Simon at the 2008 World Series of Poker
Samuel Michael Simon
June 6, 1955
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||March 8, 2015 59) (aged|
|Occupation||Director, producer, writer, boxing manager, philanthropist|
|Known for||The Simpsons|
(m. 1984;div. 1991)
(m. 2000;div. 2000)
|Partner(s)||Kate Porter (2012–15)|
Samuel Michael Simon (June 6, 1955 – March 8, 2015) was an American director, producer, writer, animal rights activist and philanthropist, who co-developed the television series The Simpsons .
A television director is in charge of the activities involved in making a television program or section of a program. They are generally responsible for decisions about the editorial content and creative style of a program, and ensuring the producer's vision is delivered. Their duties may include originating program ideas, finding contributors, writing scripts, planning 'shoots', ensuring safety, leading the crew on location, directing contributors and presenters, and working with an editor to assemble the final product. The work of a television director can vary widely depending on the nature of the program, the practices of the production company, whether the program content is factual or drama, and whether it is live or recorded.
A television producer is a person who oversees all aspects of video production on a television program. Some producers take more of an executive role, in that they conceive new programs and pitch them to the television networks, but upon acceptance they focus on business matters, such as budgets and contracts. Other producers are more involved with the day-to-day workings, participating in activities such as screenwriting, set design, casting and directing.
A screenplay writer, scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, television programs and video games, are based.
While at Stanford University, Simon worked as a newspaper cartoonist and after graduating became a storyboard artist at Filmation Studios. Simon submitted a spec script for the sitcom Taxi , which was produced, and he later became the series' showrunner. Over the next few years, Simon wrote and produced for Cheers , It's Garry Shandling's Show and other programs, as well as writing the 1991 film The Super .
Leland Stanford Junior University is an American private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.
A cartoonist is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.
A storyboard is a graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic or interactive media sequence. The storyboarding process, in the form it is known today, was developed at Walt Disney Productions during the early 1930s, after several years of similar processes being in use at Walt Disney and other animation studios.
In 1989, Simon developed the animated sitcom The Simpsons with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. Simon assembled the show's first writing team, co-wrote eight episodes and has been credited with "developing [the show's] sensibility".Simon's relationship with Groening was strained and he left the show in 1993, negotiating a pay-off which saw him receive tens of millions of dollars from the show's revenue each year. The following year Simon co-created The George Carlin Show , before later working as a director on shows such as The Drew Carey Show . Simon won nine Primetime Emmy Awards for his television work.
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.
Matthew Abraham Groening is an American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, and voice actor. He is the creator of the comic strip Life in Hell (1977–2012) and the television series The Simpsons (1989–present), Futurama, and Disenchantment (2018–present). The Simpsons is the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history and the longest-running U.S. animated series and sitcom.
James Lawrence Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. While growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. After dropping out of New York University, he got a job as an usher at CBS, going on to write for the CBS News broadcasts. He moved to Los Angeles in 1965 to work on David L. Wolper's documentaries. After being laid off he met producer Allan Burns who secured him a job as a writer on the series My Mother the Car.
Simon turned to fields outside television in his later years. Simon regularly appeared on Howard Stern's radio shows, managedboxer Lamon Brewster and helped guide Lamon to the World Boxing Organization Heavyweight Championship in 2004 and was a regular poker player and six-time in the money finisher at the World Series of Poker. Simon founded the Sam Simon Foundation, which consists of a mobile veterinary clinic that goes into low-income neighborhoods offering free surgeries for cats and dogs several days per week, as well as a program that rescues and trains shelter dogs. He also funded the self-christened Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessel the MY Sam Simon . Simon was engaged at the time of his death, having been previously twice married, including to the actress Jennifer Tilly. Following a profile of Simon on 60 Minutes in 2007, CBS writer Daniel Schorn wrote in an online article that Simon was "perhaps the Renaissance man of the baffling, uncertain age we live in."
Howard Allan Stern is an American radio and television personality, producer, author, actor, and photographer. He is best known for his radio show The Howard Stern Show, which gained popularity when it was nationally syndicated on terrestrial radio from 1986 to 2005. Stern has broadcast on Sirius XM Radio since 2006.
Lamon Tajuan Brewster is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1996 to 2010. He held the WBO heavyweight title from 2004 to 2006, and is best known for scoring an upset knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko to win the vacant title. As an amateur, Brewster won the U.S. national championships in 1995, and a silver medal at that year's Pan American Games, both in the heavyweight division. Following his retirement from the sport in 2011, he became an entrepreneur and founded a consulting business.
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) is a sanctioning organization which recognizes professional boxing world champions. It is recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) as one of the four major world championship groups, alongside the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), and International Boxing Federation (IBF). The WBO's headquarters are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Simon was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer in 2012 and given only three to six months to live. Simon died on March 8, 2015. He bequeathed his $100 million estate to various charities which he actively supported during his lifetime.
Colorectal cancer (CRC), also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum. A cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Signs and symptoms may include blood in the stool, a change in bowel movements, weight loss, and feeling tired all the time.
Samuel Michael Simon was born on June 6, 1955 in Los Angeles, California, United States.He grew up in Beverly Hills and Malibu. Simon's family lived opposite Groucho Marx. Simon's father was a cheap clothing manufacturer and was of Estonian-Jewish heritage. Simon had a childhood which has been described as "comfortable" and "privileged". Although his parents wanted Simon to become a lawyer, Simon was interested in art from a young age, appearing on televised local art programs at the age of five. He once was told by Walt Disney that he would one day work at his studio.
Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. Nicknamed the "City of Angels" partly because of its name's Spanish meaning, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
Beverly Hills is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Beverly Hills is surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood.
Simon attended Beverly Hills High School, where he was on the football team and served as a cartoonist for the school newspaper. He was awarded "Most Humorous" and "Most Talented" in his senior yearbook.He later attended Stanford University, graduating in 1977. Simon had not wished to attend college, but Stanford persuaded him to apply due to his sufficient grades and proficiency at football; Simon quit the football team after one day. Simon drew comics for The Stanford Daily, a college newspaper, but was denied admission to a drawing class for not being talented enough. As he recalled to the Stanford alumni magazine, he was told, "You'd be taking the space of a student who has talent." Simon majored in psychology, but did not focus on his academics.
While still at Stanford, Simon's first job was a newspaper sports cartoonist for The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner .After graduating, he worked as a television storyboard artist, and later a writer, at Filmation Studios. There he worked on several animated shows, including The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1979). Simon recalls Filmation approving of his work because he was "self-taught and unschooled," but Simon felt the majority of what the studio produced was "awful". On the suggestion of Filmation producer Lou Scheimer who was impressed by Simon's writing ability, Simon submitted a spec script for the series Taxi which was produced and aired in 1981 during its third season. Simon was hired as a writer, quickly becoming showrunner for its fifth and final season in 1983. Simon next worked as a writer and producer on Cheers from seasons one to three (1982–1985), writing five episodes: "Endless Slumper", "Battle of the Ex's", "Fairytales Can Come True", "Cheerio Cheers" and "The Bartender's Tale". Simon created, wrote and produced the short-lived sitcom Shaping Up in 1984, alongside Ken Estin; the show starred Leslie Nielsen as a gym owner and ran for five episodes on ABC. Simon also wrote and produced for Best of the West (1981), Barney Miller (1982) and It's Garry Shandling's Show (1987–1988), and wrote the 1991 film The Super .
Simon co-developed the animated series The Simpsons , which premiered on the Fox network in 1989 and has remained on air ever since. The show is regarded as one of the greatest television shows of all time, with Time magazine naming it the 20th century's best series. The premise for the series originated as a series of short cartoons airing in 1987 as part of The Tracey Ullman Show , on which Simon was a writer and executive producer alongside James L. Brooks, with whom Simon had worked on Taxi. The cartoons were developed into a full series two years later. For The Simpsons, Simon served alongside Matt Groening (who conceived the show and the five main characters) and Brooks as executive producer and showrunner for the show's first (1989–1990) and second (1990–1991) seasons, and was creative supervisor for the first four seasons. He assembled and led the initial team of writers, consisting of John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, George Meyer, Jeff Martin, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky. The cartoonist and writer, Mimi Pond, who wrote the first broadcast episode, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (1989), has asserted, via third-party hearsay she repeated, that Simon deliberately kept women out of the writing team.
Simon has been credited with "developing [the show's] sensibility". ' history, because "he was the guy we wrote for." Writer Ken Levine called Simon "the real creative force behind The Simpsons ... The tone, the storytelling, the level of humor – that was all developed on Sam's watch." Levine says that Simon "brought a level of honesty to the characters" and made them "three-dimensional", adding that his "comedy is all about character, not just a string of gags. In The Simpsons, the characters are motivated by their emotions and their foibles. 'What are they thinking?'—that is Sam's contribution. The stories come from the characters." Simon crafted much of the world of Springfield and designed the models for many of the show's recurring characters, including Mr. Burns, Dr. Hibbert, Chief Wiggum and Eddie and Lou, as well as many of the one-time and guest star roles, such as Bleeding Gums Murphy. One of his contributions to the show's character development was his proposal that Waylon Smithers should be gay, but that this should never have too much attention drawn to it; Smithers' sexuality became one of the show's longest-running gags. Simon saw The Simpsons as a chance to solve "what [he] didn't like about the Saturday-morning cartoon shows [he had] worked on ... [he] wanted all the actors in a room together, not reading their lines separated from each other. The Simpsons would have been a great radio show. If you just listen to the sound track, it works."Former Simpsons director Brad Bird has described him as "the unsung hero" of the show, while Vitti has stated to "leave out Sam Simon" is to tell "the managed version" of The Simpsons
The Simpsons utilized a process of collaborative script re-writing by the show's whole writing staff; this meant the credited writer may not have been responsible for the majority of an episode's content. 'Z' For Zombies" segment of "Treehouse of Horror III".Nevertheless, Simon was credited with co-writing the season one episodes "The Telltale Head", "The Crepes of Wrath" and the season finale "Some Enchanted Evening". "Some Enchanted Evening" was intended to be the show's premiere but was delayed due to poor animation. Simon adapted Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven for the third segment of the season two episode "Treehouse of Horror". Groening was nervous about "The Raven" because it did not have many gags, and felt it would be "the worst, most pretentious thing [they had] ever done" on the show. Nevertheless, the segment has often been praised as one of the best Treehouse of Horror stories in the show's history. Ryan J. Budke of TV Squad described the segment as "one of the most refined Simpsons pop references ever" and knows "people that consider this the point that they realized The Simpsons could be both highly hilarious and highly intelligent." Simon co-wrote the episode "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" with Swartzwelder, an episode which Tom Shales of the Washington Post has described as "a bull's-eye political satire". The final episode he co-wrote for season two was "The Way We Was", alongside Jean and Reiss. While Reiss and Jean took over as showrunners, Simon remained on the writing staff for seasons three (1991–1992) and four (1992–1993). For the third season he co-wrote "Treehouse of Horror II", and conceived the story for the Sideshow Bob episode "Black Widower", together with mystery author Thomas Chastain, hoping to construct a full mystery story; Vitti wrote the episode's teleplay. Simon also substantially contributed to the episode "Stark Raving Dad", pitched the episode "Homer at the Bat", and proposed the "Land of Chocolate" sequence from "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk". Simon's final writing credit was for the "Dial
Although they initially worked well together, Simon and Groening's relationship became "very contentious" according to Groening.Simon never expected the show to be a success, often proclaiming to fellow staff members "We're thirteen and out"—meaning that the show would be canceled after the thirteen episodes of the first season. Therefore, he also told the staff that they had creative freedom to do whatever they wanted to make The Simpsons as good a show as possible, regardless of network or public opinion, because he thought it inevitably would not be renewed; he elaborated in 2009 that "really I was saying that to take the pressure off of everyone. I was just saying let's just go out and make 13 episodes that are really good and really funny." However, Groening interpreted it as meaning Simon was uncommitted and did not care whether the show was a success or not, as Simon's career would survive, whereas his own would not. In 2001, Groening described Simon as "brilliantly funny and one of the smartest writers I've ever worked with, although unpleasant and mentally unbalanced." According to John Ortved's book The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History , when the show became successful Simon resented the media attention Groening received, particularly the praise for the show's writing; Simon felt that Groening's involvement was limited, and that he should have been the one receiving credit for the show. Simon later spoke well of Groening's influence, particularly on the show's positive tone.
As well as Groening, Simon was often at odds with Brooks and production company Gracie Films.While working on The Simpsons, he and Brooks had co-created the series Sibs (1991) and Phenom (1993) as part of a multi-series deal for ABC. Simon did not want to work on either series, both of which were poorly received and swiftly canceled, which put a strain on the pair's relationship.
Simon left Gracie Films and The Simpsons in 1993; he commented that he "wasn't enjoying it anymore," wished to pursue other projects, and "that any show I've ever worked on, it turns me into a monster. I go crazy. I hate myself."Before leaving, he negotiated a deal that saw him receive a share of the show's profits every year, particularly from home media, and an executive producer credit despite not having worked on the show since 1993. The deal means he made over $10 million a year from The Simpsons; he later told Stanford Magazine that "tens of millions" was a closer figure. Simon commented: "When I was there I thought I was underpaid. I thought I wasn't getting enough credit for it. Now, I think it's completely the opposite. I get too much credit for it. And the money is ridiculous."
In January 1994, Simon co-created with comedian George Carlin the sitcom The George Carlin Show for Fox. It aired for 27 episodes before being canceled in December 1995.Simon served as showrunner throughout its run and directed several episodes. Simon persuaded Carlin to do the show after writing it as something which would not be "typically sitcomy." He conceived the show as what Carlin's life would have been like had he never become a comedian; Carlin played a heavy drinking New York taxi driver. Simon commented: "When I was doing The Simpsons, people couldn't see how smart it was because of the low moments. There's something about this show. People who like it say it's classy. They don't see how vulgar it is." Carlin wrote negatively of his relationship with Simon. On his own website, Carlin wrote of the show: "always check mental health of creative partner beforehand. Loved the actors, loved the crew. Had a great time. Couldn't wait to get the fuck out of there." In his final book, the posthumously published Last Words (2009), Carlin elaborated: "I had a great time. I never laughed so much, so often, so hard as I did with cast members Alex Rocco, Chris Rich, Tony Starke. There was a very strange, very good sense of humor on that stage ... The biggest problem, though, was that Sam Simon was a fucking horrible person to be around. Very, very funny, extremely bright and brilliant, but an unhappy person who treated other people poorly." Simon described himself as "combative" and said that most people see him as having a "bad attitude".
In the late 1990s, Simon primarily worked as a director. He directed on the American adaptation of the sitcom Men Behaving Badly in 1996,the Friends season three episode "The One Without the Ski Trip" in 1997, and several episodes of The Norm Show (1999) and The Michael Richards Show (2000). From 1998 to 2003, he served as a consulting producer and director for The Drew Carey Show , and directed the show's series finale. He was also a creative consultant on Bless This House in 1996.
From 1999 to some time in the early 2000s, Simon was President of e-Nexus Studios the once entertainment content arm of ZeniMax Media, Parent Company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks.After E-Nexus was shut down, Simon became President of the creative group at ZeniMax Productions, another subsidiary of ZeniMax.
After leaving The Simpsons and The George Carlin Show, Simon sought to find a "life outside television," as working in the industry "made [him] crazy."On working in television, Simon concluded: "In some ways, it's the greatest job in the world. You make a product that's given away, and all it does is make people smile. Nobody gets hurt, there's no damage, and you can get crazy rich." Simon retired from full-time television work, although still worked in the media, frequently contributing, as a writer and a participant, to Howard Stern's radio shows. He wrote and directed the one-off radio sitcom "The Bitter Half" for Stern's Howard 101 in 2006. Simon had his own show on Radioio. Simon returned to television production work in 2012, serving as a consultant and director on the series Anger Management for half a day a week.
Simon was a staunch advocate for animal rights and veganism, and described himself as an "animal lover". 6 acres (0.024 km2; 0.0094 sq mi)] spread in Malibu, perhaps the most desirable real estate on the planet. Here, among the waterfalls and the manicured grounds, The Sam Simon Foundation gives stray and abandoned dogs a new lease on life, literally."Around the year 2000, he joined People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their relationship began after Simon asked the staff of The Drew Carey Show to change a part of an episode which involved greyhound racing, but they refused to do so and that led Simon to donate his fee to the organization. Starting in 2002, he self-funded, at an annual cost of several million dollars, The Sam Simon Foundation, which has a mobile clinic that provides free surgeries for cats and dogs, as well as rescuing and retraining shelter dogs who might otherwise be euthanized. An episode of 60 Minutes broadcast in March 2007 described it as "the grandest dog shelter in the country, a five star, [
As Simon explained, the foundation aims to "rescue dogs" and "train them to be service dogs, [to help] people with disabilities," Sam Simon, which was unveiled in December 2012. Simon was also a board member for Save the Children, and hosted the largest annual fundraiser for PETA, who named him an Honorary Director and their Norfolk, Virginia headquarters building after him. Simon has stated that animal rights charities have been his main target for donations, over other causes like human disease and environmental damage, because "your money can bring success" with visible results. Simon stated in 2011 that there is "nothing [which gives him] more pleasure than" helping others via his charities, and gave away most of his fortune.primarily the deaf. It also provides free veterinary surgeries to pets belonging to low-income families, and trains dogs to help soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Simon said the money he used was "well spent just for the pleasure it gives me." The training program has a 20% success rate, because many of the rescued dogs "have physical and psychological problems" but the dogs who cannot be trained are put up for adoption. The foundation is non-profit, does not accept public donations, but does receive some federal government funding due to a bill written and passed by Senator Al Franken. In 2011, Simon established and self-funded the Sam Simon Foundation Feeding Families program, a food truck which delivers vegan food to low-income families; the program helps feed some 200 families per week. He donated an undisclosed sum to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in 2012 for the purpose of purchasing another vessel for their fleet, the MY
—Simon in 2004 on his role as Lamon Brewster's manager.
Simon was a long time fan of boxing, attending fights with his grandfather, but his interest increased particularly after seeing the 1990 heavyweight championship fight between Evander Holyfield and James "Buster" Douglas which he described as "the most electrifying feeling I'd had in my life."He began training and won six out of nine amateur fights; he was also a reserve contestant on the Fox series Celebrity Boxing . Simon was for eight years the manager of heavyweight boxer Lamon Brewster, the now-retired former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion. He met Brewster in 1997 and began managing him, helping him rise to the top of the WBO rankings. He considers guiding Brewster to his April 2004 victory over Wladimir Klitschko to win the vacant WBO Heavyweight Championship, with Klitschko the heavy favorite, to be amongst the greatest moments of his life; it "eclipsed everything he had achieved in a glittering 26-year showbiz career." Before the Klitschko fight, Simon calculated he had spent several hundred thousand dollars funding Brewster, paying him a large salary on top of match fees as well as letting him stay rent-free at one of his houses, and taking only a 10% cut of the match fees; however, he never intended boxing to be a substantial "source of revenue". Simon retired from boxing management soon after Brewster became WBO Heavyweight Champion.
|Residence||Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles|
|World Series of Poker|
|Highest ITM |
Main Event finish
Simon was a regular poker player, and Texas hold 'em in particular.He was introduced to the game as a child through weekly family poker games and casino trips with his grandfather. Simon did not consider himself a serious player until a game at writer David Steinberg's house with several "scholarly" players, which encouraged him to study the game and enter numerous tournaments, although he decided not to become professional. He competed at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) each year between 2007 and 2011, finishing in the money in six events. In 2007, at the 6,358-player $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold'em Main Event, he finished 329th with $39,445. He also finished 16th winning $35,493 at the $1,000 1,048-player No-Limit Hold'em w/Re-Buys in 2007, 41st winning $10,708 at the $1,000 706-player No-Limit Hold'em w/ReBuys in 2008, 53rd winning $10,692 at the $1,000 879-player No-Limit Hold'em w/ReBuys in 2008, 20th winning $24,066 at the $10,000 275-player World Championship Pot-Limit Hold'em in 2009, and 500th winning $23,876 at the $10,000 6,865-player No-Limit Hold'em Championship in 2011. He also won the $300 438-player No-Limit Hold'em Bounty $100,000 Guarantee at the 2009 L.A. Poker Open, winning $22,228. His biggest win in terms of both field size and prize money was the $200 1,082-player No-Limit Hold'em $150,000 Guarantee at the 2010 Winnin O' The Green, where he won $57,308. Simon's private poker games between him and his celebrity friends have been described as "raucous and very entertaining". Their reputation led Playboy TV to produce the show Sam's Game , a televised version featuring Simon as host and master of ceremonies of a Las Vegas celebrity Texas Hold 'em match; he produced the show. He had previously appeared on a 2009 episode of High Stakes Poker .
Simon won nine Primetime Emmy Awards and received ten further nominations for his work. For The Tracey Ullman Show he won the Emmys for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series in 1989 and Outstanding Writing In A Variety Or Music Program in 1990. In the former he was nominated again in 1990, for the latter he was also nominated in 1987, 1988 and 1989.He received the Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) for The Simpsons in 1990, 1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001 with further nominations in 1990 (for "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" which was counted as a separate special), 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2002. He was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series for Taxi in 1983 and Cheers in 1985, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for It's Garry Shandling's Show in 1988 and Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for The Best of Tracey Ullman Show in 1990. He also won a Peabody Award for The Simpsons in 1996. In 2013, Simon was awarded the Writers Guild of America Award Animation Writers Caucus lifetime achievement award for his work in animation; the following year the WGA awarded him the Valentine Davies Award for his humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.
Simon was married to actress Jennifer Tilly from 1984 to 1991 and remained friends with her.He married Playboy Playmate Jami Ferrell in 2000, and the marriage lasted three weeks. Simon was engaged to chef and caterer Jenna Stewart around 2011. He was dating Kate Porter, a make-up artist, from 2012 until his death. Simon became a vegetarian at the age of nineteen and when joining People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals around 2000, he turned to veganism. He had three dogs, and supported the Democratic Party.
He lived in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, in the restored Bailey House, designed by Richard Neutra.After his home was destroyed by a fire in 2007, Simon redesigned it to be environmentally friendly; much of the interior is constructed from recycled materials while solar panels provide virtually its entire power needs. The building has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certificate. He had an extensive art collection; he owned paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, John Singer Sargent and one of the original casts of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker . He also had a sculpture by Robert Graham and works by Alberto Vargas, Gil Elvgren, Ed Ruscha and Richard Estes.
In late 2012, Simon was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer which later metastasized to his other organs, including his liver and kidneys. He had been feeling ill for some time and had earlier been misdiagnosed.He was given between three and six months to live; chemotherapy treatment reduced the size of his tumors over the following six months. He arranged for his fortune to be left to various charitable causes, stating "The truth is, I have more money than I'm interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this." Simon died in his Los Angeles home from complications of the disease on March 8, 2015, aged 59. His remains were interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Controversy surrounds the management of his trust, and the lack of donations to groups which he supported in his lifetime.
|1979||The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle||TV series||Storyboard artist, writer|
|1979||Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids||TV series||Storyboard artist, writer|
|1981||Best of the West||TV series||Writer|
|1982||Barney Miller||TV series||Writer|
|1981–1983||Taxi||TV series||Executive story editor, showrunner, producer, writer|
|1982–1985||Cheers||TV series||Producer, writer|
|1984||Shaping Up||TV series||Creator, executive producer, writer|
|1987–1988||It's Garry Shandling's Show||TV series||Creative consultant, writer|
|1987–1989||The Tracey Ullman Show||TV series||Executive producer, writer|
|1989–1993||The Simpsons||TV series||Character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, developer, executive producer, showrunner, writer||Left in 1993, but still received an executive producer credit on later episodes until his death in 2015.|
|1991||Sibs||TV series||Creator, writer|
|1991||The Super||Feature film||Writer|
|1993||Phenom||TV series||Creator, writer|
|1994–1995||The George Carlin Show||TV series||Co-creator, director, executive producer, showrunner, writer|
|1996||Men Behaving Badly||TV series||Director|
|1996||Bless This House||TV series||Creative consultant|
|1998–2003||The Drew Carey Show||TV series||Consulting producer, director, writer|
|1999||The Norm Show||TV series||Director|
|2000||The Michael Richards Show||TV series||Director|
|2000||American Adventure||TV film||Executive producer|
|2001||Rock & Roll Back to School Special||TV film||Consulting producer, writer|
|2001||House of Cards||TV film||Executive producer, writer|
|2009||Sam's Game||Reality TV series||Creator, executive producer, host|
|2012||Anger Management||TV series||Consultant, director|
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and one of the main protagonists of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.
Margaret "Maggie" Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She first appeared on television in the Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Maggie was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. She received her first name from Groening's youngest sister. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family was given their own series on the Fox Broadcasting Company which debuted December 17, 1989.
"Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", is the series premiere episode of The Simpsons. It was the first episode to air despite originally being the eighth episode produced for season one. It is the only full-length episode to air during the 1980s, having originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on Sunday, December 17, 1989.
"Treehouse of Horror" is the third episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 25, 1990. The episode was inspired by 1950s horror comics, and begins with a disclaimer that it may be too scary for children. It is the first Treehouse of Horror episode. These episodes do not obey the show's rule of realism and are not treated as canon. The opening disclaimer and a panning shot through a cemetery with humorous tombstones were features that were used sporadically in the Treehouse of Horror series and eventually dropped. This is also the first episode to have the music composed by Alf Clausen, taking over for Danny Elfman who also wrote the show's theme.
The Simpsons shorts are an American animated TV series of 48 one-minute shorts that ran on the variety television program The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, before the characters spun off into The Simpsons, their own half-hour prime-time show. It features Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The series was created by Matt Groening, who designed the Simpson family and wrote many of the shorts. The shorts first aired on April 19, 1987 starting with "Good Night". The final short to air was "TV Simpsons", originally airing on May 14, 1989. The Simpsons later debuted on December 17, 1989, as an independent series with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".
"Treehouse of Horror III" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 29, 1992. In the third annual Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer buys Bart an evil talking Krusty doll, King Homer is captured by Mr. Burns, and Bart and Lisa inadvertently cause zombies to attack Springfield. The episode was written by Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky, Sam Simon, and Jon Vitti, and directed by Carlos Baeza.
"Treehouse of Horror V" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' sixth season and the fifth episode in the Treehouse of Horror series. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 30, 1994, and features three short stories titled The Shinning, Time and Punishment, and Nightmare Cafeteria. The episode was directed by Jim Reardon and written by Greg Daniels, Dan McGrath, David Cohen, and Bob Kushell.
"The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 3, 1995. As the title suggests, it is the 138th episode and the third clip show episode of The Simpsons, after "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" and "Another Simpsons Clip Show". While the "138th Episode Spectacular" compiles sequences from episodes throughout the entire series like the previous two, it also shows clips from the original Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show and other previously unaired material. Like the Halloween specials, the episode is considered non-canon and falls outside of the show's regular continuity.
The first season of the American animated television series The Simpsons originally aired on the Fox network between December 17, 1989 and May 13, 1990, beginning with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". The executive producers for the first production season were Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Sam Simon.
The Simpsons' sixth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 4, 1994, and May 21, 1995, and consists of 25 episodes. The Simpsons is an animated series about a working class family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition. Season 6 was the highest rated season of the series.
The Simpsons' fifth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 30, 1993 and May 19, 1994. The showrunner for the fifth production season was David Mirkin who executive produced 20 episodes. Al Jean and Mike Reiss executive produced the remaining two, which were both hold overs that were produced for the previous season. The season contains some of the series' most acclaimed episodes, including "Cape Feare" and "Rosebud". It also includes the 100th episode, "Sweet Seymour Skinner's Baadasssss Song". The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and won an Annie Award for Best Animated Television Program as well as an Environmental Media Award and a Genesis Award. The DVD box set was released in Region 1 on December 21, 2004, Region 2 on March 21, 2005, and Region 4 on March 23, 2005.
The Simpsons' fourth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 24, 1992 and May 13, 1993, beginning with "Kamp Krusty". The showrunners for the fourth production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss. The aired season contained two episodes which were hold-over episodes from season three, which Jean and Reiss also ran. Following the end of the production of the season, Jean, Reiss and most of the original writing staff left the show. The season was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards and Dan Castellaneta would win one for his performance as Homer in "Mr. Plow". The fourth season was released on DVD in Region 1 on June 15, 2004, Region 2 on August 2, 2004 and in Region 4 on August 25, 2004.
The Simpsons' third season originally aired on the Fox network between September 19, 1991 and August 27, 1992. The showrunners for the third production season were Al Jean and Mike Reiss who executive produced 22 episodes for the season, while two other episodes were produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, and Sam Simon. An additional episode, "Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?", aired on August 27, 1992 after the official end of the third season and is included on the Season 3 DVD set. Season three won six Primetime Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" and also received a nomination for "Outstanding Animated Program" for the episode "Radio Bart". The complete season was released on DVD in Region 1 on August 26, 2003, Region 2 on October 6, 2003, and in Region 4 on October 22, 2003.
Treehouse of Horror, also known as The Simpsons Halloween specials, are a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the animated series The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show's normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic, being known for their far more violent and much darker nature than an average Simpsons episode. The first, entitled "Treehouse of Horror", aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. Since then, there have been 28 other Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year.
The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom starring the animated Simpson family, which was created by Matt Groening. He conceived of the characters in the lobby of James L. Brooks's office and named them after his own family members, substituting "Bart" for his own name. The family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show called The Simpsons, which debuted on December 17, 1989. The show was an early hit for Fox, becoming the first Fox series to land in the top 30 ratings in a season (1990).
The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History is a non-fiction book about the American animated television series The Simpsons. It was written by John Ortved, and first published in October 2009 by Faber and Faber. In the United Kingdom, the book is called Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it. The book is an oral history of the show, and concentrates particularly on the writers and producers of the show. The book includes entire chapters devoted to key figures such as creator Matt Groening and James L. Brooks and Sam Simon, who helped develop the series. According to National Public Radio reviewer Linda Holmes, "Ortved's thesis, essentially, is that lots of people are responsible for the success of The Simpsons, and their creator, Matt Groening, has too often been viewed as the sole source to the detriment of others who also deserve to be praised."
Five official episode guides for American animated sitcom The Simpsons have been published by HarperCollins since 1997. The first guide covers seasons 1 to 8, while the following three cover seasons 9 to 14. The fifth was released in 2010 and covers seasons 1 to 20.