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Mike Reiss
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    (September 15, 1959- )
    Born in Bristol, Connecticut
    Writer for ‘The Tonight Show,’ ‘ALF,’ ‘Sledgehammer,’ ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ and ‘The Simpsons’
    With Al Jean was show runner and executive producer for The Simpsons (1991-93)
    With Al Jean, created ‘The Critic’ (1994)
    Screenwriter for ‘The Simpsons Movie’ (2007), ‘Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ (2009) and ‘My Life in Ruins’ (2009)
    Wrote ‘Springfield Confidential’ (2018)
    Wrote 17 children’s books including ‘Late for School,’ ‘The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share,’ ‘The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln,’ ‘How Murray Saved Christmas’ and ‘Merry Un-Christmas’
    He was rejected from a creative writing class at Harvard.
    He claims to have written the worst Carnac gag in the history of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’ (Carnac’s answer: ‘Red Square.’ The question in the envelope: ‘What do you call that blotch on Gorbachev’s forehead?’)
    His reaction to being signed up as part of the initial batch of writers for ‘The Simpsons’ was ‘I was 28 years old and thought I had hit rock bottom.’ (In fairness, even show co-creator Sam Simon tried to cheer up the writers by telling them. ‘Don’t worry. No one will ever see this. It won’t hurt your career.’)
    He gained 70 pounds from stress while a showrunner for ‘The Simpsons.’
    His scripts for ‘Simpsons’ episodes often ran short and required padding (extra-long couch gags, Itchy and Scratchy shorts, random jokes unrelated to the story line, etc.) to reach the required 22-minute length.
    One of The Simpsons’ most famous early gags – Sideshow Bob stepping on a seemingly endless series of rakes – grew out of the need to pad his ‘Cape Feare’ script.
    He won four Emmys for his work on The Simpsons.
    He and Jean were showrunners during two of The Simpsons’ most critically lauded seasons (3 and 4).
    Sam Simon said, ‘The Simpsons wouldn’t have been The Simpsons without Reiss and Jean.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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