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Throughout its 3,000 seasons – okay, so it’s actually just 26 – The Simpsons has featured many guest stars over the ages, and though many of them have played their celebrity selves, there are still plenty of amazing fictional characters with famous voices behind them. Sadly, very few of them ever come back to Springfield, and there’s one that fans have been wanting to see again in the many years since Season 8: Hank Scorpio. Of course it’s Hank Scorpio.
Hank Scorpio, voiced by the always hilarious Albert Brooks, appeared in the 1996 episode “You Only Move Twice,” and immediately became an evil super-genius phenomenon. As part of The Simpsons panel at this year’s Comic-Con, longtime showrunner and executive producer Al Jean was asked if Scorpio would ever return to Matt Groening’s universe, at which point he shared that this kind of question happens quite often. His answer probably won’t please any Scorpio fanatics – Scorpions? – though.
I think that’s probably the most asked-for character that we’ve had. I can’t say he’ll be back. I’m sure Albert [Brooks] will be back on the show. He’s always really funny. We just had him and a lot of the very best stuff he says, he improvised, just right on the spot. He’s just the funniest…So, no.
That’s one of the biggest bummers I can think of, coming just short of them saying that Sideshow Bob would never be coming back. (The Kelsey Grammer-voiced maniac will be back for this year’s “Treehouse of Horror,” thankfully.) In the James Bond-spoof “You Only Move Twice,” Scorpio is pretty much the best boss ever, as the Simpson family moves to the new city Cypress Creek for Homer’s new job at Globex. And while an oblivious Homer is busy turning the company into a lazier batch of employees, Scorpio is fighting his nemesis Mr. Bont. The world needs more of this seemingly kindhearted antagonism.
In case you’ve forgotten just how memorable Hank Scorpio is – shame on you – just take a peek at the clip below, which features his all-encompassing laughter and flamethrower.
Brooks has appeared on The Simpsons for six different episodes over the years, with a seventh coming next season, and he also starred in The Simpsons Movie as the villainous Russ Cargill. He was actually supposed to play Hank Scorpio in the movie, but that idea got shelved. Oh, what could have been.
The Simpsons, now with Harry Shearer, will start up again on Fox for Season 27 this fall. Without Hank Scorpio.