Wikia

Simpsons WIki

Sam Simon

Talk1
16,997 articles being
edited here
Samuel "Sam" Brooks
Article-2379094-1B0234D0000005DC-315 634x619
Job Co-creator
Showrunner (Season 1 & Season 2)
Creative Supervisor (Season 1 - Season 4)
Writer
Executive Producer
First work Good Night
Most recent work Treehouse of Horror III (writing)
Due to Simon's departure contract he has been credited for every episode as Executive Producer and Creative Supervisor despite leaving the show in 1994.
[T]he real creative force behind The Simpsons was Sam Simon. The tone, the storytelling, the level of humor – that was all developed on Sam’s watch.
―Kevin Levine (former Simpsons writer) on Sam Simon[1]
In the beginning, I was skeptical it could be successful, but I was not skeptical it could be good. I was hoping for 13 episodes that my friends would like. It's a good lesson, isn't it? If you do something trying to make your friends laugh and that you can be proud of, you can also be successful.
―Sam Simon on The Simpsons's first season[2]

Samuel "Sam" Simon is the co-creator of The Simpsons with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. He has also had success as an American boxing manager, poker player, writer, directer, producer and most recently philanthropist. He has also worked on many other television shows including Cheers and The Drew Carey Show. In regards to his work The Simpsons, Simon has been credited for "lay[ing the shows's] foundation... and developing [the show's] sensibility." [3]

The SimpsonsEdit

Simon is often said to have had been one of primary driving forces behind The Simpsons' success both critically and commercially. The series is regarded as one of greatest television shows of all time, with Time magazine naming it the 20th centuries best.[4] In response to Time's list Simon said, “There weren't any TV series in the 19th century, so I assume that makes it the best of all time.”

Simon started as an executive producer and writer alongside James L. Brooks for the Tracey Ullman shorts. Both Brooks and Simon thought that the chaacters were strong enough to support a half-hour series and consequently The Simpsons' Season 1 aired in 1989. [5] In a 1991 Roskin Blake interview the three (Sam Simon, James L. Brooks and Matt Groening) were asked whether they felt they would be able to compete with The Bill Cosby Show, which both Brooks and Simon were very doubtful, with Brooks saying "Not for a minute." Simon added that Cosby was a "fixture" for Thursday nights and that "we're hoping we'll do okay, but I don't think anyone expects us to beat them".[6]

Simon served as Executive Producer and Showrunner with Brooks and Groening on Season 1 and Season 2 and was Creative Supervisor from Season 1 to Season 4. He assembled and led the original writers for the show: Al Jean, Jay Kogen, Mike Reiss, Jeff Martin, George Meyer, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti and Wallace Wolodarsky.

TS1ES-Simon

Sam Simon in The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular

Impact on The SimpsonsEdit

Former Simpsons director Brad Bird described Simon as The Simpson' "unsung hero". [7]

Former show writer Ken Levine said, “Sam brought a level of honesty to the characters. Is it too bizarre to say he made cartoon characters three-dimensional? 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.”[8] [9][10] Simon created and expanded much of The Simpsons universe and designed many recurring characters including Mr. Burns, Dr. Hibbert, Chief Wiggum, Eddie, Lou as well as guest star roles such as Bleeding Gums Murphy. [11][12] Simon concieved and wrote The Raven, a the finally segment of the Treehouse of Horror. Groening was skeptical of Simon's adaptation and felt it'd be "the worst, most pretentious thing [they had] ever done" on the show. [13] Despite Groening's reservations the segment has succumbed to praise, Ryan Budke of TV Squad wrote of 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." [14] Simon was responsible for many of the most iconic moments of The Simpsons, including "The Land of Chocolate" sequence from Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk[15]

Relationship with Matt GroeningEdit

Throughout Simon's work on the show his relationship with Groening is renowned for its strain, Groening commented, Sam Simon was assigned to work with me, Groening recalls. It was a pleasant experience for a few months, but then became very contentious. His motto was '13 and out' -- the network's initial order was for 13 episodes -- and he thought the whole thing was going to be a failure. It wouldn't affect him, but my career would be ruined!" A moment later, he added: Make sure you put in that I think Sam Simon is brilliantly funny and one of the smartest writers I've ever worked with, although unpleasant and mentally unbalanced. On Groening Simon commented, When I see Matt now, I shake hands and say hello. I can't lie and say that Matt did what he didn't do, but I do appreciate him creating that family. Thanks to Bart Simpson I have a pretty good life.[16]

Many have drawn parallels between the two's relationship while working on the show and Homer and Moe's relationship in Flaming Moe's. Simon being Homer, the true creator of the hit show (Flaming Homer) and Groening being Moe, the man who steals the idea and takes the credit. This was a purported Mike Reiss quote, although in an interview with Guy Evans from the Smells Like Human Spirit Podcast, Simon is asked about this theory and after laughing says, "That may be true."[17]

DepartureEdit

Simon left The Simpsons and Gracie Films in 1993. Simon attributed his reasoning to "[not] 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."[18] Before leaving he negotiated a deal that would give him continuous credit on future episodes as executive producer and a share of the show's profits annually, particularly in home media. At the time this was not a significantly valuable share, but as the popularity of the show increased Simon earned an estimated $20-30 million annually despite not working on the show since 1993. [19] 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."[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Simon was married to Jennifer Tilly from 1984 to 1991. Simon went on to co-create The George Carlin Show and The Drew Carey Show. Simon has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards. He was married to Playboy Playmate Jami Ferrel for a mere three weeks. [21] And is now currently engaged to a chef named Jenna Stewart.

Charity Work and Terminal IllnessEdit

In 2002 Simon founded the Sam Simon Foundation where he has self-funded a multi-million dollar project dedicated to rescuing stray dogs and training them as service dogs (to help people with disabilities).

In 2012 Simon was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer. The cancer has since spread to his other organs and was given an estimated three to six months to live.[22] Simon has 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."[23]

TriviaEdit

  • When Drew Carey and Norm MacDonald were on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2000, they used Sam as their Phone-A-Friend(s).
  • Simon frequently appears as a panelist on the PBS program Mental Engineering.
  • Ever since Simon left The Simpsons during Season 4, he has always been credited in Treehouse of Horror episodes as "Sam 'Sayonara' Simon," but until "Treehouse of Horror XXII." It has been changed to "simonsam@twitTERROR." It is believed by many fans that he is called "Sam 'Sayonara' Simon," because he left the show to do charity work.
  • In The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular, they showed Simon a lot like Howard Hughes.

CreditsEdit

Every episode due to his departing deal he is credited for Developer, Executive Producer and Character Design.

Creative SupervisorEdit

WriterEdit

Citations Edit

  1. http://kenlevine.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/how-we-got-our-first-simpsons.html
  2. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2009/sepoct/pc/simon.html
  3. http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2009/sepoct/pc/simon.html
  4. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,993039,00.html
  5. http://www.secondsout.com/columns/thomas-hauser/sam-simon-and-the-allure-of-boxing
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcvaT1EH84s
  7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons:_An_Uncensored,_Unauthorized_History
  8. http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2009/sepoct/pc/simon.html
  9. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/04/magazine/04SIMPSONS.html?pagewanted=all
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons:_An_Uncensored,_Unauthorized_History
  11. http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_389_-_sam_simon
  12. ^ Rhodes, Joe (1990-05-18). "The Making of The Simpsons The Art of Bart". Entertainment Weekly. pp. 36–43.
  13. Groening, Matt (2002). The Simpsons season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  14. Budke, Ryan J. (2005-10-26). "The Five: Best Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Segments". TV Squad. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  15. Jean, Al. (2003). Commentary for "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk", in The Simpsons: The Complete Third Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  16. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/04/magazine/04SIMPSONS.html?pagewanted=all
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st9D9xGIH5k
  18. http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_389_-_sam_simon
  19. http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/celebrity/sam-simon-made-hundreds-of-millions-off-the-simpsons-then-gave-it-all-away-to-charity/
  20. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-sam-simon-the-dog-nut/
  21. http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/celebrity/sam-simon-made-hundreds-of-millions-off-the-simpsons-then-gave-it-all-away-to-charity/
  22. http://www.digitalspy.com.au/showbiz/s195/the-simpsons/news/a466968/the-simpsons-co-creator-sam-simon-diagnosed-with-terminal-cancer.html
  23. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/terminally-ill-simpsons-creator-vows-590262

External linksEdit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki