Secrets of 'The Simpsons' Revealed Thursday At Mark Twain House

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Mike Reiss never planned on writing a book about The Simpsons, the longest running entertainment series in television history, where for nearly 30 years he has been writer, producer, and show-runner.

But when the Bristol native was approached by journalist Matthew Klinkstein to write a book about Reiss’s life and his comedic take on America, the professional funnyman was intrigued because it wouldn’t be about The Simpsons.

This was the proposal: They would travel around the country together, with Reiss giving talks at night and being interviewed by Klinkstein during the day.


“It wasn’t even an original idea,” says Reiss from his midtown Manhattan high-rise apartment he shares with his wife Denise. “Another writer had the idea of riding around with [author] David Foster Wallace.”

The Reiss “on the road” project never happened, but a book did emerge—about The Simpsons.
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime of Writing for ‘The Simpsons’ was published in June.

“It’s really an autobiography of The Simpsons in which I make a cameo appearance,” Reiss laughs.
Reiss will talking about the book and his career in television, film, theater, and book publishing at Hartford’s Mark Twain House & Museum, 351 Farmington Avenue, on Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets for the “His Life’s as Joke” on-stage conversation are $20. Reiss will sign his new book, which will be available for purchase, after the talk.


Reiss, 58, a Peabody and four-time Emmy Award-winner, has been with the series since the beginning—along with the show’s creator Matt Groening, producer James L. Brooks, show-runner (and Reiss’s longtime writing partner) Al Jean, and David Silverman, producer-director-animation supervisor.