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The first time Dr. Marvin Monroe's death was referenced in a Simpsons episode is when a character was taken to the Marvin Monroe Memorial Hospital.

If you didn't read the hospital's sign, you were at a loss in the later-that-season clip show where Troy McClure asks the trivia question "Which popular characters have died in the last year?" (Answer given after commercial: "If you guessed Bleeding Gums Murphy and Dr. Marvin Monroe, you were wrong! They were never popular!")

Dr. Marvin Monroe was the family therapist in Springfield in The Simpsons universe. He ran a number of various psychological practices in the city including his own family therapy center in which patients would whack at each other with foam-covered bats and be subjected to electroshock therapy. He charged a $250 fee per family for his services and offered a double-your-money-back guarantee if he failed to turn a family into an example of blissful coexistance. The doctor also ran his own radio talk show in which callers asked for advice with their interpersonal problems and he had plans for something he called "The Monroe Box" in which a baby would be subjected to a series of tortures designed to make the child hate him. The box never earned enough funding to buy a baby for the experiment.

Little is known about Dr. Monroe's personal life. He enjoyed traveling the world, speaking his mind of topics on TV's Smartline, and curling up with a big bucket of popcorn in a dimly-lit room to watch The Itchy and Scratchy Show. His gravelly voice matched his portly, bearded, balding appearance. In early seasons of the series Dr. Monroe served as the "know-it-all" character and appeared as the plot dictated, but was hardly used for straight comedic purposes.

Death came offscreen to Dr. Monroe and he is one of the few characters on The Simpsons to die and totally vanish from the series (even the late Maude Flanders is still spoken of on the show). In fact, the only reason viewers became aware of his death is that in the episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns, Part 2" a near-death Mr. Burns was taken to Marvin Monroe Memorial Hospital. So why did the creators choose to off Dr. Monroe? The man who portrayed the character's voice, Harry Shearer, has gone on record to say that he hated performing the character. Dr. Monroe's annoying voice apparently played havoc with Shearer's throat and it had come to the point where doing the voice was becoming physically painful to him. Seeing as how the doctor was never a popular character, it was an easy decision to kill him off. It seems that fans have not missed him.


References:
http://www.snpp.com

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