ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
veteran Tim Long talks
By Anton Vidgen
Simpsons writer Tim Long dropped by The Wave last Thursday to
chat with a capacity crowd about his behind-the-scenes experience
on one of television's most popular shows.
The Gazette scored an interview with Long and...
Are you really a Simpsons writer?
Yeah, actually I have a car here.
Do you ever get people randomly breaking
into routines like that?
Sure, I don't particularly mind. I mean, people do what they
What is one of your favourite episodes?
I'm a big fan of a lot of episodes. There was an episode we
did a few years ago called Behind the Laughter that was, I think,
pretty funny. It was sort of a parody of a show called Behind
the Music and it was like a documentary behind-the-scenes of
The Simpsons. That actually ended up winning us an Emmy. I think
we were very fortunate in that respect.
You mentioned Ralph Wiggum as your
Yeah, I think so.
Why do you think that?
Because he's so sad. There's something about him, you just know
that his life is going to be terrible because he's so unable
to function. I like the combination of being really stupid and
really cheerful. Homer has that and Ralph has a little of that
You also talked about celebrities.
Which was perhaps the most interesting celebrity you've dealt
They've all been pretty great. I'm surprised at how nice they
are ã like when Sarah Michelle Gellar came in, she just
could not have been sweeter and more accommodating. I'm surprised
at just how normal they are.
Do you think The Simpsons now is perhaps
less innovative than it was in the past or does it continue
to break new ground?
Obviously you can't lose your virginity twice. You get to the
point where, you know, you see this incredibly innovative show
- and it still innovates in a smaller way ã but you can't
recreate that initial explosion. We've done the best we can.
But I still think and I flatter myself to think, we're still
doing one of the best shows on TV.
Do you think there is a common message
The Simpsons delivers?
Yeah, I think the specifics of the message is "don't believe
And on the subject, could you describe
in one word your relationship with FOX?
[long pause] Mixed.
You mentioned The Simpsons ending
in 2005 as a possibility. Where do you see yourself in the future?
It's hard to say. I've been really lucky in the sense that I've
never had to work on a show that's embarrassed me. I'm going
to try and maintain that as things go on. I've never had to
go to a party to say I work for a scrappy show. I would like
to end up doing my own show or own movie next. We'll see what