Interviews

Talking with @AlJean, The Simpsons’ showrunner

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Last week, I had an interview with the iconic Simpsons showrunner, Al Jean.

USHR:
So first things first, what do you do for the Simpsons?

Al:
Show runner, which means head writer/if something goes wrong it’s my fault.

USHR:
Haha! How long have you been working on the show?

Al:
Since April 1989. (crazy but true)

USHR:
What’s it like working for such an iconic show?

Al:
Greatest job in the world; wherever you go in the world there are Simpsons fans.

USHR:
So on to Springfield: when did you first hear about the project? (Starting in UOR)

Al:
2007; I came in the middle of the project. Another incredible Simpsons opportunity.

USHR:
What was your first experience with Universal?

Al:
Taking the tour in Hollywood some years ago. Always loved the terminator show in both parks and SpiderMan ride in Orlando.

USHR:
Ah. What do you love most about the park in Hollywood? (Springfield excluded)

Al:
My favorite is actually walking through the haunted house (House of Horrors) where people leap out to scare you. Always good for some real big yelps.

USHR:
What do you like about Universal as a theme park brand?

Al:
I think it has a great vibe; I love the old horror movie past & people like Groucho talking to you. Park employees are always very friendly.

USHR:
So, what is your favorite thing about Springfield, and how does it feel to see your show come to life with such detail?

Al:
I love the richness of detail and it always feels amazing when heading over skyline on Simpsons ride.

USHR:
Recently you posted some pics of the food test for USHs Springfield. How was that?

Al:
Honestly delicious; love the chicken and waffle sandwich.

USHR:
What do you feel is the appeal of the franchise that makes it enjoyable for all ages?

Al:
Adult writing and great animation plus a whole cosmology of characters.

USHR:
What do you expect will be a popular food item in the Springfield addition coming to USH?

Al:
The donut ice cream sundaes are incredible and the tacos were great. Too hard to choose from everything we saw.

USHR:
That’s a good problem!
What do you see in The Simpsons’ future?

Al:
The expansion is so terrific who knows where they’ll stop? Burns’ mansion? Shelbyville? North Haverbrook?!

USHR:
And lastly what inspired you to get into TV?

Al:
I couldn’t make a living in movies!

USHR:
Hah!
What inspired you to get into movies?

Al:
In college Mike Reiss (my ex-writing partner) introduced me to Harvard Lampoon; loved hanging out & it became a career.

USHR:
Awesome!
Well thanks for talking with us. Anything else you’d like to say?

Al:
I hope you can all enjoy a Duff at Moe’s in USH very soon. Binge responsibly!

USHR:
We will! Thanks again!

Al Jean can be found on Twitter @AlJean.