Robert Jonathan Vitti, Jr. (born March 20, 1956) is an American writer best known for his work on the television series The Simpsons. He has also written for the King of the Hill and The Critic series, and has served as a screenwriter or consultant for several animated and live-action movies, including Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). He is one of the eleven writers of The Simpsons Movie and also wrote the screenplays for the film adaptions Alvin and the Chipmunks and currently is writing Angry Birds for Rovio.
Vitti is a graduate of Harvard University, where he wrote for and was president with Mike Reiss of the Harvard Lampoon. He was also very close with Conan O'Brien while at Harvard. Prior to joining The Simpsons, he had a brief stint with Saturday Night Live. He described his experiences on a DVD commentary as "a very unhappy year". After leaving The Simpsons' writing staff in its fourth season, Vitti wrote for the HBO series The Larry Sanders Show. Beginning in its seventh season, he has been a writer for The Office, and has penned two episodes since then.
Vitti has also used the pseudonym Penny Wise. Vitti used the pseudonym for episodes "Another Simpsons Clip Show" and "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" because he did not want to be credited for writing a clip show as expressed on Simpsons DVD commentaries (though his name was credited for writing the first Simpsons clip show "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show").
On the season four Simpsons episode "The Front," Jon Vitti is caricatured as a Harvard graduate who gets fired from I&S Studios for penning mediocre episodes and gets hit on the head with a name plate by his boss, Roger Meyers.
His wife, Ann, is the sister of fellow Simpsons writer George Meyer (who was also a Saturday Night Live writer-turned-Simpsons writer who did not like working on SNL). He is a distant cousin of Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti, award-winning author Jim Vitti, and actor Michael Dante (the stage name of Ralph Vitti).
The Simpsons episodes
He is credited with writing the following episodes:
- "Bart the Genius"
- "Homer's Night Out"
- "The Crepes of Wrath" (with George Meyer, Sam Simon, and John Swartzwelder)
- "Simpson and Delilah"
- "Bart's Dog Gets an F"
- "Lisa's Substitute"
- "When Flanders Failed"
- "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk"
- "Radio Bart"
- "Bart the Lover"
- "Black Widower"
- "Treehouse of Horror III"
- "Mr. Plow"
- "Brother from the Same Planet"
- "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show"
- "Cape Feare"
- "Another Simpsons Clip Show" (credited as Penny Wise)
- "Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily"
- "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" (credited as Penny Wise)
- "The Old Man and the Key"
- "Weekend at Burnsie's"
- "Little Girl in the Big Ten"
- "Simple Simpson"
- "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays"
- "Sleeping with the Enemy"
The Larry Sanders Show episodes
- "Jeannie's Visit"
- "Hank's Sex Tape"
- "Larry's Sitcom" (Teleplay, with John Riggi)
- "Everybody Loves Larry"
- "Make a Wish"
Vitti was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for "Hank's Sex Tape" and "Everybody Loves Larry". He was also credited as co-executive producer for 30 of the 89 episodes.
King of the Hill episodes
- "Jon Vitti Presents: 'Return To La Grunta'"
- "Dog Dale Afternoon"
- "Rodeo Days"
- "Hank's Bad Hair Day"
- "Hank's Choice"
The Office episodes
- Medak, Pauline. "Harvard alumni makes a splash on Simpsons".
- Owen, David (2000-03-13). "Taking Humour Seriously". The New Yorker.