her in the show, and this is a small attempt to do that. And, you know, she was so beloved by everybody that worked on The Simpsons, that we just sort of wanted to give her one last moment on the show in her memory. It’s just that, it's nothing more, but, we thought she was the best."

Jean said this will be Mrs. Krabappel's final appearance on the show, and there are no plans to reveal how the character died. "We just wanted to sort of send the character off properly, in a way that I think isn't trying to be exploitive," Jean said.

Mrs. Krabappel's final on-screen appearance on The Simpsons came in the March 2014 episode, "The Man Who Grew Too Much." At this point in the storyline, Krabappel and Ned Flanders were married, so Flanders became a widower once again following the death of his first wife, Maude. Jean reflected on the relationship between Krabappel and Flanders and said it was never the plan to Flanders become a character surrounded by death.

"When we made them a couple, to me it was an interesting opposites attract move, which people often find confusing in television but it happens forever in real life," Jean said. "People like Krabappel and Flanders really do become couples. It was not the intention to make Flanders such a tragic character. However, since that's the case, I think it's kind of deepened his character unintentionally--where he's somebody who's had his faith really tested, who has been a really good person and some very difficult things have happened to him. So within the limits of fiction we've been trying to explore that with his character on the show."

Wallace died at the age of 70 in 2013. She won an Emmy for her performance on The Simpsons in 1992. In addition to her role on The Simpsons, Wallace had recurring parts in The Bob Newhart Show, Full House, and The Brady Bunch.

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