The last time the Simpsons killed off a character, Homer provoked the fatal Tee-shirt barrage that killed Maude Flanders. This season the Simpsons are at it again.

It's been widely reported the Simpsons will kill off a character this year.

"Every now and again I think they need to do something that reminds people that it's still on the air."

Pop culture Professor Bob Thompson says even though the Simpsons is TV's longest running sitcom, they occasionally have to drum up controversy.        

"This is something that's put the Simpsons back in the national conversation. Notice how it's announced that it's going to happen so we get to talk about it before it does."

Professor Thompson says the show is still entertaining, but nowhere near as good as it was during its heyday in the '90s.