Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham (born July 3, 1959) is an American television writer and producer. He has formerly written for Saturday Night Live (1992–1995) and The Simpsons (1995–2012), as well as serving as a co-executive producer and consulting producer for the latter.
|Born||Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham|
July 3, 1959
New York City, New York, U.S.
Maxtone-Graham was born in New York City, the son of maritime historian John Maxtone-Graham. He is the great-nephew of Jan Struther, the writer of Mrs. Miniver. He attended Trinity School and Brown University. An enthusiastic swimmer, his first job after college was as a diver with an underwater research team. After struggling to establish a career in journalism, he penned material for the television show Not Necessarily the News and the magazines National Lampoon and Army Man. His work in Army Man, an offbeat magazine published by future Simpsons colleague George Meyer, brought him to the attention of Jack Handey, who suggested he work for Saturday Night Live.
While working for Saturday Night Live, Maxtone-Graham co-wrote "The Chanukah Song" with Adam Sandler and, according to the DVD commentary for the SNL clip show "The Best of Alec Baldwin," also wrote the infamous "Canteen Boy" sketch in which Canteen Boy is sexually molested by his scoutmaster, Mr. Armstrong (played by episode host Alec Baldwin). According to the memoir of Jay Mohr, Ian Maxtone-Graham threatened to quit and sue the show during the 1993-94 season after an altercation with Norm Macdonald: the lawsuit never came to fruition.
During all-night Saturday Night Live writing sessions, Sarah Silverman often stole underwear and socks from a cache of fresh clothes Maxtone-Graham kept in his office, and wore them in lieu of her own clothes.
Maxtone-Graham has become somewhat infamous among The Simpsons fans for a 1998 interview with The Independent, in which he admitted that he had "barely" seen The Simpsons before being hired, and ridiculed "the beetle-browed people on the internet" for their criticism of the show. Although he upset many fans with his comments, Maxtone-Graham has won six Emmys for his work on The Simpsons, and received an Annie Award for writing "The Seemingly Neverending Story".
One of the episodes written by Maxtone-Graham is "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", in which Homer grows a tomato-tobacco hybrid called "tomacco". The episode was widely acclaimed from viewers and critics alike . Notably, it inspired an Oregon man to make his own version of tomacco by grafting a tomato stem with a tobacco root. He eventually gave some to Maxtone-Graham, who ate it.
Maxtone-Graham has been credited as writing the following episodes of The Simpsons:
"24 Minutes" is the twenty-first episode of The Simpsons' eighteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 20, 2007 as part of the one-hour season finale, alongside the episode "You Kent Always Say What You Want". It was originally promoted as being the 400th episode, but was broadcast as the 399th. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and Billy Kimball. It was Kimball's first writing credit.
The episode is a spoof of the Fox television drama 24, and sees Principal Skinner's new Counter Truancy Unit (CTU), led by Lisa Simpson, attempting to prevent a stink bomb being released at Springfield Elementary School. Guest stars include Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub as their characters from 24, Jack Bauer and Chloe O'Brian.
Critically acclaimed, it won the 2008 Annie Award for Best Writing in an Animated Television Production.Alone Again, Natura-Diddily
"Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" is the fourteenth episode of the eleventh season of The Simpsons, and marks the final regular appearance of the character Maude Flanders. In the episode, she is killed in an accident while watching an auto race, devastating Ned Flanders and prompting Homer to find a new woman for his grieving neighbor. After a series of unsuccessful dates, Ned begins to question his faith in God. However, his faith is restored after hearing the female lead singer of a Christian rock band, played by guest star Shawn Colvin, sing in church. The episode’s title is a parody of the song title "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan.
The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jim Reardon. Maude was voiced by Marcia Mitzman Gaven after regular voice actor Maggie Roswell had left the show over a pay dispute, and the producers decided to kill off the character to open up for new storylines. The episode was viewed in 10.8 million households during its original broadcast on February 13, 2000, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.
A commercial for "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" that aired before the episode was broadcast was criticized by many viewers because it appeared the episode would be parodying an incident at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina that left three spectators dead. Then-Fox affiliate WCCB in Charlotte, North Carolina refused to show the commercial, but after viewing the episode they came to the conclusion that it was not making fun of the incident. Reviews of "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily" from television critics have been mixed.Billy Kimball
Billy Kimball (born July 8, 1959) is an American writer and producer. He is currently a co-executive producer on the HBO series Veep.Burns, Baby Burns
"Burns, Baby Burns" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 17, 1996. In the episode, Mr. Burns reunites with his long lost son named Larry. They at first get along well, but Mr. Burns sees that his son had turned out to be an oaf. It was directed by Jim Reardon and was the first episode written by Ian Maxtone-Graham. It guest starred Rodney Dangerfield as Larry Burns.Dude, Where's My Ranch?
"Dude, Where's My Ranch?" is the eighteenth episode of The Simpsons' fourteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 27, 2003. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and was the first episode directed by Chris Clements.E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)
"E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", also known as "E-I-E-I-D'oh", is the fifth episode of the eleventh season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 7, 1999. In the episode, inspired by a Zorro movie, Homer begins slapping people with a glove and challenging them to duels. However, when a real Southern gentleman accepts Homer's request for a duel, the Simpsons run off to the old farm Homer lived in with his parents and breed a dangerously addictive but successful tobacco/tomato hybrid called "tomacco". The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Bob Anderson. The episode received mixed reviews.Gone Maggie Gone
"Gone Maggie Gone" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' twentieth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 15, 2009. The episode was written by both Billy Kimball and longtime Simpsons writer Ian Maxtone-Graham, and directed by Chris Clements. In the episode, Homer leaves Maggie on the doorstep of a convent, but when she disappears, Lisa goes undercover as a nun to solve the mystery and find her. Meanwhile, Homer tries to keep Maggie's disappearance a secret from Marge, who was temporarily blinded while watching a solar eclipse.How I Wet Your Mother
"How I Wet Your Mother" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' twenty-third season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 11, 2012. In the episode, a traumatic incident causes Homer to repeatedly wet the bed. As it worsens, his family, with the help of Professor Frink, successfully manage to infiltrate his dreams to get to its subconscious source. The episode name is a pun on How I Met Your Mother.
The episode was co-written by Billy Kimball and Ian Maxtone-Graham and has received positive reviews from critics.Lisa Gets an "A"
"Lisa Gets an "A"" is the seventh episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 22, 1998. In the episode, Lisa cheats on a test for which she fails to study and receives an A+++ grade, but becomes guilt-ridden. Meanwhile, Homer buys a lobster with the intention of fattening him up to eat. However, he becomes attached to it and decides to keep it as a pet named Pinchy.
"Lisa Gets an "A"" was directed by Bob Anderson, and although it was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham, neither the main storyline nor the subplot was conceived by him. The main storyline was instead pitched by former staff writer Ron Hauge, while Richard Appel, who also was a staff writer, had pitched the episode's subplot for a long time. The episode satirizes educational establishments, and features a parody of the video game Crash Bandicoot.
In its original American broadcast, "Lisa Gets an "A"" was seen by approximately 8 million viewers, and finished in 51st place in ratings the week it aired. Following its broadcast, a scene in the episode garnered criticism from the Catholic League, but the controversy went largely ignored by The Simpsons' staff. The episode received generally positive reviews from critics, and is considered one of the best episodes of the season.Tennis the Menace
"Tennis the Menace" is the twelfth episode of the twelfth season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 11, 2001. In the episode, the Simpsons build a tennis court in their backyard and are ridiculed by the entire town because of Homer's inferior tennis ability. Homer therefore tries to please Marge by entering the two into a tournament, but they quickly turn into rivals when Marge replaces Homer with Bart as her partner.
The episode features guest appearances from tennis professionals Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and sisters Venus and Serena Williams as themselves. "Tennis the Menace" was directed by Jen Kamerman and written by Ian Maxtone-Graham, who also directed the Williams sisters' performance. The animators of The Simpsons experimented with digital ink and paint on "Tennis the Menace", making it the first episode of the series to be animated using the process since season 7's "Radioactive Man".
"Tennis the Menace" has received generally positive reviews from critics with particular praise for its guest stars. Around eight million American homes tuned in to watch "Tennis the Menace" during its original airing, and in 2009 it was released on DVD along with the rest of the episodes of the twelfth season.The Blunder Years
"The Blunder Years" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons’ thirteenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 9, 2001. The episode sees Homer, after being hypnotized by the hypnotist Mesmerino while having dinner at the restaurant Pimento Grove, reminded by a repressed traumatic experience from his childhood. The Simpsons set out to find the corpse that triggered Homer's psychological trauma, which evolves into a murder mystery later in the episode.
The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham while Steven Dean Moore served as the director. The original idea for the episode came from current show runner Al Jean, which involved the murder mystery in the episode. The writers then incorporated Homer's flashbacks, at which point the episode was titled "The Blunder Years", a parody on the television show The Wonder Years.
Following the release of The Simpsons' thirteenth season on DVD and Blu-ray, the episode received mixed reviews from critics.The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson
"The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" is the first episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It was originally broadcast on the Fox network in the United States on September 21, 1997, as the 179th episode of the series. The episode features the Simpson family traveling to Manhattan to recover the family car, which was taken by Barney Gumble and abandoned outside the World Trade Center, where it has been repeatedly posted with parking tickets, and disabled with a parking boot.
Writer Ian Maxtone-Graham was interested in making an episode where the Simpson family travels to New York to retrieve their misplaced car. Executive producers Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein suggested that the car be found in Austin J. Tobin Plaza at the World Trade Center, as they wanted a location that would be widely known. Great lengths were taken to make a detailed replica of the borough of Manhattan. The episode received generally positive reviews, and has since been on accolade lists of The Simpsons episodes. The "You're Checkin' In" musical sequence won two awards. Because of the World Trade Center's main role, the episode was taken off syndication in many areas following the September 11 attacks, but had come back into syndication by 2006.The Color Yellow
"The Color Yellow" is the thirteenth episode of The Simpsons' twenty-first season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 21, 2010. In this episode, Lisa discovers that her ancestors from Florida helped a black slave named Virgil escape to freedom, but Milhouse has a piece of family history that shows Lisa's ancestors giving Virgil up in an act of cowardice.
The episode was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and Billy Kimball and directed by Raymond S. Persi. It guest starred Wren T. Brown as Virgil. The episode was viewed by 6.08 million viewers and received mixed to positive reviews.The Heartbroke Kid
"The Heartbroke Kid" is the seventeenth episode of the sixteenth season of The Simpsons. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Steven Dean Moore. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 1, 2005. Albert Brooks guest stars in the episode, playing the character Tab Spangler, as well as briefly reprising Jacques from Life in the Fast Lane.
"The Heartbroke Kid" is the 352nd episode in the program's history and was broadcast straight after the 351st episode, "Don't Fear the Roofer", on the Fox network in the United States.The Seemingly Never-Ending Story
"The Seemingly Never-Ending Story" is the 13th episode of The Simpsons' 17th season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 12, 2006. The episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour). At the 34th Annie Awards, episode writer Ian Maxtone-Graham won the award for "Best Writing in an Animated Television Production." The episode is notable for containing many levels of nested storytelling, much like The NeverEnding Story written by Michael Ende which the title references.The Thanksgiving Song
"The Thanksgiving Song" (also known as "Happy Thanksgiving") is a song performed by Adam Sandler discussing Thanksgiving.
The song was written by Sandler, Ian Maxtone-Graham and Robert Smigel.The Trouble with Trillions
"The Trouble with Trillions" is the twentieth episode in the ninth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 5, 1998. It was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Swinton O. Scott III. The episode sees Homer being sent by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to try to obtain a trillion dollar bill that Mr. Burns failed to deliver to Europe during the post-war era.The Yellow Badge of Cowardge
"The Yellow Badge of Cowardge" is the twenty-second episode and season finale of the 25th season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 552nd episode of the series. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 18, 2014. It was written by Billy Kimball and Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Timothy Bailey. In the episode, Bart feels guilty after he wins the annual "last day of school" race around Springfield Elementary School, with help from Nelson, who beats up the frontrunner, Milhouse. Meanwhile, Homer tries to bring back 4 July fireworks after they are cancelled due to budget cuts.Trash of the Titans
"Trash of the Titans" is the 22nd episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. The 200th episode of the series overall, it originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 26, 1998. The episode, which was written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Jim Reardon, sees Homer Simpson run for the job of Springfield's Sanitation Commissioner. Steve Martin guest stars as Ray Patterson, the incumbent commissioner, while U2 play themselves after requesting an appearance on the show.Inspired by a friend's experience in politics, Maxtone-Graham decided to have Homer run for Sanitation Commissioner, although one draft of the episode saw him running for mayor. The staff also wanted the episode to be about trash, and created the concept of "Love Day" as a means of generating waste. The episode's resolution was discussed extensively by the staff, with one proposed idea being that Springfield would be raised up and the excess rubbish swept underneath it. The episode also features a parody of the song "The Candy Man" and an incident involving comedian Redd Foxx.
"Trash of the Titans" won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less), something the staff believe was due to the environmental message at the end. Over 10 years after the original broadcast, an airing of the episode in the United Kingdom courted controversy when it was aired on Channel 4 in April 2008 before the 9pm watershed, with the word "wanker" left unedited.
The episode is dedicated to the memory of Linda McCartney, who appeared alongside her husband Paul in the episode "Lisa the Vegetarian."