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, to be followed by foreign editions in Germany, United Kingdom, 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

... 'Simpsons' writer and producer Mike Reiss joins Morning Joe to discuss the history of the long-running show and his new book 'Springfield Confidential' ...

... Mike Reiss discusses Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons. A four-time Emmy winner, Reiss worked on The Simpsons continuously since the first episode in 1989. He 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 Simpsons” recently ran its 636th show, surpassing “Gunsmoke” for the most episodes of a scripted, prime-time television series. Of course, the show has one advantage over most other shows—cartoon characters never get older. Adorable child actors often grow up into misshapen, liquor store-robbing adults, but Bart Simpson hasn’t aged a day since the launch of the show in 1989 ...

... “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. ...

... 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 because the color is “kinda hair, kinda skin” — and shares behind-the-scenes anecdotes on celebrity guest stars from Leonard Nimoy to Michael Jackson, who, it turned out, brought in a stunt vocalist to sing in his place ...

... 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, and it’s because this one is written by a guy who’s been part of the show for more or less its entire three-decade-long existence ...

... “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. As the longest-running animated sitcom of all time, the show has given the world, especially Americans, a forum to discuss the craziness of pop culture and the absurdities of life with lovable but stupid Homer Simpson and his family ...

...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. Superfans might even be tempted to go back to the first episode and experience the show all over again...

... 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. ...

... 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. In Springfield Confidential, he offers a breezy history of the show from his insider’s perspective, from its dismal early prospects to its astonishing success, with insights aimed squarely at the Comic Book Guy variety of Simpsons fans ...

... 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. Mathew Klickstein joins me to talk about his behind the scenes book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons ...

" ... 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 ..."

... 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?”  What’s it like to write for a classic TV show that’s become a pop culture staple, praised by critics, taught in colleges, quoted by clergymen, and beloved by fans in 71 countries? ...

... 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 ...

... 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, “Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons.” The cowriter on the new book is Mathew Klickstein ...

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

... It might be hard to describe a book about The Simpsons cartoon as insightful, but somehow author Mike Reiss pulls it off. As much about the process of writing and a writing career as anything, Springfield Confidential is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Reiss explains how he started out in the field, includes quirky facts about the show and bears his writing soul ...

... 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 ...

... 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 ...

... 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 ...

... 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 ...

... “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.” ...

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

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

... “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 ... 

... 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, the way episodes are developed, the voices behind the characters and a raft of Simpson trivia that may surprise the show's most loyal fans. ... 

... Reiss has been writing for The Simpsons since before the show went to air, way back in the late 1980s. Already a veteran television writer, 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 ...

... Mathew Klickstein talks new book, Nickelodeon and The Simpsons ... [RADIO/AUDIO]

... As a fan, I pretty much devoured Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons. Sure I might have known some of it already, but the style, easy to read format and interesting tidbits just flow through its pages. It’s a fantastic mix of facts (or maybe “facts”), interviews and quotes from others involved like Conan O’Brien, Al Jean, Judd Apatow, and Reiss’ engaging storytelling. ... 

... 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.. ... 

... 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. ... 

... 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. ... 

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

... Written with Mathew Klickstein, it's the first substantial book to be written about the show, with never-before-told stories covering everything including the reason George Takai turned down a cameo ("I don't make fun of monorails"), why the Japanese don't like The Simpsons (they don't like the fact that the characters have four fingers), and Matt Groening's terrible idea for a final episode ... 

... 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.  ... 

... Springfield Confidential is an exclusive and very entertaining look into one of the greatest sitcoms ever, and a must-read for devout Simpsons fans and lovers of comedy. ... 

... His writing is…well exactly as you would expect. Sorta like a Simpsons episode. And it’s not a bad thing. I think that if the book was written totally seriously and straight it wouldn’t work. I was laughing out loud at many points in the book. ... 

... 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. Springfield Confidential spills all of the juicy secrets from behind the scenes of your dad's favorite cartoon, and after reading it, he may never be able to look at Homer the same way again. ... 

... 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. He’s honest, friendly, funny, and blunt when he wants to be in recounting stories from his career as a comedy writer. Reiss has earned 4 Emmy Awards for his work on The Simpsons, as well as an Edgar Award for “Cro-Magnon, P.I.” from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine ...

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.”