Josh Lieb is an Emmy-winning producer for The Simpsons and The Daily Show and author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President. He has also been a writer for the popular 1990s television series "NewsRadio" and for The Jon Stewart Show.
Question: Where do you look for inspiration?
Josh Lieb: I have favorite … I … I certainly was a fan of Mad magazine growing up, especially the Mad comics – the Harvey Kurtzman ones before it became a magazine. Like you know I had the little re-print digest of those when I was a kid. And I didn’t know what they were, the history or whatever; but they were so funny and weird. And I … I would say of anything, like those were my biggest, say, comedic influences. I’d … I’d reread those stories over and over again and … and sort of scour the background jokes – all the crazy background jokes. I … You know, I think Animal House is a nearly perfect movie. It has an incredibly … it … It’s like 98 percent of its jokes are successful, you know what I mean? It’s a perfectly pleasant movie to watch, and with a lot of funny jokes. My family is really not that funny. My family doesn’t really write. As a matter of fact, my mother always … Her advice to me as a child was, “Never put anything in writing,” which was strange; but … Now there’s no one … There was no, you know, kooky uncle who inspired me.
Recorded on: 9/4/07