Mark Kirkland

Mark Kirkland (born November 5, 1956)[1] is an American animation director. He has directed 83 episodes of The Simpsons since 1990, more than any other director.

Mark Kirkland
Director Mark Kirkland

Career

At the age of 13, Kirkland began making super 8 films and working for his father, noted photographer and filmmaker Douglas Kirkland,[2] creating “making of” films for major production companies. This exposure to Hollywood sparked Kirkland’s desire to seek a career in the entertainment industry. Kirkland developed an interest in drawing at an early age. At the age of 17, he began studying in the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of the Arts for four years, earning a BFA degree.[3] There, he was mentored by people such as Jules Engel (serving as his teaching assistant), A. Kendall O'Connor, Ollie Johnston and Moe Gollub.[2] In 1976, he won the Student Academy Award for animation along with fellow student, Richard Jefferies, for their graphically animated film made to the song "Fame" by David Bowie.[2][4] After finishing up his degree, he applied to Disney, but he was not accepted and instead began working for Hanna-Barbera.[2] He began working on The Simpsons from season two onwards and has directed 82 episodes, more than any other director.[2][5][6] In season 18, he became the show's supervising director.[2]

Kirkland has won three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Environmental Media Awards and a Pioneer in Television Animation Award from the Burbank International Film Festival for his work on The Simpsons.

An active member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, Kirkland served as the Animation Peer Group Governor from 2012-2013.

As an independent filmmaker, Kirkland has written, directed, and produced award-winning short films which have been shown at film festivals around the world and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. During a 5 year period, Kirkland participated in 25 festivals screening his films: "A Letter from Home," "The Moving Picture Co. 1914," "The Audition," and "Bud's Odyssey." Kirkland is an accomplished still photographer whose images have been published in the US and People magazines. He created photo essays on the behind-the-scenes making of The Simpsons, and A Visit with Ollie about legendary Disney animator Ollie Johnston.

The Simpsons episodes

Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6
Season 7
Season 8
Season 9
Season 10
Season 11
Season 12
Season 13
Season 14
Season 15
Season 16
Season 17
Season 18
Season 19
Season 20
Season 21
Season 22
Season 23
Season 24
Season 25
Season 26
Season 27
Season 28
Season 29
Season 30

Interviews

Media Episode Date
Man vs. Art ManVsArt.com Episode #54: Interview with 3 Time Emmy Award Winning Director of The Simpsons Mark Kirkland 2011-07-19
Actors Reporter (wiki) ActorsReporter.com Exclusive Interview at home with Mark Kirkland, a director of The Simpsons 2011-07-07
Toon In! ToonInAnimation.net Show #25: Mark Kirkland 2008-05-26

Notes

  1. ^ "Mark Kirkland". IMDb.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Show #25: Mark Kirkland". ToonAnimation.net. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  3. ^ Nott, Robert (2003-09-26). "A Glimpse Of 'The Simpsons'". Santa Fe New Mexican. p. P-44.
  4. ^ Microsoft Word - winners-by_year.doc Archived 2006-02-07 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Gill, Harbant (2006-08-30). "Mmm, art show". Herald Sun. p. 075.
  6. ^ Strachan, Alex (2011-07-27). "Behind-the-scenes: The Simpsons". National Post. Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  7. ^ The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror" Scary Names Collection Archived 2009-07-10 at the Portuguese Web Archive
  8. ^ According to the Season 10 DVD commentary, Kirkland was going through a divorce and hired Nastuk to direct most of the episode.
Bart Carny

"Bart Carny" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 11, 1998. Homer and Bart start working at a carnival and befriend a father and son duo named Cooder and Spud. It was written by John Swartzwelder, directed by Mark Kirkland and guest stars Jim Varney as Cooder the carny. The episode contains several cultural references and received a generally mixed critical reception.

Bart Gets Hit by a Car

"Bart Gets Hit by a Car" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' second season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 10, 1991. At the start of the episode, Bart is hit by Mr. Burns' car. Prompted by ambulance-chasing lawyer Lionel Hutz and quack doctor Dr. Nick Riviera, the Simpsons sue Mr. Burns, seeking extensive damages for Bart's injuries. Hutz and Dr. Nick exaggerate Bart's injuries so they can gain sympathy at the trial. Marge is against the whole thing and grows concerned with the fact that Homer is asking Bart to lie.

"Bart Gets Hit by a Car" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Mark Kirkland. The episode's plot was based on Billy Wilder's 1966 film The Fortune Cookie. Much of the ending of the show was pitched by executive producer James L. Brooks, who felt the episode needed a more emotional ending. The episode includes the debuts of three recurring characters, Lionel Hutz, Dr. Nick and the Blue-Haired Lawyer. The Devil also appears on the show for the first time. Recurring guest star Phil Hartman makes his first appearance as Hutz. The show's then-script supervisor Doris Grau also voices a character in the show for the first time.

In its original broadcast, "Bart Gets Hit by a Car" received a Nielsen rating of 14.5, finishing the week ranked 32nd. The episode received generally positive reviews.

Behind the Laughter

"Behind the Laughter" is the twenty-second and final episode of The Simpsons' eleventh season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on May 21, 2000. In the episode, which is a parody of the VH1 series Behind the Music, the Simpson family are portrayed as actors on a sitcom, and their dramatic inner turmoil and struggles are detailed. Told in a narrative format, the episode tells a fictional story of how The Simpsons began.

The episode was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by Tim Long, George Meyer, Mike Scully and Matt Selman. The plot idea for the episode was pitched by Long, and the writers wrote the episode quickly without a draft. VH1 and the producers of Behind the Music allowed the crew to use the show's visual graphics package, and Jim Forbes, narrator for the show, also came in to record narrations for the episode. In addition, country musician Willie Nelson guest stars as himself.

The episode received critical acclaim, with many reviewers noting it as a highlight of the season and the series itself. The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour) in 2000, beating the Family Guy episode "Road to Rhode Island". In addition, composer Alf Clausen won an Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Television Production".

In May 2004, the BBC chose it as the last episode to be aired, having lost the broadcasting rights in February 2002, to Channel 4, who later aired the series in November 2004.

Bob Anderson (director)

Bob Anderson (born 1965) is an American animation director on The Simpsons. He also contributed additional sequence direction on The Simpsons Movie.

After high school, Bob Anderson enrolled at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art to pursue an education in animation. Before Bob graduated from The Joe Kubert School, he began his professional career. Hired by Broadcast Arts in New York City, he started work on a variety of commercials. In 1990, Anderson moved to Los Angeles to work as an assistant director for The Simpsons. In the fifth season, after fourteen episodes as an assistant to Jim Reardon and one episode for Mark Kirkland, he made his directorial debut with the episode "Bart's Inner Child" in 1993.

D'oh-in' in the Wind

"D'oh-in' in the Wind" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' tenth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 15, 1998. In the episode, Homer Simpson travels to a farm owned by Seth and Munchie, two aged hippies who were friends with Homer's mother. After finding out his middle name is "Jay", Homer is drawn to the care-free lifestyle of hippies, and decides to become one himself.

The episode was written by Donick Cary and directed by Mark Kirkland, with a couple of scenes being directed by Matthew Nastuk. Kirkland, who was going through a divorce during the episode's production, assigned Nastuk, his assistant director, to take over direction in his stead. However, after Nastuk had directed a scene, Kirkland felt better and returned to direct the rest of the episode. The episode features the revelation of Homer's middle name, "Jay", which is a tribute to characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show who got their middle initial from Jay Ward.

The episode features comic actors George Carlin as Munchie and Martin Mull as Seth. Carlin was suggested by Simpsons writer Ron Hauge, who "really wanted to meet him", although he did not attend the recording session with Carlin and Mull. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 8.4 million viewers. Following the tenth season's home release on August 7, 2007, "D'oh-in' in the Wind" received mixed reviews from critics.

Girly Edition

"Girly Edition" is the twenty-first 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 19, 1998. In the episode, Lisa and Bart Simpson must co-anchor a new news program, though when Bart is seen as a more successful news anchor, Lisa becomes jealous and seeks revenge. Meanwhile, in the subplot, Homer Simpson gets a monkey helper because of his laziness.

"Girly Edition" was the first episode written by Larry Doyle and was directed by Mark Kirkland. Much of the subplot was inspired by the film Monkey Shines. Critics gave the episode positive reviews and it is also one of Yeardley Smith's favorite episodes of the series.

Homer Alone

"Homer Alone" is the fifteenth episode of The Simpsons' third season and the fiftieth overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 6, 1992. In the episode, stress from doing housework and being underappreciated at home causes Marge to have a mental breakdown and she decides to go on a vacation. She leaves for a spa called Rancho Relaxo, putting Bart and Lisa into the care of her sisters Patty and Selma and leaving Maggie at home with Homer.

The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland. Stern had noticed that most of the writers were pitching stories about Bart and Homer, and he thought a "deeper vein of comedy" could be reached by having Marge suffer from a nervous breakdown. Originally, Marge's trip was to a distressed mother's institute rather than a spa. However, the plot was not well received at the table read for the episode and much of it was re-written. The episode's title references the film Home Alone, which starred David Stern's brother Daniel.

"Homer Alone" contains references to the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, Thelma and Louise, Home Alone, MacGyver, and the song "Baby Come Back" by Player.

The episode has received generally positive reviews from critics. During its original airing on the Fox network during February sweeps, it acquired a 14.2 Nielsen rating.

Kamp Krusty

"Kamp Krusty" is the first episode of The Simpsons' fourth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 24, 1992. During summer vacation, the children of Springfield attend Kamp Krusty, a summer camp named after Krusty the Clown. The camp is extremely unpleasant, leading to the campers rebelling against the camp director. The episode was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland. The episode was followed by the 28th season episode, "Kamp Krustier", 25 years later.

Lisa's Rival

"Lisa's Rival" is the second episode of The Simpsons' sixth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 11, 1994. It was the first episode to be written by Mike Scully, and was directed by Mark Kirkland. Winona Ryder guest stars as Allison Taylor, a new student at Springfield Elementary School. Lisa Simpson begins to feel threatened by Allison because she is smarter, younger, and a better saxophone player than she is. The episode's subplot sees Homer steal a large pile of sugar from a crashed truck, and begin selling it door-to-door.

Although written by Scully, the episode was originally pitched by former writer Conan O'Brien, while the subplot was suggested by George Meyer. It features references to films such as The Fugitive and Scarface, while production of the episode was affected by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Lisa the Vegetarian

"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode in the seventh season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu and Paul and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism.

Directed by Mark Kirkland, "Lisa the Vegetarian" is the first full-length episode David S. Cohen wrote for The Simpsons. David Mirkin, the showrunner at the time, supported the episode in part because he had just become a vegetarian himself. Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Linda McCartney guest star in the episode. Paul McCartney's condition for appearing was that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode makes several references to McCartney's musical career, and his song "Maybe I'm Amazed" plays during the closing credits.

In its original broadcast, "Lisa the Vegetarian" was watched by 14.6 million viewers and finished 47th in the ratings for the week of October 9–15, 1995, with a 9.0 Nielsen rating. It was the fourth highest-rated show on the Fox network that week.

The episode received acclaim from television critics and it has won two awards, an Environmental Media Award and a Genesis Award, for highlighting environmental and animal issues.

List of The Simpsons episodes

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 665 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019, on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 premiered on September 29, 2019.

List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 665 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019, on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 premiered on September 29, 2019.

Mountain of Madness

"Mountain of Madness" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 2, 1997. In the episode, Mr. Burns forces the workers of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to go for a team-building hike in the mountains. Burns and Homer are paired together and trapped in a cabin that gets buried by multiple avalanches.

"Mountain of Madness" was directed by Mark Kirkland and written by John Swartzwelder. The script underwent many rewrites and the story was completely rewritten. Several new designs and backgrounds had to be created for the wilderness scenes. The episode received mostly positive reviews.

Team Homer

"Team Homer" is the twelfth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 7, 1996. In the episode, Homer starts a bowling team with Moe, Apu, and Otto. When Mr. Burns discovers the team was funded with his money, he insists on joining. Meanwhile, Bart's "Down with homework" T-shirt incites a student riot that leads to the implementation of a uniform dress code.

The episode was written by Mike Scully and directed by Mark Kirkland. Scully came up with the idea for it when he went bowling one day. The episode features cultural references to Mad magazine and the film Caddyshack.

Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 9.4, and was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.

The Bonfire of the Manatees

"The Bonfire of the Manatees" is the first episode of The Simpsons' seventeenth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on September 11, 2005, making it the first Simpsons season premiere to air in September since the eleventh season opened with "Beyond Blunderdome" on September 26, 1999.

The episode was written by Dan Greaney and directed by Mark Kirkland. In its original broadcast, it was watched by around eleven million viewers.

The Computer Wore Menace Shoes

“The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" is the sixth episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 3, 2000. In the episode, Homer buys a computer and creates his own website to spread gossip and fake news. However, when Homer starts writing conspiracy theories about flu shots, he is sent to an island where people who know too much are imprisoned.

"The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Mark Kirkland. The title of the episode is a reference to the 1969 film The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, but the episode is not related to the film in any other way. The episode's third act features many references to the 1967 science fiction series The Prisoner.

The episode features Patrick McGoohan as Number Six, the main character from The Prisoner. In its original broadcast, the episode was seen by approximately 9.1 million viewers, finishing in 28th place in the ratings the week it aired. Following its broadcast, the episode received mixed reviews from critics; commentators were divided over the episode's third act.

The Homer They Fall

"The Homer They Fall" is the third episode of The Simpsons' eighth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 10, 1996. After Homer realizes he has a bizarre medical condition that renders him unable to be knocked out, he is convinced to embark on a career as a boxer by Moe Szyslak, who manages him. The episode was written by Jonathan Collier and directed by Mark Kirkland. It guest stars Michael Buffer as himself and Paul Winfield as Lucius Sweet.

Three Gays of the Condo

"Three Gays of the Condo" is the seventeenth episode of the fourteenth season of The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on April 13, 2003. The episode was written by Matt Warburton and directed by Mark Kirkland. The title is a pun on the 1975 film Three Days of the Condor. In the episode Homer finds out that while dating, Marge did not enjoy going to Moe's Tavern while Homer got drunk. Homer notices two days later that Marge is pregnant with Bart, so he thinks that is why she stayed with him. Upset, Homer moves in with two gay guys, Grady and Julio.

"Three Gays of the Condo" was The Simpsons' second episode to revolve entirely on homosexuality, after "Homer's Phobia" in 1997, and just like the predecessor, the episode received largely positive reviews from both the critics and the LGBT community, praised for its smart comedy. The episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, just as "Homer's Phobia" did in 1997.

Treehouse of Horror VIII

"Treehouse of Horror VIII" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 26, 1997. In the eighth annual Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer Simpson is the last man left alive when a neutron bomb destroys Springfield until a gang of mutants come after him, Homer buys a transporter that Bart uses to switch bodies with a housefly, and Marge is accused of witchcraft in a Puritan rendition of Springfield in 1649. It was written by Mike Scully, David X. Cohen and Ned Goldreyer, and was directed by Mark Kirkland.

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