Simpsons’ writer Mike Reiss performs at the JCC

by | Mar 1, 2013 | What’s Happening

Saturday, March 16, 8 pm

A former editor of The Harvard Lampoon and The National Lampoon, Mike Reiss wrote for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Garry Shandling Show and Alf, before he was hired in 1989 for a new animated show called The Simpsons. Four Emmys and a Peabody Award later, Reiss has written or produced more than 300 episodes of The Simpsons and is still involved with the show as a producer.

Reiss will present The Simpsons and Other Jewish Families at the Simon Family JCC as the second of three Performing Arts at the J, Presented by Leah Wohl* series this season.

“Whether you love The Simpsons, hate the show, or have never seen it, you are guaranteed to enjoy this fun-filled presentation,” says Reiss. In this hilarious evening, highlighted by rare cartoon clips from his creations, Reiss will speak about Jewish themes that have appeared within the context of The Simpsons, as well as its Jewish writers, characters, and guest stars. He’ll fill the audience in on “secret trivia of the show, insane dealings with network censors, and lots of juicy gossip about celebrity guest stars.”

Reiss has also created cult animal creations The Critic and Queer Duck, and his stories and clips will include discussion of these and other characters from his cartoons. In his presentations, he delves into the current state of television programming, describing with his characteristic wit how TV has changed and where it’s going.

Reiss’s presentations at JCCs and Jewish film festivals in San Francisco, Nashville, San Diego, Denver, Tucson, and Charlotte, have sold out, causing second performances to be scheduled to accommodate the demand for tickets.

“He is engaging, funny and irreverent,” says Charlotte Jewish Film Festival chair Jeff Turk. “It was an engaging hour of anecdotes interspersed with jokes. It’s a great way to celebrate Jewish humor for anyone over age 13.”

“This is a different kind of event, not just a comedy night,” says a lead volunteer in Charlotte, Rick Willenzic. “He tells stories with laughable characters. Everyone in the audience can relate to at least several of them. It’s a superb, polished show for adults of all ages.”

The evening is $35 or $30 for JCC members or $15 for students. For more information, call 757-321-2338.

The Simon Family JCC is a constituent agency of United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.