J. Michael Mendel
J. Michael Mendel
Mendel, circa 1992
Joel Michael Mendel
September 24, 1964
Radford, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||September 22, 2019 (aged 54)|
Studio City, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Syracuse University (BS)|
|Occupation||Television producer, associate producer, production assistant|
Mendel first worked in television as a production assistant on All My Children and Loving during his summer breaks from studies at Syracuse University. After graduating Syracuse with a Bachelor of Science in television and film production, he worked with James L. Brooks and Gracie Films on Broadcast News, Big, and The Tracey Ullman Show. When Tracey Ullman's The Simpsons shorts were spun off into their own series, Mendel joined its staff as the show's producer, serving from season 1 to season 10. For his work on The Simpsons, Mendel won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program in 1995 ("Lisa's Wedding"), 1997 ("Homer's Phobia"), and 1998 ("Trash of the Titans").
After departing The Simpsons, Mendel produced shows such as The PJs, The Oblongs, Drawn Together, Sit Down, Shut Up, and Napoleon Dynamite. In 2013, he joined Rick and Morty, where he won his fourth Emmy Award for the episode "Pickle Rick" in 2018. He won a posthumous Emmy in 2020 for the episode "The Vat of Acid Episode".
Mendel attended Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, New York. A resident of Studio City, Los Angeles, he was married to Juel Bestrop, a casting director for series like Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Life in Pieces, and had two children.
Mendel died at his home in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019, from natural causes, two days before his 55th birthday. Tributes were made to him by Justin Roiland and Al Jean. "The Winter of Our Monetized Content", the 31st season premiere of The Simpsons, was dedicated to his memory, as was the season 4 premiere of Rick and Morty, "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat" and the pilot episode of Solar Opposites.
|1984–1986||All My Children||Production assistant|
|1987–1989||The Tracey Ullman Show|
|2003||The Pitts||Associate producer|
|2009||Sit Down, Shut Up|
|2011||Good Vibes||Line producer|
|2013–2020||Rick and Morty|
|2020||Solar Opposites||Producer (posthumous release)|
|1987||Broadcast News||Production assistant|
|1995||Jerry Maguire||Associate producer|
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