Al Jean

Al Jean Headshot

Writer • Producer • Animator

Birth Date: January 9, 1961

Age: 62 years old

Birth Place: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Best known as the showrunner for "The Simpsons" (Fox 1989- ), the longest running American primetime scripted series of all time, Al Jean first earned his comedy stripes in the hallowed halls of the humor publication The Harvard Lampoon. The Michigan-born mathematics major had enrolled at Harvard University at the young age of 16, and though he would begin his studies in pre-med and eventually shift into math, it was his extra-curricular life at the Lampoon that would foretell the most about Jean's future career. It was there that Jean met Mike Reiss, who would become his writing partner. After graduating with his bachelor's degree in 1981, Jean teamed up with Reiss on a number of television projects, and the two were eventually hired together to write and produce for major TV series such as "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (NBC 1962-1992) and "It's Garry Shandling's Show" (Showtime 1986-1990). When the duo was offered the chance to write for an upcoming animated series called "The Simpsons" in 1989, Jean and Reiss discovered that many of their peers had turned the same offer down, convinced that a cartoon wouldn't last long in a primetime timeslot. The two were excited about the idea, however, and signed on to help script the show's debut season. "The Simpsons" was loved by viewers and praised by critics for its mixture of emotional warmth and sharp social commentary, making it a runaway success. By its third season, Jean was working as the series' showrunner, overseeing all aspects of production. In 1994, however, after its fourth season, Jean and Reiss left the series in order to pursue their own animated project, a primetime comedy about a stuffy movie reviewer called "The Critic" (ABC / Fox 1994-95). The project featured comedy great Jon Lovitz as the voice of the main character and was executive produced by "Simpsons" creator James L. Brooks. However, as the show fluctuated between timeslots and even networks, it failed to secure an audience and was cancelled before it could see a second season, though it would go on to become a beloved cult hit on DVD. Undaunted, Jean and Reiss moved on to sign a deal with The Walt Disney Company, developing the show "Teen Angel" (ABC 1997-98). When that series also failed to pan out, Jean was eventually able to return to "The Simpsons" in 1998. By 2001, he had once again assumed the position of showrunner, though for the first time, he was doing so without Reiss. This period would prove a great success for both Jean and the entire "Simpsons" team, and he would remain with the show for years to come, even helping to write and produce the feature length "The Simpsons Movie" (2007).

Credits

Maggie Simpson in 'Rogue Not Quite One'Stream

Producer
Movie
2023

Maggie Simpson in 'Rogue Not Quite One'Stream

Screenwriter
Movie
2023

When Billie Met LisaStream

Producer
Special
2022

The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in Feliz NavidadStream

Producer
Special
2022

The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in Feliz NavidadStream

Screenwriter
Special
2022

Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap

Producer
Movie
2021

Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap

Screenwriter
Movie
2021

The Good, The Bart, and The LokiStream

Producer
Special
2021

Playdate With Destiny

Producer
Movie
2020

Playdate With Destiny

Screenwriter
Movie
2020

The Simpsons: Extras

Actor
Show
2018

Maggie Simpson in the Longest Daycare

Screenwriter
Movie
2012

The Simpsons Movie

Producer
Movie
2007

The Simpsons Movie

Writer
Movie
2007

The Simpsons MovieStream

Producer
Movie
2007
87%

The Simpsons MovieStream

Writer
Movie
2007
87%

Les Simpson, le film

Producer
Movie
2007

Les Simpson, le film

Writer
Movie
2007

Die Simpsons - der Film

Producer
Movie
2007

Die Simpsons - der Film

Writer
Movie
2007

Teen Angel

Executive Producer
Series
1997

Teen Angel

Writer
Series
1997

The CriticStream

Executive Producer
Series
1994
85%

The CriticStream

Writer
Series
1994
85%

The SimpsonsStream

Executive Producer
Series
1989
85%

ALFStream

Writer
Series
1986

Charles in ChargeStream

Writer
Series
1984

News about
Al Jean