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There’s a trick to knowing if someone’s a die-hard ‘Simpsons’ fan or not. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of John Swartzwelder, the man who was part of its very first writer’s room, has the largest amount of credits as a writer with 59 episodes over 14 seasons, and whose humour helped to define the show.
That’s what happens when you write Bart The General, regarded as the first definitive ‘Simpsons’ episode, Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish, Homer At The Bat, Krusty Gets Kancelled, Bart Gets An Elephant, Homie The Clown, and You Only Move Twice, to name but a few.
Fellow writers adore him to the point that Swartzwelder has even been called “the greatest writer in the English language in any form.” A strong claim, especially since most ‘Simpsons’ fans don’t even know who he is.
But that’s just the way that Swartzwelder likes it. A famous recluse, ‘Simpsons’ animators haven taken great glee in putting snippets of Swartzwelder into the show over the years.
The image at the top of the page is from Hurricane Neddy, when The Simpsons visit Ned Flanders in the Calmwood Mental Hospital. Later on in the episode the below sign can even be spotted, too:
While in The Day The Violence Died, Swartzwelder is called as a surprise witness during Lionel Hutz’s court case against Itchy & Scatchy Studios:
Sadly for ‘Simpsons’ fans, Swartzwelder stopped writing for the show back in 2003, just around the time when it started getting average. Since then he’s self-published a series of novels that have always been devoured by comedy nerds but have never achieved mainstream success.
But those of you who can’t quite bring yourself to read a whole book, and would rather glimpse his material in 140 characters or less are in luck, because earlier this month John Swartzwelder joined Twitter. And instantly made it funnier. Here are some snippets.
Sure he only did so for the soul purpose of promoting his novels, which is obvious because his Tweets are just quotes from them and it’s something that he freely admitted himself:
But it’s the closest contact that die-hard ‘Simpsons’ fans have ever had with the legendary writer, as well as the closest proof that he actually exists, too.
[Images via 20th Century Fox & @JJSwartzwelder]