'The Simpsons' Star Yeardley Smith Reveals Her Reaction to Sitcom's Eventual End (Exclusive)

After it was announced this past fall that The Simpsons had been renewed through Season 34, keeping it on the air until at least 2023, showrunner Al Jean told Variety he wasn't sure how much longer the animated sitcom would last. With a very real prospect of the show eventually coming to an end, Yeardley Smith — also known as the voice of Lisa Simpson — admits to PopCulture.com it will not be an easy goodbye when that day comes.

"The fact that I get to actually voice her is one of the greatest gifts of my life. When that show is over — when The Simpsons is done, I will be in a fetal position on my bathroom floor," she told PopCulture. "It will be like one of my very best friends has moved away and is never coming back. It's going to kill me. It's going to kill me!"


Stating how she has learned a lot from playing the 8-year-old icon who has met with her fair share of struggles, Smith says Lisa Simpson has taught her so much about "grace" and "resilience," something she wishes she could match in her own life. "I'm still not nearly as resilient as she is. I admire her kindness and try to emulate that. I'm just so honored, honestly, every day to be 33 and a third percent of the creation of this extraordinary little character. I really have always felt that no matter what the medium, film, television, stage, Lisa Simpson is one of the best, fully formed, most multifaceted characters ever created for an actress."

While the show has managed 33 seasons so far and more than 700 episodes, Smith says the reception from fans means the absolute world to her. "It's such a privilege and I never take it for granted. When somebody comes up to me and says, 'This is what Lisa Simpson has meant to me. This is how she got me through a hard time. This is how she inspired me.' I'm always surprised because I never leave the house going, 'Well, let's see how Lisa Simpson inspired the world today,'" she said. "I'm always deeply grateful that somebody who has never met me is willing to come up and share that experience with me and so the fact that the show will live on, not only because we're the longest-running scripted television show in U.S. history now by a long shot, but I think we were we're so culturally relevant still and all the predictions — I don't think you'll ever have another show like it, at least not in our lifetime."

With Women's History Month in full swing, Smith also reflected on Lisa Simpson as an enduring staple of feminism and hope. "[Lisa's] humility, but also her ability to learn from her mistakes is really uncanny. It's super uncanny for an 8-year-old. It would be uncanny for a grownup," she said later adding how one of the running gags on The Simpsons is to give Lisa something and then take it away 22 minutes later. "The fact that she survives all that sort of, 'Here you go. Oh, I'm taking a back,' kind of those stories that the writers write for her is extraordinary. She has a wonderful sense of humor, a genuine, really authentic sense of justice. I think the things that she gets behind, she really believes in. And then if she becomes disillusioned, then she calls that out. She's just this warrior. Even if she frets over something, ultimately she's down for doing the right thing."

New episodes of The Simpsons air every Sunday on FOX at 8 p.m. ET with the show and all its 33 seasons, now available to stream on Disney+. For more with Yeardley Smith and all her projects, including Oil & Water and Small Town Dicks, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest.