David Silverman (animator)

David Silverman (born March 15, 1957) is an American animator best known for directing numerous episodes of the animated TV series The Simpsons, as well as The Simpsons Movie. Silverman was involved with the series from the very beginning, animating all of the original short Simpsons cartoons that aired on The Tracey Ullman Show. He went on to serve as director of animation for several years. He also did the animation for the 2016 film, The Edge of Seventeen, which was produced by Gracie Films.

David Silverman
Silverman in 2014 at San Diego Comic Con
Silverman in 2014 at San Diego Comic Con
BornMarch 15, 1957 (age 62)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
Pen namePound Foolish
OccupationTelevision/film writer and director

Early life and career

Silverman was born to a Jewish family[1] on Long Island, New York.[2] He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland and attended the University of Maryland, College Park for two years,[2] focusing on art. He then attended UCLA and majored in animation.[3]

Early in his career with The Simpsons, he was a subject on the December 26, 1990 episode (#83) of To Tell the Truth.[4]

The Simpsons

Silverman is largely credited with creating most of the "rules" for drawing The Simpsons. He is frequently called upon to animate difficult or especially important scenes, becoming go-to in Season 2 when he animated the first of Homer's many "rants, freak-outs, and heart attacks".[5] He appeared during the end credits of the Simpsons episode "Goo Goo Gai Pan" giving a quick method of drawing Bart, and is a frequent participant on the Simpsons DVD audio commentaries. A cartoon rendering of him can be seen in "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", where he is the animator who draws Poochie (along with renderings of other Simpsons staffers). He was credited as Pound Foolish as the director of the episodes "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" and "Another Simpsons Clip Show."[6]

Silverman is also the director of The Simpsons Movie, which was released July 27, 2007. He originally left The Simpsons to direct additional sequences in The Road to El Dorado for DreamWorks Animation. Some of his other film work includes Monsters, Inc. for Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar, for which he was a co-director. He is currently a consulting producer and occasional director. He also worked on the animated films Ice Age, Robots, and Looney Tunes: Back in Action.

In 2012, Silverman directed the theatrical short The Longest Daycare starring Maggie Simpson, released in front of Ice Age: Continental Drift. The short was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

The Simpsons episodes directed by Silverman


Silverman's direction and animation is known for its energy, sharp timing, adventurous use of design elements and often complex acting, involving expressions and poses which are often quixotic, emotionally specific or highly exaggerated. It frequently recalls the works of Ward Kimball, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones. His most prolific period of work on The Simpsons can be roughly categorized as beginning with the "Tracey Ullman" episodes and ending in or around season eight of the series, for which he animated Homer's psychedelic dream in "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)". Other representative examples of Silverman's work on The Simpsons include Homer's histrionic, spasmodic heart attack in "Homer's Triple Bypass", Homer's demented hysterics over the iconic painting of poker-playing canines in "Treehouse of Horror IV" and subsequent turn as an even-more-deranged appropriation of Jack Nicholson's character from "The Shining" in "Treehouse of Horror V", and Homer's archetypically cartoonish reaction to Bart's prescription of Focusyn in "Brother's Little Helper".

Non-Simpsons works


Silverman worked with Savage Steve Holland to create Klutter! for Fox Kids. It was produced by Fox Kids Company, Savage Studios Ltd, and Film Roman. It was part of Eek! Stravaganza in the fourth season of the 1995–96 season. It lasted eight episodes from September 9, 1995, to April 14, 1996.

Campus tours

Silverman has toured many college campuses, speaking about his experiences as an animator and longtime Simpsons director and producer.[7] He describes his early experiences in the animation field, working on shows such as Turbo Teen and Mister T. He goes on to say that at the point he considered leaving animation to devote his time to cartoon illustration, he took a job animating on The Tracey Ullman Show. He has pointed out that he and his fellow animators Wes Archer and Bill Kopp first started animating The Simpsons shorts on March 23, 1987.

Silverman then elaborates on Simpsons production, the evolution of the show and its characters, and various show facts and trivia. He may show animatics, deleted scenes, and favorite scenes and sequences, while giving background information. He closes by hand-drawing character sketches before the audience.


Silverman plays the tuba and has performed at events like Burning Man with the Transformational All Star Fire Conclave Marching Band and on June 23, 2006, he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he played his flaming sousaphone.[8][9] Silverman was a member of the UCLA Bruin Marching Band Sousaphone Section in the early 1980s. He is currently a member of Los Trancos Woods Community Marching Band. In January 2009, Silverman joined the LA band Vaud and the Villains.


  1. ^ Tampa Jewish Federation "Jews in the News: Oscar Time!" retrieved March 19, 2017
  2. ^ a b Silverman, David. "Nominated for: Animated Short for "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare' "". 85th Academy Awards Nomenee Questionnaire. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  3. ^ TFTAN - UCLA School of The Theater, Film and Television Alumni Network
  4. ^ To Tell The Truth: 1990-91 Episode Guide Archived 2009-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Du Vernay, Denise (Feb 14, 2012). "Best 'Simpsons' Moments: Castmembers Share Their Favorite Contributions to Celebrate the 500th Episode". OC Weekly.
  6. ^ David Silverman on IMDb
  7. ^ The Simpsons Archive: David Silverman's Chat Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Flaming Tuba guy David Silverman on NBC Tonight Show 6/23 - Boing Boing Archived 2006-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ David Silverman on The Tonight Show

External links

David Silverman

David Silverman may refer to:

David Silverman (animator) (born 1957), American animator and director

David Silverman (activist) (born 1966), American activist and former president of American Atheists

David Silverman, a mathematician known for Silverman's game

David P. Silverman, American Egyptologist

List of University of California, Los Angeles people

This is a list of notable present and former faculty, staff, and students of the University of California, Los Angeles − UCLA.

Tom Waits for No One

Tom Waits for No One is a rotoscoped short film starring Tom Waits, singing "The One That Got Away" to an apparition.

Directed in 1979 by John Lamb of Lyon Lamb, it was among the first music videos of its kind, and nearly two years before the advent of MTV. The film, inspired by a performance of Waits at the Roxy in May 1977, captured a first place award at the first Hollywood Erotic Film and Video Festival in 1980. The film never saw commercial release and sat in obscurity for 30 years, when it went quietly viral on YouTube.

Filmed live at the La Brea Stage in Hollywood in six takes and edited down to five and a half minutes, the live frames were then traced using a "video rotoscope" and then converted by hand into animation. This particular combination of rotoscoping and pencil test, originally developed for Ralph Bakshi's American Pop, was considered innovative at the time, and assisted in winning Lyon Lamb a 1980 Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement.The films' production team consisted of a wide range of industry professionals which includes:

David Silverman (animator): David was the first animator on the Simpsons, working with Klasky-Csupo on Simpson interstitials for The Tracey Ullman Show, later on to produce the Simpsons, The Wild Thorneberrys and Monsters Inc.

Keith Newton (rotoscope and character design): Keith went on to greater heights with Disney Animation doing backgrounds and character design for Pocahontas.

Micheal Cressey (inker): Micheal went into a distinguished career of children's book publishing, writing 8 books and receiving the coveted Caldecott Award twice, among numerous others.

Garrett Smith-live action camera: Garrett moved into an illustrious career at Paramount Studios and became an integral part in the development of HD with Texas Instruments.

Gary Beydler (live action camera): Gary was an esteemed film maker, photographer and fine artist with works in the MMA, Moca and a Newsweek cover article.

Donna Marie Gordon (dancer/model): Donna became a choreographic trainer for Las Vegas chorus girls for 18 years .

Ray Roberts extended his fine art talents and today is a renowned Plein Air painter and multiple award winner for his depictions of the Southwest.

Garrett Smith served as vice president, production technology and digital mastering operations at Paramount Pictures. He was actively involved in the development of DVD, HDTV and a member of Digital Cinema Initiatives. Today, Smith is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and serves on the Science and Technology Council as Co-Chair of the Next Generation Technology Project.

John Lamb received an Academy Award for Scientific and Technical Achievement in 1980 for co-invention of the Lyon Lamb Video Animation System (VAS). Lamb also developed and manufactured the first video rotoscope system in 1979. Continuously working in the graphic arts and animation over the last three decades, Lamb recently opened his latest art project "Blast from the Past" in Oceanside, Ca.Recently, a cel from the production became part of the Tom Waits permanent exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

UCLA Bruin Marching Band

The 250-member UCLA Bruin Marching Band, known as The Solid Gold Sound, represents the university at major athletic and extracurricular events. During the fall marching season, the band performs at the Rose Bowl for UCLA Bruin home football games. Pregame shows by the band aim to build crowd energy and enthusiasm with traditional UCLA songs like "Strike Up the Band for UCLA", "Bruin Warriors", and "The Mighty Bruins". Throughout the game, the band performs custom-arranged rock and pop songs, as well as the traditional fight songs and cheers of the university. The UCLA Varsity Band appears at basketball games and other athletic contests in Pauley Pavilion. In 2018, the Bruin Marching Band was featured on the Muse album "Simulation Theory" performing the Super Deluxe version of the song "Pressure."

The UCLA band program, which includes the Marching and Varsity Bands, the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band, is in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Band appearances at athletic events are funded primarily by student registration fees, a direct allocation from the Chancellor's Office and donations to the Solid Gold Sound Club.

The 1993, UCLA Bruin Marching Band was awarded the Sudler Trophy, an award bestowed on one university marching band every year. Described by a Los Angeles Times reporter as "[t]he Heisman Trophy of the collegiate band world", the award does not represent the winner of any championship, but rather a band surrounded by great music and tradition that has become respected nationally.

All marching members and teaching assistants in the Bruin Marching Band are full-time UCLA students.

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