Saturday, April 24, 2010


If you were in the Richmond/John Chapters the other day and noticed a large bald man hunched over a book and giggling like a schoolgirl, that was probably me. It was due to this passage....

I remember distinctly one time being a young comedy writer, and Swartzwelder just happened to be sitting there, smoking a cigarette on the lawn. And I though, Man, I’m just gonna ask John Swartzwelder a random question and see what he says in return. And I said “John, what would you do if you had all the money that you could spend?” And without a moment’s hesitation he said “I would buy a battleship and the Empire State Building. With the Empire State Building, I would just let it run down and get decrepit. Because people would say, ‘You can’t do that! That’s the Empire State Building!" I would say ‘No, I can! I own the Empire State Building!’

"The battleship," he said, "I just think it would change people’s conversations with me if they knew that I had a battleship."

--- Brent Forrester, from John Orvted’s "Unauthorized Oral History of the Simpsons"

John Swartzwelder, by the way, wrote these Simpsons episodes. If you remember my list of the 92 best Simpsons episodes from last year, Swartzwelder wrote a whopping 23 of them, plus contributions to the Treehouse of Horror. He also reportedly bought his favourite booth at his local coffee shop so he could continue writing in said booth at home after the diner passed a no-smoking law.

In summation, John Swartzwelder is pretty awesome.

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