Matt Selman at the 2009 Comic Con in San Diego.
|Occupation||Screenwriter and producer|
|Known for||The Simpsons, Seinfeld|
Matthew "Matt" Selman is an American writer and producer. Selman grew up in Massachusetts, attended the University of Pennsylvania and was editor-in-chief of student magazine 34th Street Magazine. After considering a career in journalism, he decided to try and became a television writer. After two years of failed spec scripts he was eventually hired to write an episode of Seinfeld in 1996. Selman then joined the writing staff of The Simpsons, where he has remained, rising to the position of executive producer. He has written numerous episodes of the show, including "Natural Born Kissers", "Behind the Laughter", "Trilogy of Error", "Simpsons Bible Stories" (for which he won an Annie Award), "The Dad Who Knew Too Little" (for which he won a Writers Guild of America Award), and also "The Food Wife". He also co-wrote the 2007 film adaptation of the show entitled The Simpsons Movie, as well as the video games The Simpsons: Road Rage, The Simpsons Hit and Run and The Simpsons Game.
Selman grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts and is a graduate of Beaver Country Day School (in 1989) and the University of Pennsylvania (in 1993). At Pennsylvania he majored in history and served as Editor-in-Chief for the student arts and culture magazine 34th Street Magazine. He "tried to make it [his] own little version of Entertainment Weekly, with minimal Penn references," noting "In retrospect, I wish we had wrote more original material, made it more comedy-oriented." Selman considered a career in journalism and had an internship at Philadelphia.
After graduation he moved to Los Angeles, California hoping to write for television with his 34th Street co-editor, Selman ended up as a "lunch-fetcher" on Ellen. For two years he sent sample material to several shows before, in 1996, he was hired to co-write the Seinfeld episode "The Wait Out". In 1997, Selman joined to staff of The Simpsons and has been a writer and producer on the show ever since. He is currently an executive producer on the show. He has written 19 episodes and also co-wrote the 2007 film adaptation of the show The Simpsons Movie. Selman noted: "The hardest thing is we have to try and make each episode as good as everything that's come before it. We have a legacy of greatness, and you don't want to be the person that ruins The Simpsons."
His first episode was "Natural Born Kissers" from season nine. The show's creator Matt Groening listed it as his eighth favorite episode in 2000. Selman considers his best episode to be season twelve's "Trilogy of Error", which was based on the film Go, and features three inter-linked stories. Robert Canning of IGN praised the episode, calling it "one extremely enjoyable misadventure. The Simpsons may have peaked in the '90s, but that doesn't mean the eight years since haven't delivered their share of quality episodes. This was one of them.". Other episodes he has written include "Behind the Laughter", "They Saved Lisa's Brain", "Husbands and Knives", "The Haw-Hawed Couple", "Future-Drama" and "That '90s Show". Selman stated he was "proud" of "That '90s Show" despite the fact that it "irritated some of our more hardcore fans because they felt we were deliberately ret-conning the classic flashbacks of how Homer and Marge met and how the kids were born." He added that it was "not a serious attempt to rewrite the show's continuity". He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the show, sharing them with the other producers. Selman received an Annie Award in 1999 for writing "Simpsons Bible Stories". He also won a Writers Guild of America Award in 2004 for writing the episode "The Dad Who Knew Too Little". In the episode, Homer's e-mail was said to be firstname.lastname@example.org. Selman registered the e-mail and received thousands of messages after the episode aired. He responded to some of them in the character of Homer, but gave up after being swamped with e-mails.
He wrote the script for The Simpsons: Road Rage, The Simpsons: Hit & Run and served as the head writer for The Simpsons Game. Alongside Tim Long and Matt Warburton he wrote the game's storyline; they wanted to create something that appealed to the fans of the show, and was, in its own right, "a great new game". Selman said the reason they decided to call it The Simpsons Game and not add a subtitle was because they felt it was a restart of "the 'Simpsons' gaming franchise [...] a big, new, fresh game that takes on video games and hilarious things of all time". Selman stated in 2003 that he never wants to leave The Simpsons.
Selman writes for Time.com's Techland "Nerd World" blog alongside Lev Grossman, and is also the creator and writer of the Icebox.com webtoon "Superhero Roommate." Selman also contributed several jokes to Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights, and appeared alongside Groening and voice actor Hank Azaria to judge on a The Simpsons-themed challenge on an episode of Top Chef: Masters in 2010. He is writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of Ricky Gervais' Flanimals.
Selman is married and has two daughters.
- Seinfeld (1996) – writer, program consultant
- The Simpsons (1997–present) – writer, producer, story editor, supervising producer, executive producer
- "Natural Born Kissers"
- "Simpsons Bible Stories" (along with Tim Long and Larry Doyle)
- "They Saved Lisa's Brain"
- "Eight Misbehavin'"
- "Behind the Laughter" (along with George Meyer, Tim Long, and Mike Scully)
- "Lisa the Tree Hugger"
- "Trilogy of Error"
- "Simpsons Tall Tales"
- "Jaws Wired Shut"
- "The Dad Who Knew Too Little"
- "All's Fair in Oven War"
- "Pranksta Rap"
- "Girls Just Want to Have Sums"
- "The Haw-Hawed Couple"
- "Husbands and Knives"
- "That '90s Show"
- "Bart Gets a 'Z'"
- "O Brother, Where Bart Thou?"
- "Flaming Moe"
- "The Food Wife"
- "The Day the Earth Stood Cool"
- "Gorgeous Grampa"
- The Simpsons: Road Rage (2001) – writer
- The Simpsons Hit and Run (2003) – cowriter
- The Simpsons Movie (2007) – cowriter
- The Simpsons Game (2007) – cowriter
- Flanimals (2014/15) – writer; in production
- Gross, Dan (2008-02-28). "'Geator' takes a heart break". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 39.
- Hall, Brendan (2008-08-24). "Notebook". The Boston Globe. p. 7Reg.
- Kahn, Joseph P. (2008-06-10). "Names". Boston Globe. p. 7B.
- "About Matt Selman". Techland.com. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- Haralson, Jessica (2008-04-25). "Meeting Marge at the Button: Revisionism Rules!". The Pennsylvania Gazette.
- Haller, Scott; Gunitilaka, Timothy (2003-10-02). "The 105th funniest man". 34th Street Magazine.
- Dudley, Jennifer (2003-05-15). "Hands Down". The Courier Mail. p. What's On 007.
- Kennedy, Gerrick D. (2010-07-24). "Comic-Con 2010: 'The Simpsons' get 'Glee'-ful for upcoming season". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "About the DVD". The Simpsons Movie.com. 20th Century Fox. Retrieved 2007-11-29. On the main page, click on "About the DVD" then on "Production Notes".
- Selman, Matt (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Natural Born Kissers" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Snierson, Dan (2000-01-14). "Springfield of Dreams". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
- Canning, Robert (2008-08-11). "The Simpsons Flashback: "Trilogy of Error" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- Selman, Matt (2007). The Simpsons season 10 DVD commentary for the episode "They Saved Lisa's Brain" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Neuman, Clayton (2008-11-03). "Simpsons Scribe Matt Selman Shares His Mad Men Inspiration". AMC.tv.
- "Primetime Emmy Awards Advanced Search". Emmys.org. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
- "Arts Beat". Dallas Morning News. 1999-11-08. p. 23A.
- Associated Press (2004-02-23). "`Translation,' 'Splendor' Honored". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D-8.
- "Simpsons fans get e-mails from Homer". BBC News. 2003-01-30. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- Leyden, John (2008-07-14). "Homer Simpson's email address hacked". The Register. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "The Simpsons: Road Rage Tech Info". GameSpot. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- "The Simpsons Game Executive Producer Q&A". GameSpot. September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- Totilo, Stephen (May 10, 2007). "'Simpsons' Video Game Lets You Bounce Homer-Ball, Fly With Super-Bart". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
- Botwin, Michele (2000-06-16). "These Days, Web Sites Are Becoming Fairly Animated". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Cover, Allen (2008). Eight Crazy Nights DVD commentary (DVD). Columbia Pictures.
- Ramirez, Elva (2010-05-13). "‘Top Chef Masters,’ Season 2, Episode 6: TV Recap". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Walker, Tim (2009-04-30). "A good day at the office for Gervais". The Daily Telegraph. p. 007.
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