Mike ReissLatest News and Opinion
Posted Saturday 6/23/18 at 3:55AM EDT
The Simpsons writer calls Trump "a shot in the arm for the show," defends calling The Problem with Apu "a nasty little documentary"
"I'll get right to it: I mean, the Trump years have been a shot in the arm for the show," says longtime Simpsons writer Mike Reiss, author of the new book Springfield Confidential. "They've really been great for us. The show's quality or its creativity have always pegged to how weird the news is and how crazy society has gotten and it's never been better. The proof of this is, Donald Trump was elected President on November 8, 2016; on November 9 Fox called us and said, 'You're picked up for two more years.' He really is a job creator." (Actually, The Simpsons was renewed for two seasons on Nov. 4, four days before Election Day.) As for Hari Kondabolu's documentary The Problem with Apu, Reiss says: "First up, I agree with him. I have no problem with this point; it's given us great pause. It's a nasty documentary. The documentary ends with them stabbing a picture of Apu. I just think that's gross and weird and a little sick. He's just a cartoon character. Don't stab him; don't stab anyone." He adds that Apu was addressed two years ago and "for all the outrage about Apu, he hasn't had a line in three years."
Posted Wednesday 6/13/18 at 3:30AM EDT
New book on The Simpsons is lot like the show itself: Hilarious, joke-a-minute and overstaying of its welcome
Longtime Simpsons writer Mike Reiss' new book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies From a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons is part memoir and part reflection on the series, written with the structure of the Fox animated comedy. "Springfield Confidential works best as fan service, and I don’t mean that as a dig," says Jack Hamilton. "Reiss knows his audience, and it’s unlikely that many people will read this book who aren’t already Simpsons obsessives." Still, because Reiss is too close to the show, having written for it since Episode 1, "Springfield Confidential ultimately feels a bit overly protective of The Simpsons’ legacy, which is as understandable as it is unnecessary," says Hamilton. He adds that "Reiss has dedicated more than half his life to this show, and he defends it with the ferocious irrationality that a parent would his child."
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 1:17PM EDT
Longtime The Simpsons writer says Apu is practically already gone from the show
Source: Vanity Fair
Mike Reiss says he's puzzled by recent The Problem with Apu controversy because the writers were aware three or four years ago that the Indian-American character was problematic, which is why they came up with the 2016 "Much Apu About Something" episode. Apu “has barely been in the show since then. People are saying, ‘Get Apu off the show.’ Well, he’s not on!" says Reiss, who's promoting his new Simpsons book Springfield Confidential. “There is all this hoopla about Apu," he says, "and the fact is we were cued into this three or four years ago. We did an episode then to address it." Reiss adds: “Though there’s a lot of discussion on Apu, he’s barely had a line in the past three seasons. Hank Azaria saying he won’t voice the character anymore is like Val Kilmer announcing he won’t play Batman again—no one’s asking him to.”