John Swartzwelder

John Swartzwelder


11/16/1950, USA

Birth Name



Also Known As

Scary John Swartzwelder, Spooky John Swartzwelder, Triple Admiral John Swartzwelder
out of 10
User Rating
20 votes


John Swartzwelder is a highly accomplished writer who has worked on "The Simpsons" from 1990-2003. John began his writing career on Saturday Night Live where he wrote 18 episodes from 1985 - 1986. His first writing credit on "The Simpsons" came on the fifth Simpsons episode, "Bart the…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • John and his good friend David Schutten once drove from Chicago to Los Angeles in a Jaguar XKE. They got stuck in the desert and inspired James L Brooks to pen the scene in National Lampoons Vacation.

    • John produced and co - produced 70 episodes of The Simpsons, as well as wrote many of the show's episodes.

    • John is a staunch libertarian.

    • John is said to have a love for "anything old timey American" and incorporates this theme into some of his episodes.

    • John's only ever televised appearance was in a 1985 episode of Saturday Night Live where he played a sailor.

    • When smoking was banned in the writer's room of The Simpsons, John stopped attending writing sessions and instead submitted his future scripts by driving up to the studio and handing them in through his car window. This was due to John's avid smoking habit.

    • John is a big fan of Steve Allen and was allegedly "jumping out of his skin" when Allen agreed to do a guest voice on The Simpsons.

    • When the coffee shop that John wrote in went out of business, he bought the booth he wrote in there and had it installed in his home.

    • According to Conan O'Brien, Swartzwelder seems like he was taken right out of the 1840s.

    • Swartzwelder's favorite food is steak.

    • John is an anti-environmentalist despite being a writer of many of the environmentally centered episodes. Fellow Simpsons writer David X. Cohen recalls John going on a rant about how there is more rain forest on earth now than there was a century ago.

    • At one point, The Simpsons fans believed the name "John Swartzwelder" was just a pseudonym for writers of episodes, who did not take credit or for episodes written by large amounts of writers.

    • Swartzwelder is constantly praised on The Simpsons DVD audio commentaries by his fellow writers who call him things like "a very funny man".

    • John believes the pig is a magical animal, because it has lots of different meat come off it, bacon, pork and ham, etc.

    • John lives in a mansion, which is on a hill.

    • John never attended a The Simpsons DVD audio commentary, until season 9, when Mike Scully rang him and got his voice recorded on DVD and got his thoughts on his episode, "The Cartridge Family."

    • Whenever Swartzwelder appeared in a The Simpsons episode, his caricature would look like the musician, David Crosby, prompting fans to ask why David Crosby was in a scene.

    • John is a guns rights advocate.

    • John is a chainsmoker.

    • John is a big baseball fan and every year, John hires a baseball stadium and plays baseball all day long, with 17 friends.

    • John wrote for George Meyer's "Army Man" magazine.

    • John has written novels, "The Time Machine Did It," "Double Wonderful," "How I Conquered Your Planet" and "The Exploding Detective."

    • John had a long career in advertising, which he maintained until 1985.

    • John wrote a never aired pilot in 1996, called "Pistol Pete," which was a western.

    • John is an eccentric recluse.

    • John was one of the writers who wrote the "Monorail song" in The Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail".

    • In "Thank God it's Doomsday", John appears as a guest on a blimp that crashes during a Krusty the Klown Special.

    • In The Simpsons episode "Bart After Dark", John is shown in the burlesque house.

    • John is a huge fan of Preston Surges.

    • In the episode "The Front" Bart and Lisa read a book called "How To Get Rich By Writing Cartoons" by John Swartzwelder.

    • Springfield is home to the Mt. Swartzwelder historic cider mill.

    • John thinks that using a "thesaurus" is cheating.

    • Springfield is next to "Swartzwelder County".

    • In "Bart the Fink" John Swartzwelder is one of the attendees in Krusty's fake funeral.

    • In the Simpsons episode, "The Day the Violence Died," John Swartzwelder was one of the surprise witnesses called by Lionel Hutz.

    • John was one of the 11 writers of The Simpsons Movie.

    • John has written 59 episodes of The Simpsons which is almost a sixth of all episodes of the show. This is far more than any other writer on the The Simpsons.

  • Quotes

    • John Swartzwelder: (before hanging up the phone during his only recording in a Simpsons DVD commentary) Too bad this is not really John Swartzwelder.

    • John Swartzwelder: (when asked what he is doing on the phone during the recording of a Simpsons DVD commentary) I was cooking a steak.

  • In my quest to review the unsung heroes of my favorite shows, I could think of no one better than the hilarious hermit John Swartzwelder.

    When one thinks of The Simpsons, images of Homer, Bart, Mr. Burns or Flanders will no doubt enter their mind when there is a man whose brilliantly written scripts was no doubt the driving force behind this show's success without whom the above characters would be but a distant memory of a show which was cancelled, this man's name is John Swartzwelder. Writing his second name takes too long so i'll just refer to him as John. John has by far contributed to the most Simpsons episodes of any writer on the show and every one of them is an example of obscure yet hilarious humor with one - liners the fans can't live without and superbly structured plots that saw this show transcend from just another animated show. John is one of the only TV writers i can think of whose episodes hit us with an endless bombardment of jokes yet the quality of the plot is never comprimised for a second. John's 13 year career was cut too short, not writing another episode since "The Regina Monologues" of season 15. While he did return for The Simpsons Movie (sadly, no commentary for that either), because he was joined with a dozen other writers it was impossible to tell which gem in the massive rock of the movie was from him. But there was good news for those who wanted to deflate the bubble of mystery that surrounded the reclusive writer; in season 9's "The Cartridge Family", John finally took part in a DVD commentary when Mike Scully called him during the recording of it and questioned him about the episode. For people who've gone without what must surely be brilliant commentary from the snippet we received, in almost 60 episodes this prank was a defining moment for fans as the wall between them and John was momentarily shifted. Thank you Mike! I'll never understand why someone of this talent would want to keep it sealed away but John Swartzwelder will always be remembered as a legend and pioneer of The Simpsons; if any Simpsons fan's list of top 10 episodes doesn't contain one that was written by Swartzwelder then I will give up TV.moreless
  • Wrote Some of My Favorite Simpsons Episodes

    This man is a legend for writing some of the funniest episodes of The Simpsons. Sure, later on his episodes may have dipped in quality {around season 10 or so}, but he will remain my favorite Simpsons writer forever. I'm not saying I loved all of his episodes, I am just saying he wrote some classical episodes. I really wish he would come back to the show, but sadly it has been 5-6 years since he wrote an episode. Maybe someday he can come back or something. My overall grade, even thought technically it is wrong to give people grades, is an A+moreless