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The death of Alan Rickman has hit film fans everywhere hard, and the announcement of his passing on Thursday morning has led to tributes that have been heartwarming in spite of the heartbreak. Rickman has left behind an impressive body of work spanning decades; it’s only appropriate that he be memorialized accordingly. In a happy surprise, Fox’s The Simpsons posted a tribute to the actor that connects back to two of his most rewatchable roles. Check it out!
In a tiny joke that lasted for all of two seconds, The Simpsons managed to be both hilarious and respectful to Alan Rickman. The Love, Indubitably spoof on Love, Actually was hilarious on its own, but bringing in Rickman’s most famous role of Severus Snape from the Harry Potter franchise made it perfect.
It also acknowledged a pair of his most nuanced roles. Although he was only one of a vast ensemble in Love, Actually, he brought enough vulnerability to the cheating husband character that he wasn’t entirely without sympathy. Bringing this sympathy to a role that features wronging Emma Thompson is practically superhuman.
As Severus Snape – a character who spent much of his time on screen in the Harry Potter films being mostly despicable to Harry – Alan Rickman managed to create a character who has been called everything from the hero of the story to a villain barely redeemed. No other actor could have pulled off what Rickman did as Snape, and it’s no surprise that Potter fans have come up with tributes sure to get anybody sniffling. Even Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe posted something positively tear-jerking.
Interestingly, the Alan Rickman moment from this Simpsons clip, voiced by none other than Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch, originally aired almost three years ago as a Valentine’s episode called “Love is a Many Splintered Thing”. The clip being posted yesterday on the show’s YouTube page following news of Rickman’s passing is a lovely nod to the actor. It’s possible that Brits who will see tons of British pop culture icons thrown into Love, Indubitably might not necessarily get as many laughs out of the clip as those of us on the American side of the pond, but there’s no denying that the speed with which the clip was posted is touching. What could be more perfect than a clip of Rickman surrounded by dancing members of Parliament?
Alan Rickman’s death is still too recent for many of us to laugh too hard, but seeing the way that famous folks and fans alike have been celebrating his life has been wonderful. Considering that many of us will also be taking advantage of the weekend for a marathon of Rickman’s best works, this Simpsons tribute is a great way to start.