The Simpsons have revealed the new voice actor for fan-favorite character Carl Carlson. Carl has been voiced by Hank Azaria since the show premiered back in 1989. There is only one exception to this prior to now, which is Carl's debut episode in season 1 where Harry Shearer voiced the character. Producers of the long-running animated juggernaut announced over the summer that they would no longer have white actors voice non-white characters, which many other shows agreed to do too.
The Simpsons season 32 kicks off this Sunday, September 27th, and it will feature The Flash actor Alex Désert as the voice of Carl Carlson. This is not the actor's first voice role, as he is also known for providing the voice of Nick Fury in the animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, amongst others. In addition, this is not Désert's first comedic role either. He has appeared on Reno 911! and The Sarah Silverman Project. It's unclear if Désert will be the permanent voice of Carl, or if he is just filling in for season 32.
We could also see a new voice for Dr. Julius Hibbert, who was formerly voiced by Harry Shearer. On recent episodes of The Simpsons, the character has not had a speaking role, much like Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who was formerly voiced by Hank Azaria. "My eyes have been opened," Azaria said in an interview after he stepped down from voicing Apu. "I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country when they talk about what they feel, how they think about this character, and what their American experience of it [is]." As for who might take over for Apu and Dr. Hibbert, that is unclear at this time.
Kevin Michael Richardson from The Cleveland Show show was recently brought on to voice various characters on The Simpsons. He often takes on roles for some of the Black characters on the show. Over the summer, it was also announced that Mike Henry, who created and voiced Cleveland Brown, an African-American character on Family Guy, was stepping down from the role. Henry made his announcement and many stood behind the decision, but there were also a lot of people who believe he should have stayed with the role.
In The Simpsons season 32 premiere, Undercover Burns, Mr. Burns goes undercover as "Fred" at the power plant. "Fred" is voiced by Stranger Things star David Harbour. Burns wants to see what Homer, Carl Carlson, and Lenny Leonard really think of him. When the three co-workers start to bond with "Fred," things immediately start to get better around the Springfield nuclear plant, which does not make Smithers very happy. One can assume that he'll figure out a way to get Mr. Burns back to his normal ways by the time the episode comes to a close. Variety was the first to reveal that Alex Désert has taken over for Hank Azaria as the new voice of Carl Carlson.