What FXX’s Marathon Taught Us About The Greatest ‘Simpsons’ Writer Ever, John Swartzwelder

By: 08.27.14  •  12 Comments
simpsons Swartzwelder


Everything you need to know about the most accomplished writer for arguably the greatest show of all-time can be summed up in a two-minute YouTube video.

Subscribe to UPROXX

Between 1990 and 2003, John Swartzwelder’s name appeared on 59 Simpsons scripts, more than any other writer to date. He’s the genius behind “Homer at the Bat” and “Krusty Gets Kancelled” and “Rosebud” and “Homie the Clown.” If there was a Comedy Mount Rushmore, his mustached-face would be on it. Not that he’d show up for the ceremony — he’s notoriously press shy, a J.D. Salinger figure who typed out his scripts in a diner booth while chain-smoking. He doesn’t give interviews, there are very few photos of him online, and some Simpsons fans even believe he’s not real, that the other writers created him as an Alan Smithee-esque pseudonym. Because even when you think it’s John Swartzwelder, “it’s too bad this really isn’t John Swartzwelder.”

Since the FXX marathon began last week, many Simpsons writers and directors, especially Jon Vitti and Al Jean, have been tweeting behind-the-scenes facts about my/your/our favorite episodes, including an occasional insight on Mr. Swartzwelder, who now publishes (pretty good!) novels about a private investigator named Frank Burly. Here are a few things we’ve learned.

1. Here’s what he looks like on The Simpsons (on the left):

Here’s what he looks like in real life (next to Conan):

2. He does not keep up with Simpsons news.

swartz money


3. He was a sneaky SOB.

swartz skinner


4. He’s to thank for a fan-favorite line.

swartz alcohol


swartz alcohol 2


5. One of the show’s better mid-series recurring jokes was his creation.

swartz pennants


6. Special mind was paid to animating his gut.

swartz gut


swartz gut 2


7. He had an unlikely pre-Simpsons job.

swartz ad agency


8. The other writers respect the hell out of him.

swartz writers


9. But they probably hated him for being so damn talented, too.

swartz script


10. He is a gentleman, and technology is not his thing.

swartz response


swartz response 2


Around The Web