Tuesday, March 10, 2015

3.10.15 Hero of the Day: Sam Simon

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.



Name: Sam Simon
Age: was 59
Occupation: writer, producer
Last Seen: Los Angeles, CA
Awarded For: making the world a little more funnier
Many fair-weather fans of TV sitcoms probably never heard of Sam Simon, at least until yesterday when the writer and producer died at the age of 59.

Simon wasn't just the man who helped to put The Simpsons on the air, he was also a man who used his illness to set an example. Despite always having money, he gave a lot of it away to charitable causes near and dear to his heart.

Sam was born to a clothing maker and lived a decent life as a kid. He graduated from Stanford and began his entertainment career in the late 1970s as a storyboard artist and writer at animation giant Filmation. His credits there included The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle and Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. It was Filmation head Lou Scheimer who told him to start submitting scripts for more-adult series, and did so for Taxi. The producers of that show loved him so much that he would advance to showrunner in the 1983, the program's final season.

Simon worked on several more series, including The Tracy Ullman Show where he was impressed by several short cartoons based on the works of alternative cartoonist Matt Groening. Because of this, The Simpsons became a series on Fox in 1989, breaking new ground for the world of TV and animation. Simon helped to develop the show, even creating some of the show's characters such as Mr. Burns, Smithers, Dr. Hibbert and Chief Wiggum. He even wrote several of the show's most-remembered episodes such as "The Raven" portion of the first "Treehouse of Horror" episode and the episode where Mr. Burns runs for governor of Springfield. Despite helping to make The Simpsons a success, Simon left the show in 1993. However, the producers decided to keep giving Simon credit as executive producer even to this day.

In later years, Simon wrote and/or produced for The George Carlin ShowThe Drew Carey ShowFriends and most-recently, Anger Management. He was also a proud supporter of animal rights, creating the Sam Simon Foundation to train rescue dogs for military vets and the handicapped. He was also a supporter of PETA and Save the Children.

Despite his philanthropic efforts, doctors diagnosed Simon with inoperable colorectal cancer in 2012 and gave him three months to live. However, those three months turned into three years. During that time, Simon announced that because he had no family that his fortune would be donated to charity. Sam's battle came to an end yesterday with his girlfriend at his side.

In a world where humor isn't always around, it's sad that one of the funniest men who ever lived left us too early. He was a friend to animals, the environment and to all mankind. And yes, he helped make The Simpsons the phenom it became.

Thank you Sam. The world is a better place. 


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