Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Mike Reiss-funnier than you'll ever be...

It's so odd, Matt Groening gets so much credit for the Simpsons. People call him a genius left and right, meanwhile, the sad reality is that he wasn't a chief scribe on the show past the early seasons. A lot of creative people have put a lot of work into that show over the years and it's just ridiculous that Groening is the only one that gets any real attention on a massive level.

One man that is at LEAST as responsible for the greatness of the Simpsons is Mike Reiss. He's been with the show for a long, long time now. He's one of the few that are still with the show from the first days. Whether it's been in the roll of writer; producer; or show runner, he's pretty much ALWAYS been there.

Before working on "The Simpsons", he was a writer on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson(he penned the famous "Bitch McNugget" joke). He was a producer on "It's Gary Shandling's Show" and even did some time in the trenches of "Alf". Along with his writing/producing partner Al Jean he also was a contributing factor to "Not Necessarily The News", and "Sledgehammer", two critically lauded shows that have now been largely forgotten(although, there is some Sledge product available on DVD now, I believe).

Reiss manned the helm during the golden days of "The Simpsons". He was the co-show runner on seasons 3 and 4 along with Al Jean. After this, he and Jean created "The Critic", which unfortunetly was cut down in it's prime by short lived Fox president John Matoian to make way for the even shorter lived "House of Buggin'", which was only memorable for the one time they did that Power Rangers' satire.

After that it was back to "The Simpsons" with the occasional forays into the production of other, largely crappy shows. The only one out of all that whole mess that deserves any attention is the vastly overlooked "Oblongs", which is a great show.

Several years ago Reiss quit full time show business , and now just works on "The Simpsons" in a consulting role, coming in once a week to put in his two cents(hey, I doubt Groening comes in more than once a week anymore, either).

Anyway, it's safe to say that anything written/created by Reiss is quality fucking product....