It’s the longest-running scripted, prime-time television series in America with over 600 episodes aired across twenty-eight years. What started out as an idea that piggy-backed off of a comic strip from creator Matt Groening is now a cultural icon. The Simpsons has become more than just a show: it’s a household name.
Mike Reiss has been involved since the beginning. He signed on as a writer even though most producers for the show didn’t expect it to last longer than a few weeks. Now, along with co-author Matthew Klickstein, he has written Springfield Confidential, a memoir that gives fans an account of the show’s origins, how episodes are developed, and the people who voice the characters. It also includes a barrage of trivia that will stump and entertain even the most hardcore Simpsons fans.
Image Via The Verge
Reiss takes readers inside the writers’ room and behind the scenes, revealing many interesting details of the show’s production. For example, each episode starts out with a forty-five-page script and takes nine months and eight rewrites to complete. They use a full orchestra for every episode even though it would be cheaper to use a synthesizer. Over the show’s run, it has had 725 guest stars including three former members of The Beatles, Stephen Hawking, and Elizabeth Taylor. Episodes of The Simpsons have even won the show a total of ten Emmys.
The memoir also reveals the answers to popular questions such as why the characters are yellow and where Springfield is located. The book does briefly touch on the recent hullabaloo regarding Apu, a character whom even the author admits may have run his course on the show, but overall, it is a funny and exclusive look into the world of The Simpsons that any fan of the show will enjoy.
Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons is out now. You can find it here on Amazon.
Feature Image Via The BBC