Springfield Confidential:

Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons

 

by Mike Reiss, with Mathew Klickstein

foreword by Judd Apatow

(Harper Collins, 2018)

UPDATED EDITIONS ...  Paperback released in late April 2019 followed by foreign editions in Germany, Russia, Czech Republic and Spain

Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons, by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein, Foreword by Judd Apatow

About the Book 

In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the legendary Fox series that has become one of the most revered artistic achievements in television history.

Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons continuously since episode one in 1989—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family ever. Reiss explains how the episodes are created, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests. He answers a range of questions from Simpsons fans and die-hards, and reminisces about the making of perennially favorite episodes.

In his freewheeling, irreverent comic style, Reiss reflects on his lifetime inside The Simpsons—a personal highlights reel of his achievements, observations, and favorite stories. Springfield Confidential exposes why Matt Groening decided to make all of the characters yellow; dishes on what it’s like to be crammed in a room full of funny writers sixty hours a week; and tells what Reiss learned after traveling to seventy-one countries where The Simpsons is watched (ironic note: there’s no electricity in many of these places); and even reveals where Springfield is located! He features unique interviews with Judd Apatow, who also provided the foreword, and Conan O'Brien, as well as with Simpsons legends Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more. 

Like Cary Elwes’ As You Wish, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, and Chris Smith’s The Daily Show: An Oral History, Springfield Confidential is a funny, informational, and exclusive look at one of the most beloved programs in all of television land.

Amazon #1 Best Seller (TV Shows)"Best of the Month" Pick 

Entertainment Weekly "20 Books to Read in June"; #5 on "Must List" 

Parade Magazine's "Parade Pick"

USA Today "New and Noteworthy" Selection

NY Post's "Most Unforgettable Books" of 2018

Vulture's "Top Ten Comedy Books" of 2018

AV Club "Five Books to Read in June" 

Semifinalist for Goodreads' "Best Humor Book of 2018"

Semifinalist for 2019 Thurber Prize

Booklist (American Library Association) "Best New Books of the Week" 

Press

and editorial reviews
Vulture features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Vulture

Springfield Confidential, by writer and producer Mike Reiss, feels contemplative, full of awe, and braggy, in that he can’t believe he’s telling you these stories and also can’t believe The Simpsons has worked for so long. ...

Vulture features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Vulture

Springfield Confidential, by writer and producer Mike Reiss, feels contemplative, full of awe, and braggy, in that he can’t believe he’s telling you these stories and also can’t believe The Simpsons has worked for so long. ...

Vulture features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Vulture

Springfield Confidential, by writer and producer Mike Reiss, feels contemplative, full of awe, and braggy, in that he can’t believe he’s telling you these stories and also can’t believe The Simpsons has worked for so long. ...

Vulture

Springfield Confidential, by writer and producer Mike Reiss, feels contemplative, full of awe, and braggy, in that he can’t believe he’s telling you these stories and also can’t believe The Simpsons has worked for so long. ...

NPR features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
NPR/WNYC

Mike Reiss ... shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s iconic cartoon family and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors and celebrity guests ..

The Wall Street Journal features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The Wall Street Journal

“The Simpsons” recently ran its 636th show, surpassing “Gunsmoke” for the most episodes of a scripted, prime-time television series. ...

The Washington Post features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The Washington Post

“Springfield Confidential” — a title that nods, of course, to the Simpsons’ unmappable home town — offers a wealth of great anecdotes, all peppered with punchlines that make Reiss’s memoir as hilarious as whichever season of “The Simpsons” you recall most fondly. ...

NY Post features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
NY Post

The ultimate gift for Simpsons fans. Longtime show writer Mike Reiss regales us with tales from the show’s history — including how its beloved characters became yellow ...

Vulture features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Vulture

Probably because it’s the best and most important comedy TV show of, well, ever, tons of books about The Simpsons have been published. But not until Springfield Confidential has one really nailed what it’s like to work in the mystical promised land of The Simpsons’ offices ...

AM New York features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
AM New York

“The Simpsons” and the family’s ever-changing scramble to get to their couch have dominated TV screens across the world for almost 30 years, and writer/producer/showrunner Mike Reiss has been there for it all. ...

Colorado Public Television features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Colorado Public Television

Watch the full episode.

Kirkus Reviews features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Kirkus Reviews

Always honest, playful, and engaging, the book will provide fans with deep insight into the show’s history but also into its daily production and future. ...

Booklist features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Booklist (American Library Association)

In this always entertaining and frequently laugh-out-loud-hilarious memoir, Reiss and coauthor Klickstein take us behind the scenes not only of the long-running sitcom, but also of Reiss’ own life. ...

Syfy Wire features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
SyFy Wire (Video)

Watch the full video here.

The AV Club features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The AV Club

As The Simpsons nears its 30th year, few can say they were with the show since the beginning. Mike Reiss is one of them, a young TV writer who only took the gig because he didn’t get staffed on another series. ...

PopSugar features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
PopSugar
Radio New Zealand features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Radio New Zealand

No one could have predicted that a family of yellow, four fingered characters would change TV and pop culture forever when The Simpsons debuted on  December 17th, 1989. and is now the longest running scripted television show in American history. ...

El Programa Fan features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
El Programa Fan (Argentina Radio)

Para celebrar el próximo 30° aniversario de Los Simpsons, uno de sus guionistas desde el comienzo y también su productor, Mike Reiss, acaba de publicar (en colaboración con Mathew Klickstein) un libro con historias sobre la trastienda de su trabajo ..."

Chicago Tribune features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Chicago Tribune

The most common question Mike Reiss has heard from fans of “The Simpsons” over the past 30 years is a simple one: “What’s it like?” ...

San Francisco Weekly features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
San Francisco Weekly

Having written for The Simpsons off and on since the show’s premiere in 1989, he’s helped guide Homer to the perfect muumuu, pitted Bart against the continent of Australia, and forced Sideshow Bob to navigate his way through an endless sea of rakes ...

The Forward features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The Forward

Mike Reiss has been a writer for “The Simpsons” for 28 years. He has won 4 Emmy Awards and a Peabody for his work on the show. A multi-talented Harvard graduate — he was president of the Harvard Lampoon — he has also written 18 children’s books, five plays and now a memoir ...

La Silla Rota features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
La Silla Rota

Springfield confidencial (Roca Editorial) de Mike Reiss con Mathew Klickstein. Bromas, historias y secretos de toda una vida escribiendo sobre Los Simpson ...

Inc. features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Inc.

It might be hard to describe a book about The Simpsons cartoon as insightful, but somehow author Mike Reiss pulls it off.  ...

Screen Rant features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Screen Rant

The Simpsons is now in its 30th season. What began as a series of recurring sketches on The Tracey Ullman Show quickly became a national phenomenon and has since become the longest-running primetime scripted series in the history of American television ...

Clarin features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Clarín

En Springfield Confidencial. Bromas, historias y secretos de toda una vida escribiendo para Los Simpson (RocaEditorial), Mike Reiss, guionista y productor, detalla junto a Mathew Klickstein datos curiosos, inéditos y memorables de la serie animada ...

Call of The Simpsons features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Call of The Simpsons

Das Buch trägt den Untertitel "30 Jahre Simpsons - Das inoffizielle Fanbuch" und ist seit dem 09. September 2019 auch auf Deutsch, erschienen im Heyne Verlag, erhältlich. In dem Buch werden bekannte und eher unbekanntere Fakten und Geschichten aus der Welt hinter den Kulissen der Simpsons gelüftet ...

Vanity Fair features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Vanity Fair

The book, Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for the Simpsons, by Mike Reiss—an original Simpsons writer still at the show—and Mathew Klickstein, author of a Nickelodeon oral history, contains scads of extremely funny and fascinating background material ...

The Washington Post features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The Washington Post

“Why does the show endure?” legendary comedy writer Mike Reiss asks of “The Simpsons,” the show he used to run, in his forthcoming book Springfield Confidential. “Because it’s based on two fundamental principles: family and folly.” ...

Entertainment Weekly features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Entertainment Weekly

Founding Simpsons writer Reiss offers a funny and factoid-filled glimpse behind the curtain — or, brown couch — of the beloved sitcom ... 

USA Today features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
USA Today

Springfield is full of humorous asides and fun facts, including 23 steps to making an episode and why the characters are yellow. ... 

The New Yorker features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The New Yorker

“The Simpsons” has so many running jokes—the location of Springfield, Bart’s prank calls, Burns’s hound-releasing, Lenny getting severe eye damage—but there are some that have never made it to air ... 

Associated Press features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Associated Press

Reiss, a four-time Emmy winner who has been with "The Simpsons" for most of his career, gives readers a laugh-out-loud account of how the show came to be ... 

Booklist features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Booklist (American Library Association)

Reiss has been writing for The Simpsons since before the show went to air ... he got the job because someone else didn’t want it (“Nobody wanted to work on The Simpsons,” he tells us, as hard as that is to believe nowadays); the show, of course, was an instant smash hit, and Reiss’ career path was set ...

WIBX features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
WIBX Radio

Mathew Klickstein talks new book, Nickelodeon and The Simpsons ... 

The Nerds Templar features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
The Nerds Templar

As a fan, I pretty much devoured Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.  ... 

Cinema Blend features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Cinema Blend

As part of the new book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons, author Mike Reiss provided insight into, for instance, the potent potable Duff Beer's actual name origin, debunking the claims of a certain rock n' roller. ... 

Slate features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Slate

It’s the first book of its kind by a true Simpsons lifer and offers an informative, frequently hilarious, and occasionally frustrating glimpse into the long career of the world’s most famous four-fingered family. ... 

Time features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Time

In his new book Springfield Confidential, longtime writer, producer and prior showrunner of The Simpsons Mike Reiss dispenses plenty of inside information on the longest-running network television show in America. ... 

Entertainment Weekly features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Entertainment Weekly

Mike Reiss reveals the origin stories of Hans Moleman, Mrs. Krabappel, and more ... 

Gothamist features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Gothamist

Written with Mathew Klickstein, it's the first substantial book to be written about the show, with never-before-told stories ... 

New York Post features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
New York Post

Reiss’ new book, “Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for the Simpsons,” written with Mathew Klickstein, takes us on a hilarious journey through Reiss’ career, which includes writing for “The Simpsons” for most of its life.  ... 

Bustle features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Bustle

If you, like me, grew up watching episodes of The Simpsons with your dad, then he will love this new book from the show's longest-serving writer and producer. ... 

Film Springfield features Springfield Confidential, written by Mike Reiss with Mathew Klickstein
Flim Springfield

Mike Reiss’ new book, “Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons” is a biography and tell-all of sorts about his years working on “The Simpsons”, and much more. ...

Conan O'Brien

“The good is always rare. A truly great comic is rare. Mike Reiss, by definition, is a rarity.”

“Weird Al” Yankovic

“Besides providing a hilarious look at what is perhaps the greatest TV show of all time, Mike Reiss has also created a staggering literary work that is almost completely devoid of typos and grammatical errors. It’s well worth the price of this book for the proofreading skills alone.”

Dick Cavett

“Reiss has done a masterful job of compiling this laugh-filled account of his long years as a writer on this beloved show. It’s the sort of book that makes you wish your dinner guests would go the hell home so you can get back to reading it.”

Dan Castellaneta

“Mike Reiss is a great example of somebody who writes for a living and does it so well in so many different ways. And, of course, he helped write this thing called The Simpsons.” 

Nancy Cartwright

“Mike Reiss always brings his own unique, quirky, eccentric genius with him.”

Kurt Andersen

“The Simpsons is one of America’s greatest cultural products of last few decades, and Mike Reiss was and remains one of its key creators. So if you like The Simpsons, why wouldn’t you read this entertaining, charming and informative insider’s chronicle? I did, and I’m better for it.”

Audiobook Clips w/ Mike Reiss

Best Darn Diddly Podcast 

© 2021 by Mathew Klickstein

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