The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John OrtvedThe Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

byJohn Ortved

Hardcover | September 28, 2009

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The Simpsons is one of the most successful shows ever to run on television. From its first moment on the air, the series's rich characters, subversive themes, and layered humour resounded deeply with audiences both young and old who wanted more from their entertainment than what was being meted out by the likes of Full House, Growing Pains, and Family Matters. Spawned as an animated short on The Tracey Ullman Show—mere filler on the way to commercial breaks—the series grew from a controversial cult favourite to a mainstream powerhouse, and after twenty years, the residents of Springfield no longer simply hold up a mirror to our way of life: they have ingrained themselves in it.

Contrary to popular belief, The Simpsons did not spring out of Matt Goening's brain, fully formed, like an uproarious Athena. Its inception was a process, with many parents, and like the family it depicts, the show's creative forces have been riven by dysfunction from the get-go- outside egos clashing with studio executives and one another over credit for and control of a pop-culture institution worth billions. John Ortved's oral history is the first-ever look behind the scenes at the creation and day-to-day running of the show, as told by many of the people who made it, amoung them writers, animators, producers, and network executives. It's an intriguing yet hilarious tale, portraying more than two decades of betrayal, ambition, and love. Also available in paperback.

John Ortved grew up in Toronto and studied at McGill University. His work has appeared in New York Magazine, Interview, Vice, The New York Observer, and Vanity Fair, where he works as an editorial associate. He lives in New York City and Toronto.
Title:The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized HistoryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:344 pages, 9.31 × 6.25 × 1 inPublished:September 28, 2009Publisher:Greystone Books Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553655036

ISBN - 13:9781553655039


Rated 1 out of 5 by from D'oh This is a really poor look into the history of one of television's greatest shows ever. The author had no contributions from any of the major players in Simpsons history (such as the big three: Groening, Brooks and Simon) instead having to rely on excerpts from interviews they've done with other publications. The book is full of spelling mistakes including repeated errors in the spelling of character names (Wayland Smithers?), plus incorrect references to events in episodes that never happened. Worst of all, on many occasions, the author tries to represent his opinion as fact (ex. referring to the Simpsons movie as "disappointing and not funny", says who?). Avoid this book unless you're looking for what might amount to the National Enquirer version of Simpsons history. A better bet would be to purchase the Simpsons DVDs and listen to the episode commentary, there is some great stories told there.
Date published: 2010-02-16

Editorial Reviews

"Mr. Ortved, 29, a self-described “comedy nerd,” who says he likes to laugh “more than the average person,” first pitched the idea of an oral history of [The Simpsons] when he was a 26-year-old editorial associate at Vanity Fair. Three years, 80 on-the-record interviews and one Vanity Fair article later, Mr. Ortved has produced a 300-page combination of juicy entertainment gossip, rich television history and notes from a disenchanted lover."—The New York Times“Those seeking a more substantial look at the longest-running sitcom in history should read John Ortved's The Simpsons, an oral history of the show and the people behind it…While his love for the show is obvious, Ortved does not let passion erase necessary judgment.”—Toronto Star “Ortved's book is no smear job. Obviously a fan of the satirical cartoon series, he reports the good with the bad, and at times sounds almost sentimental about the show's glory years.”—Times Colonist