With The Simpsons starting to wrap up its 33rd season on Fox one would think they’d introduced every character and story possible for the town of Springfield. But that would be incorrect. The award-winning and record-setting animated series continues to add pieces along the way and soon they will be permanently replacing one of the most popular characters the show has ever had. An announcement was made on Twitter (via ComicBook.com) that Kerry Washington is joining the cast of the series and will be voicing Rayshelle Peyton, Bart’s new fourth-grade teacher. If the history of the series is any indication, this character could be in for it considering Bart’s penchant for causing mayhem in the classroom.
Kerry Washington joining the cast as Ms. Peyton is a move that comes years after the passing of Marcia Wallace back in 2013. She had voiced the character of Edna Krabappel who had manned the desk and chalkboard in Bart’s class for almost 25 seasons. The show opted not to replace her as the character, instead choosing to employ a number of substitute teachers over the last decade or so. In the series, Mrs. Krabappel does pass away with her death acknowledged in a chalkboard scene at the beginning of “Four Regrettings and Funeral”.
Now, there will be a more permanent fixture in the classroom with Kerry Washington officially coming into the fold with April 24’s episode “My Octopus and a Teacher”, likely a reference to the Netflix documentary of a similar name. In it, Kerry Washington as Peyton will have to deal with Bart and his antics and the promotional piece even made a reference to one of the actress’s most popular series with their announcement of the character coming to the show. Check out what The Simpsons put out on Twitter in anticipation of this Sunday’s episode:
For her part, it sure looks like Kerry Washington will bring a considerably different vibe to the classroom than the gruffly hilarious Krabappel whose heavy smoking, and general demeanor didn’t exactly scream “nurturing” when it came to being a teacher. Having a student like Bart would have this effect and the character was a perfect addition to the cast from the very beginning. It’s obvious why The Simpsons would want to take things a little differently here, with Washington’s character more at the beginning of her public school journey, likely bright-eyed and full of optimism.
For her part, Kerry Washington brings an award-winning resume into her role on The Simpsons having starred in Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere. The latter is an adaptation of the popular novel of the same name and Washington stars as Mia Warren, an artist and mother at odds with Reese Witherspoon’s Elena Richardson. Washington was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.
Next up Kerry Washington will have a lead role in the Netflix adaptation of The School for Good and Evil. It is expected to hit the streamer sometime later this year.