It’s the snarky warts and more warts inside story of how the world’s favourite yellow family came to be. It’s also the best description of the US-style Writing Room I’ve ever read.
You want big egos, its got the biggest egos in the business. You want feuds, here are all the carpet-chewing shouting matches you could wish for. All this to create a cartoon.
For me the real revelation: Matt Groening wasn’t the powerhouse creator behind the Simpsons at all. At least, not in terms of the half-hour show beloved of billions. According to Ortved, Groening was a marginalised figure, left to fiddle with his Bart merchandising, while the real creative genius, Sam Simon, put together the writing team, and and created TV history.
Interesting to note that since Sam Simon left the show he spends his time running a foundation for dogs.
Ortved is particularly good at bringing out the in(s)ane competitiveness/bitchiness/ruthlessness of everyone involved. He’s also spot on about when the show stopped being funny, and why.
No idea if one syllable of the book is true, of course. But then, that’s half the fun …