Mike Reiss has won four Emmys and a Peabody Award during his 28 years writing for The Simpsons. He ran the show in season four, which Entertainment Weekly called “the greatest season of the greatest show in history.” In 2006, Mike received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. He has written 19 children’s books as well as the best-selling memoir Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.
Mike has written jokes for Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers, Garry Shandling … and Pope Francis. For his comedic contributions to the charitable group Joke with the Pope, Pope Francis in 2015 declared Mike a Missionary of Joy.
Mike co-created the animated series The Critic and created Showtime’s hit cartoon Queer Duck (about a gay duck), which BBC named one of the 100 Greatest Cartoons of All Time. Queer Duck: The Movie was released in July 2006, winning awards in New York, Chicago, San Diego, Sweden, Germany and Wales.
He has been a contributing writer to more than two dozen animated films — including four Ice Ages, two Despicable Mes, The Lorax, Rio, Kung Fu Panda 3 and The Simpsons Movie. The Hartford Courant (Connecticut) named Mike’s first play, I’m Connecticut, one of the year’s 10 best plays. Broadway World Connecticut voted it Best Play of 2012. His caveman detective story Cro-Magnon P.I. won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Mike also composes puzzles for NPR and Games Magazine.
As a professional speaker, Mike has lectured at more than 400 institutions on six continents. His topics include The Simpsons, comedy and Judaism, and the sorry state of television. Mike is a former president of The Harvard Lampoon and editor of National Lampoon. He has been happily married for 30 years. Like most children’s book authors, he has no children.
As a preview to his keynote talk at the 2020 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Nancy Berk interviewed him for her “Entertaining Insights” podcast about his writing journey, The Simpsons and creative strategies. Listen here.