'The Simpsons'' Mike Reiss In Conversation At Mark Twain House


Why did The Simpsons writers feel the show would not be a hit? What'’s it like to be in the writers’ room for the longest-running scripted show in TV history? 

And why are the characters yellow?

These questions and many others will be addressed when Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Mike Reiss, longtime writer and producer of The Simpsons, participates in an on-stage conversation with arts journalist Frank Rizzo on Thursday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at The Mark Twain House & Museum.

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Reiss, who was born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut, is also the author of the just-published Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime of Writing for The Simpsons, which chronicles his nearly three decades with The Simpsons along with his other comedy-writing work.

"I visited the Mark Twain House many times as a boy,” " says Reiss. "“I'm truly honored to get in for free this time.”"

Reiss’s career also includes creating the animated series Queer Duck, co-creating The Critic(voiced by Jon Lovitz), and writing for a host of film, TV and theater, and publishing projects — including works that played theaters in the state, I’m ConnecticutComedy is Hard, and I Hate Musicals: The Musical.

His other film credits include Ice Age: Dawn of the DinosaursThe Simpsons Movie and My Life in Ruins. He also also written for National LampoonIt's Garry Shandling's Show, and Alf, along with Johnny Carson and Pope Francis, who named him a “missionary of joy.” 

Reiss also has written more than a dozen children’s books, including Late for SchoolThe Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, and How Murray Saved Christmas, which has become an animated TV holiday perennial."

“"I think Mark Twain would enjoy watching The Simpsons,"” says Reiss. “"Mostly because it would mean he's not dead.

Tickets are $20, with discounts for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum and Let's GO Arts! cardholders.  Buy tickets here!

Read my Hartford Courant story: HERE

Reiss will sign his new book, which will be available for purchase, after the talk. 

The Mark My Words series is sponsored by The Wish You Well Foundation.