When The Simpsons started thirty years ago, no one thought it would last more than six weeks.
Mike Reiss got a summer job as a writer for the show because nobody else wanted to work on it beyond a small group of mostly non-writers tired of toiling in late-night television or other jobs unrelated to entertainment.
They all thought it would be fun to let loose on a show no one would watch. Who was going to watch a cartoon? There hadn't been one in primetime since The Flintstones.
Why not have fun with it, make a show more irreverent than the rest of the shows on TV, the kind they wanted to see? The most irreverent show on TV at the time was The Golden Girls. What did they have to lose?
The rest is history.
In retrospect, Mike thinks that may be the reason for the show's success. No one cared.
Today, an hour with Mike Reiss.
- Mike Reiss - Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer, showrunner, and producer for The Simpsons for thirty years and the co-author with Matthew Klickstein of Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons. Mike has written a dozen children’s books, and contributed to several films including Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. (@MikeReissWriter)
Colin McEnroe contributed to this show.