Mike Reiss, ‘The Simpsons’ comedy writer for 3 decades, coming to SUU

Composite stock image | Photo of Mike Reiss courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Mike Reiss, four-time Emmy Award winning comedy writer and playwright, will be visiting Southern Utah University this Thursday. Reiss spent three decades as a writer and producer for the hit comedy series “The Simpsons.”

A.P.E.X., along with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, will present Reiss at 3:30 p.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall in SUU’s Hunter Conference Center. He will also be part of the festival’s new play reading series “Words3: New Plays” with his newest play, “Shakespeare’s Worst! A Play on a Play.”

Read more: ‘Words, words, words’; Utah Shakespeare Festival announces new play program, ‘Words3’

Reiss will give a lecture on his memoir, “Springfield Confidential,” which details his three decades at “The Simpsons.” The program promises to be full of laughs and will feature rare animated clips and a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

Reiss’ work with “The Simpsons” has won him the Peabody Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animation Writers Caucus and other awards. During his career, he has also written jokes for Joan Rivers, Garry Shandling, Johnny Carson and Pope Francis. Reiss is also an award-winning playwright, mystery writer and children’s book author.

“A.P.E.X. is proud to partner with the Utah Shakespeare Festival to bring such an amazing comedic talent to the community of SUU,” Dr. Lynn Vartan, director of A.P.E.X. events and director of Percussion Studies at SUU, said in a news release. “Mike Reiss is ‘A Missionary of Joy’ and is sure to bring audience members together by sharing a laugh!”

“Springfield Confidential” was a best-seller in June 2018. The memoir answers die-hard fans’ questions, such as why the characters are yellow and where Springfield is actually located, and illustrates the creation process of each episode. After the presentation, Reiss will sign copies of the memoir.

His other recent work, “Shakespeare’s Worst! A Play on a Play,” is an original theatrical retelling of a Shakespeare classic. The new play is set in a small-town theater where a group of actors are performing “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” But one of the cast members is unhappy: his career is going nowhere, he’s tired of the show and he wants out. The show promises to shine a new, and hilarious, light on Shakespeare.

Performances for the play’s reading will be held Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Eileen and Alan Anes Studio Theatre. Tickets to the reading are $10 and can be purchased through the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s website and at the festival.

For more information, visit SUU’s A.P.E.X. website.

Event details

  • What: A.P.E.X. and the Utah Shakespeare Festival present Mike Reiss, comedy writer for “The Simpsons.”
  • When: Thursday, Aug. 30, at 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Gilbert Great Hall in SUU’s Hunter Conference Center.
  • Cost: The event is free and open to the public.

Reading details

  • What: Utah Shakespeare Festival’s “Words3: New Plays” featuring “Shakespeare’s Worst! A Play on a Play.”
  • When: Wednesday, Aug. 29, and Friday, Aug. 31, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Eileen and Alan Anes Studio Theatre.
  • Cost: Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s website and at the festival.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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