It has been ten years since the voice of Mrs. Krabappel, Marcia Wallace, tragically passed. Although, at first, producers of The Simpsons believed they couldn't replace her iconic character, it seems they have finally found someone good enough to fill her shoes! For the past ten years, Bart has been taught by a string of substitute teachers played by the hilarious Sofia Vergara and Willem Dafoe. But now, Kerry Washington will take on the permanent role of his fourth-grade teacher, Rayshelle Peyton. Catch a sneak peek of her debut below!
Talking of the role, Washington spoke to Entertainment Weekly. "She's a great teacher. But like all the best teachers, she knows that her students have just as much to teach her as she has to teach them. And teaching Bart is a job filled with growth opportunities." Not only is the actress a huge Simpsons fan, but she also has teaching experience, which helped her to perfect the role. "What an extraordinary legacy to be a part of! And I thought the idea of playing Bart's teacher was so funny. I used to be a teacher in NYC public schools. And my mother is a retired teacher. Teaching is, to me, a sacred profession. I could only imagine the laughs involved in teaching Bart."
Co-executive producer Carolyn Omine talked with Entertainment Weekly to discuss their decision to finally fill the teacher slot. "I don't know why we've been putting it off. I do miss our dear Marcia, and I think there was a little sadness and reluctance to do it, but it's been nine years. We would have a conversation at least once a year, maybe every other year. We couldn't really decide, and we couldn't really agree. There just wasn't the inspired thought — until we came upon this."
In true Hollywood style, it seems Kerry manifested this dream role. In a tweet from June 2020, Washington wrote, "dear animators looking for black voices… I'm avail." This was apparently all it took to get the idea into Omine's head. "I began thinking, 'Maybe she could be the new teacher. We've had this spot.' I talked with [executive producer] Matt Selman, and we decided to write it with her in mind." See what they came up with Sunday at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox!