Sam Simon (born June 6 1955) is an American television producer and writer, most notable as one of the original developers of The Simpsons, along with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. He is perhaps best known for his creation of many Simpsons characters.
He attended Stanford University, graduating in 1977.
He was married to Jennifer Tilly from 1984 to 1991.
He has also written for television with Taxi, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, The George Carlin Show, and The Drew Carey Show. He wrote “The Bitter Half”, a single-episode sitcom for Howard Stern’s Howard 101 channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, that aired October 25, 2006.
Personal relationships during television projects have not always gone well. In his final book, the posthumously published Last Words, George Carlin had this to say about The George Carlin Show: “I had a great time. I never laughed so much, so often, so hard as I did with cast members Alex Rocco, Chris Rich, Tony Starke. There was a very strange, very good sense of humor on that stage…The biggest problem, though, was that Sam Simon was a fucking horrible person to be around. Very, very funny, extremely bright and brilliant, but an unhappy person who treated other people poorly.”
Simon spends millions of dollars per year on his foundation dedicated to rescuing and retraining stray dogs. An episode of 60 Minutes broadcast in March, 2007 described it as “…the grandest dog shelter in the country, a five star, six acre spread in Malibu, perhaps the most desirable real estate on the planet. Here, among the waterfalls and the manicured grounds, the Sam Simon Foundation gives stray and abandoned dogs a new lease on life, literally.” “We rescue dogs and we train them to be service dogs, which helps people with disabilities,” Simon explained.
Simon is the current manager of heavyweight boxer Lamon Brewster, the former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion, and was also named 2004 World Boxing Manager of the Year.
Simon also competed in the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event, where he finished 329th for a $39,445 payday. In June 2009, Playboy TV premiered the show Sam’s Game featuring Simon as host and master of ceremonies of a Las Vegas celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em match. He also was a contestant on the 1970s revival of Tic Tac Dough.
He makes over 10 million dollars a year from The Simpsons, though he has not worked on the show since 1993.
Since the “Treehouse of Horror IV” episode of The Simpsons, Simon has inserted the word “Sayonara” between his first and last name, and has kept it for the rest of the Treehouse of Horror series.