For anyone that knows me, it’s probably a surprise that there’s only been one post about The Simpsons in the two months this site has been up and it wasn’t even written by me. The Simpsons is easily the biggest influence in my life when it comes to comedy and writing, in a way that previous generations of burgeoning writers looked at Monty Python or Mad Magazine. For me, The Simpsons has taught me everything I know about writing jokes and to this day, I can go back to the classic episodes that I’ve seen a thousand times and laugh as hard as I did when I first saw them.
If you aren’t a regular viewer of Conan O’Brien’s show, you may have missed the fact that he has been hosting a series of long-form discussions titled Serious Jibber Jabber on the show’s website TeamCoco.com. Past guests include Jack White, Judd Apatow, and Statistician Nate Silver. The most recent installment features a roundtable of sorts with Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen, and Jeff Martin, writers for The Simpsons back when Conan was just a TV writer.
For any fans of The Simpsons or comedy in general, it’s great to listen to five comedy writers talk about what went into making some of the best television in the history of the medium, as well as a few anecdotes about being in a writers’ room and dealing with celebrities. It’s basically an extra-long DVD commentary (over 80 minutes long!) but for geeks of the show, it’s never dull.