In yesterday’s episode (February 21), Diary Queen, the series’s 696th follow-up producers re-used two of Wallace’s lines spoken for their character, Springfield elementary school teacher Ms. Krabappel. The move came seven years after Wallace’s unexpected death in 2013 and was a deliberate choice to pay tribute to the Emmy award-winning actor.
“Unfortunately it was very surprising to be over. I didn’t know she was this sick until it was close, ”executive producer Al Jean told Variety. “So we never got a chance to say goodbye to her on the show, and that’s a little try to do that.”
He continued, “She was so loved by everyone who worked on The Simpsons that we just wanted to give her one last moment on the show in her mind. It’s just, it’s nothing more, but we thought she was the best. “
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As a result, Bart Simpson discovers Frau Krabappel’s diary and finds entries that show how much she believed him as a student. Jean said the producers used two lines from Wallace that were previously used on the show to fit them into the new plot – all with the blessing of the late actor’s estate.
Although Bart misinterprets Mrs. Krabappel’s words in the episode, the teacher’s widower, Ned Flanders (who lost his first wife, Maude, in season 11) tells Bart that she still fondly thought of him.
Ms. Krabappel’s death was referred to in the March 2014 episode The Man Who Grew Too, although the character’s cause of death was not disclosed.
“I don’t think people really want to know how a character died these days,” added Jean Variety. “But we’ll reveal a little more about it [Mrs. Krabappel] and then a little more about her life and how the character felt when she died. “
Wallace, who died in 2013 at the age of 70, won an Emmy in 1992 for Outstanding Voice Over Achievement in The Simpsons.