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Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  2,620 ratings  ·  376 reviews
Semi-Finalist for the 2019 James Thurber Award * One of Vulture's Top-10 Comedy Books of 2018 * A "Must" pick by Entertainment Weekly * An A.V. Club Best Books selection * A "New and Noteworthy" selection by USA Today

In celebration of The Simpsons thirtieth anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the writing and making of the l
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Dey Street Books (first published June 12th 2018)
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Mitchell Hello. I would look into Simpsons Confidential. I'm 42 pages in and there has been some four letter words and sex jokes already. Most of the book whil…moreHello. I would look into Simpsons Confidential. I'm 42 pages in and there has been some four letter words and sex jokes already. Most of the book while good has focused more on the writers career and background so far.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  2,620 ratings  ·  376 reviews


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Start your review of Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons
Char
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SPRINGFIELD CONFIDENTIAL is chock full of exactly what every Simpson fan would want-behind the scenes information, (so to speak, it's a cartoon), a little background on the main writer and all the others, a bit of name dropping, (and maybe a little dirt?), on the hundreds of guest stars, and finally, the stories about how certain jokes came about. It's a quick, breezy, informative and fun book.

Mike Reiss has been writing for The Simpsons from almost day one. He and everyone else on the show neve
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Joey Rambles
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Like most things on The Simpsons, we didn't plan it."



You should know something about me: The Simpsons is my favorite show.

I mean it. I know people out there have five or six answers when asked the question, "What's your favorite show?" and that's awesome, but for me, it's always been The Simpsons. I can admit that tons of new shows have come out since that are funnier and stronger and better animated.

But I will always choose The Simpsons, and that's a fact.



So when I heard one of the head wr
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Mike
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's certainly okay. Breezy, geeky, slight and silly fun. Perfectly fine as a mechanism for adorable Simpsons errata, but Mike Reiss's occasional hackery gets in the way. Its transformation from Springfield Confidential to Mike Reiss memoir happens a bit oddly, even if I did appreciate hearing about my dearly beloved The Critic. He boasts about a "That's what my wife said at my wedding night" moment (barf), throws in some Muslim jokes for good measure, and has a bizarre assessment of Richard Pry ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

Springfield Confidential reads very much like a Simpsons version of a biography - irreverent, sarcastic, self effacing, and never taking itself too seriously. But at the same time, I actually want the serious version here - all the endless jokes and "no not really" after reading four paragraphs of 'truths' was frustrating. I don't read biographies for comedy nor fluff and at some point it was getting really hard to te
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Adam
Review of the audiobook narrated by the author.

The Simpsons is my favorite show that I haven't watched in a decade. At one point I had the DVD box sets for the first 13 seasons of the show (maybe I still have them... I don't know anymore now that everything is streaming). I used to watch each episode and then watch them again with commentary. So, I had listened to Mike Reiss many times before in those commentaries (season 1-4 and occasionally afterwards) and listening to him narrate this book br
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Richard Gray
Despite wandering away from their contemporary adventures, The Simpsons is important to me. Not just me, but most people from my generation. Rarely a day goes by without at least one quote deliberately or unconsciously slipping its way into an unrelated conversation. A show so fiendishly clever in its in-tric-acies. See, there I go.

At any rate, we owe much of it to this feisty feline Mike Reiss. Taking us through his time before The Simpsons, during the The Simpsons, after The Simpsons, and back
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Andrew
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shopkeeper: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!

Homer: Ooh, that's bad.

Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!

Homer: That's good.

Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.

Homer: That's bad.

Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.

Homer: That's good!

Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.

[Homer looks puzzled]

Shopkeeper: ...That's bad.

Homer: Can I go now?

Boo-Urns! Everything's coming up Milhouse! It was the best of times it was the BLURST of times?!? The
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Rachel
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A peek into the world of comedy writing, animation, television production, world travel and more by Mike Reiss. This guy has been around since the beginning of the Simpsons show and has a lot of fun and funny stories to share.
Whether you're a die hard fan, a casual watcher, or not really into the Simpsons (who?!), everybody can get some laughs from the book while learning how this animated show is made. Despite the jokes about the writer's room (people sleeping or doing crosswords all day) it's
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Kris - My Novelesque Life
RATING: 3 Stars
2018; Dey Street Books/HarperCollins Canada
(Review Not on Blog)

The Simpsons is a show that most everyone in my family could agree on, if not always for the same reasons. I was the same age as Bart when the show started, and felt this kinship with Lisa for books and not fitting in. It is hard to characterize this book -it's a mix of trivia, behind the scenes and biography of the show. I read the first few chapters and then found myself skimming to the "good" parts. It's a good book
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M.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s exactly the kind of book you’d expect a writer for The Simpsons to write but it has some truly funny and insightful moments and it makes me want to watch the show again.
Michael Martin
You know what you get from me when your book slams Nichols and May?
A two-star rating.
Rafael
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Springfield Confidential By Mike Riess 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The endlessly funny Mike Reiss gives you a tremendous insight on what is it like working on the Simpsons, all the ups and downs and his life as a joke writer, this is not and entirely Simpson's book but more about his life as a comedian and writer and what It takes to reach the success of the Simpsons, they are lots of secrets and facts on the Simpsons and is quite a funny book with jokes and puns riding across the book.
.
An excellent book on comedy pop
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Sharon
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loved-this-one
I confess, I am not a big fan of the Simpsons, Homer tends to annoy me too much to be able to watch the show religiously.
I am though a fan of trivia and behind the scenes information and this book certainly delivers. Brilliantly fascinating read, with a author who is not afraid of voicing his opinion, without any shame or disclaimers. Quite refreshing really.
Phil
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Self content, low information, deeply unfunny.
John McDonald
An episode about Grandpa going fishing is entitled "the Old Man and the She". Or, one of the writers suggested a gag where Homer see a form which says, 'Do Nott write in the box', and Homer writes,
"OK." Then, there's the joke about Brook Sheilds being so bad playing the role of Ann Franks that when the actors playing Nazis came onstage, the audience yelled, 'she's in the attic'.

Much of this book is funny, enlightening about how the show gets written, acted, and animated, and much of is funny. Bu
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Rebecca
As someone who's been watching The Simpson's since I was born, and having recently discovered a love for non-fic, I felt like this was a must-read for me. I'm a big fan of hearing all about the BTS information on...well on pretty much anything. I love learning about how things come to exist, all the moving pieces that came together in just the right way. This book just missed the mark for me.

Overall I did quite enjoy reading this, but at the end of the day there wasn't much that I think I'll tak
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Josh
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Springfield Confidential by Mike Reiss is a book that takes you behind the scenes of one of the longest running shows in American television history, The Simpsons. Springfield Confidential is hilarious. The book is fast paced, irreverent and packed with jokes, similar to a Simpsons episode. While the book does have confidential in the title, and Reiss does give you a behind the scenes look at how the show is made, there is little attention paid to any of the juicy drama between the producers, wr ...more
Peter Derk
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I somehow missed rating this one. Probably because I was moving at the time.

An audiobook is a great friend when you're moving. Because you basically have a lot of time to perform a lot of boring tasks.

My life fantasy will always be gaining enough wealth to have a move go like this:

1. I tell my Alfred that we're moving.
2. I pick out a house on Zillow, hire someone to check it out for me.
3. I tell Alfred my moving dates.
4. I leave on vacation for a week.
5. I return to my new home where everythin
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Jaime F.
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
D’oh, it got me laughing from beginning to end. I love the Simpsons and always will.

And you better read it fast before Mr. Burns releases the hounds on you. Afterwards, a well deserve Duff beer is in order and if you don’t agree, you can eat my shorts.
Leo H
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, SO Ghostwritten. It's basically a transcript of a long interview with Mike Reiss. The guy's a professional writer, I don't understand why he needs a ghostwriter. Reiss is an interesting and engaging subject, but I was looking for a little more in-depth detail about how The Simpsons is written, especially in the 90s, when it was good. He spends about two chapters on this part of his life, the rest, while interesting, isn't really what I wanted out of this book. Good but a little disappointing ...more
(a)lyss(a)
I expected to like this book more.

I'm a fan of the Simpsons, and a fan of Hari Kondabolu and his documentary about Apu, and look forward to watching the Couch Gag every week.

But I didn't find this book particularly funny. While I normally enjoy Reiss' work on some level the format of this book didn't feel like a memoir or a let-me-share-this-behind-the-scenes-view - to me it read like let me tell you about this one time *insert name dropping story where something may or may not happen and then
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Brent Hoover
This starts out great but then just peters out as it becomes "Mike Reiss Confidential" which is probably a book that would only be interesting to his wife and children unless you are super interested in the inner workings of "The Critic".

Also, if you are interested in the out-of-touch opinions of a rich privileged white guy on all-things-comedy, this is a fountain of it. A rare outlook that is only available in every single other media outlet 24 hours a day.

Overall my feeling was that I was sor
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Phil Simon
I wish that Reiss spent more time writing about The Simpsons and not attempting to be so glib. There are some great nuggets about the show, but far too often he goes off on tangents such as The Critic or his speaking and other writing engagements. It reads more like an autobiography at times with lame jokes and ultimately fails to deliver on much of the promise that the book's title implies. If he had stuck with the book's premise, I would have liked it much more.
Ietrio
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio
This is a very pleasant trivia book. If you are a big fan, you have probably read it already. If you are not too impressed with the Simpsons, than you might find yourself asking "so what?"
Lorenzo
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As most human beings, I love The Simpsons. In fact, I love the show so much I just couldn't think of a favorite episode to include here because so many come to mind! (I spent like 45 minutes trying to decide, not joking).

I've spent countless hours watching the show but, for some reason (looking at you, John Swartzwelder), I read about this book for the first time only three days ago!

And, of course, I decided to stop everything and start reading it immediately.

In Springfield Confidential, Mike R
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Eva
Aug 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin by saying that the writing is not bad. The book is very easy to read. The author has a funny voice and he has a very easy to read writing style. It makes sense considering the man writes comedy for a living. The good parts are largely limited to the mechanical side of the book rather than the content itself.

Throughout the book, Mike Reiss' humour often comes off as outdated. He is definitely not a young person. It is clear from the comments made throughout the book and the off colo
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Colin Gooding
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun little memoir filled with lots of great little behind-the-scenes anecdotes and also inside opinions on stories I had already heard. It was well placed and never dwelled on any one subject for too long, so I found it really easy to read through quickly.

Reiss packs a bunch of little joke asides in constantly and for the most part they are pretty funny, but one problem I had (which I'm sure Reiss would find hilarious) is that sometimes I couldn't tell if something actually happened or was ju
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ShandellMarie
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid 4.5 stars. Can’t quite give 5, because although Mike Reiss is an excellent writer, I’m pretty sure Jesus was the only perfect Jew. See what I did there? That’s the kind of witty one-liner you’ll expect to find throughout this book and these are the kind of quips the Simpsons writers have used throughout the series, rendering it both endearing and ENDURING. (Although Reiss’ jokes are much funnier and this book actually made me chuckle. OUT LOUD). Reiss’ homage to Springfield’s favourite f ...more
Brandon Anderson
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mike Reiss is funny, like really funny. This book was an absolute delight, and if you're more than a casual fan of the Simpsons, you're sure to love it. It's a story of Reiss's journey through three decades with the Simpsons, complete with inside stories and little nerd trivia and tidbits along the way. And all throughout, the book is really genuinely funny. Little witty quips throughout, and you can really see how sharp-witted and smart and humorous a writer like Reiss must have to be to write ...more
John
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the funniest books I've ever read. I laughed out loud many times. I read this as an audio book and it is read by the author who himself has a whimsical voice and is an excellent joke teller. This book covers the entire history of the Simpsons since Mike was there at the beginning. It also covers his personal life and a bunch of things he worked on after leaving the Simpsons including working on many screenplays to popular movies loved by many. Overall a thorough journey through the Simpso ...more
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