Semi-Finalist for the 2019 James Thurber Award * One of Vulture's Top-10 Comedy Books of 2018 * A "Must" pick by Entertainment Weekly * An A.V. Club Best Books selection * A "New and Noteworthy" selection by USA Today
In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.
Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.
In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.
Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.
K is for comedy
I’m a 7th grade ELA teacher and a tried and true book nerd... so when I choose the palette cleansing books on my summer reading list, in between my deep dives into potential curriculum books with some awards-bait gravitas, I must find that seemingly oxymoron(ic) tome that is easily digestible and quick to read ... sort of like the fast-food burger that you can woof down, but doesn’t take a week to get out of your, um, system?..?..
Sorry Mr. Reiss I just had to try one pun in my review!
This book is an absolute treasure for Simpson’s fans and comedy fans alike. Mr. Reiss is also very forthcoming about participating in a life well lived, which is something I think anyone could use time to ruminate over once in awhile. Kudos!
The best and most accurate line in this book? “Alright, it doesn’t read funny.” Nothing did. The author may have written some funny lines for “The Simpsons,” but it was the voices that made them funny. Anyone else delivering those lines, and they’d fall completely flat. I was expecting to learn something about the show that was interesting, but all you get are embarrassingly bad attempts at humor. Sometimes pulling back the curtain on something you enjoy is a mistake. This book is a great example of that.