Richard Sakai (born January 28, 1954) is an American producer best known for partnering with James L. Brooks and for his work on The Simpsons.
He began his career as a helper for James L. Brooks in 1977. In 1984, Brooks invited Sakai to become a producer in his new film production company Gracie Films. As a film producer, he has produced many of James L. Brooks’ later films, such as Spanglish, As Good as It Gets and Jerry Maguire (for which he received an Academy Award nomination). He also produced Riding in Cars with Boys and Bottle Rocket. He is also a producer for The Simpsons Movie.
As a TV producer and director, he has worked on many different shows. He directed episodes of Taxi, Newhart and Who's the Boss? and also produced The Tracey Ullman Show, Taxi, The Critic, Phenom, What About Joan?, and more famously, The Simpsons, for which he has won several Emmy Awards.
On The Simpsons, he has been animated several times, most notably, as a karaoke singer in the episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), as one of the escaping prisoners in the commercial about “revolving door prisons” in Sideshow Bob Roberts, and as a jazz vibraphone player in Jazzy and the Pussycats.
Sakai is currently president of Gracie Films.