Vicious rumours of an imminent Simpsons death have been rife in recent months and now, some teaser clips have been released ahead of the new season's US premiere on Sunday.
First episode “Clown in the Dumps” will see Krusty the Clown get upset and retire after comics, including guest stars Sarah Silverman and Jeff Ross, give him a roasting.
“We've seen a lot of top-flight comics tonight,” Silverman says onstage. “But that's over, because it's time to hear from Krusty the Clown!”
Silverman's merciless abuse continues when she tells Krusty she “grew up” watching him, only to correct herself and say she meant “threw up”.
“Suddenly I don't feel like doing this,” Krusty tells the crowd, in a moment sure to have Simpsons fans reaching for their tissues.
Poor old Krusty is among the popular characters tipped to die, but creator Al Jean is keeping the storyline tightly under wraps.
“Some people have guessed it correctly and some people are really, really off,” he said recently, sparking yet more speculation over who might be heading for the chop.
Who might die on The Simpsons?
Several hints have been dropped so far, including that the actor who voices the doomed character has won an Emmy Award.
“People reported we were killing an 'iconic' character,” Jean told TV Line earlier this year. “I'd like to say it's a great character, but I never used the word 'iconic'. It's a terrific character and it [happens in] our premiere.”
Sunday night will also see the hotly-awaited Simpsons, Family Guy crossover episode air, in which Peter Griffin and co. arrive in Springfield during Family Guy's season premiere.
The episode came under fire earlier this week for a "troubling" joke in which Stewie tells Moe that his “sister's being raped”.Reuse content