Simpsons Writer John Swartzwelder Reveals His Favorite Season And Why He Wrote Homer Like A Dog

The Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder, known for his reclusive nature, has given what is believed to be his first interview about the show following his time on it, and it contains some notable takeaways. He wrote for The Simpsons from its start in 1989 to 2003, and in the new interview with The New Yorker, Swartzwelder touched on what he believes is the best season and why writing Homer as if he was a dog was the best approach.

Swartzwelder wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on what he believes to be the “golden age” of The Simpsons–he said TV historians can debate that–but he commented that Season 3 was the best in his mind.

“I’ve always thought Season 3 was our best individual season. By Season 3 we had learned how to grind out first-class Simpsons episodes with surprising regularity, we had developed a big cast of characters to work with, we hadn’t even come close to running out of story lines, and the staff hadn’t been worn down by overwork yet,” he said. “Season 3 was a fun year to be in the Simpsons writers’ room, and I think it shows in the work.”

Season 3’s premiere was “Stark Raving Dad,” which featured the voice of Michael Jackson. Disney removed this episode from Disney+ when the series debuted there. Season 3 was indeed stacked with famous episodes, also including “When Flanders Failed,” “Flaming Moe’s,” and “Radio Bart,” among many others.

Also in the interview, Swartzwelder touched on how one of his secrets for writing scenes and dialogue for Homer was to write him as if he was a dog.

“One moment he’s the saddest man in the world, because he’s just lost his job, or dropped his sandwich, or accidentally killed his family,” he said. “Then, the next moment, he’s the happiest man in the world, because he’s just found a penny–maybe under one of his dead family members. He’s not actually a dog, of course–he’s smarter than that–but if you write him as a dog you’ll never go wrong.”

The full interview is fascinating and touches on numerous other subjects about The Simpsons and Swartzwelder’s own life–go read it here.

The Simpsons is still on the air, and is currently in its 32rd season, with at least two more coming. Just recently, it was announced that a new short, Maggie Simpsons in The Force Awakens from Its Nap, will debut on Disney+ this week to celebrate Star Wars Day.

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