As we remember the life and career of Sam Simon, who died Sunday of cancer at 59, here are some lesser-known facts about the The Simpsons co-creator, philanthropist and dog lover as told by his longtime collaborator and friend, The Simpsons executive-producer/showrunner Al Jean. Jean started on The Simpsons as co-producer in Episode 1, learning the ropes under co-showrunner Simon for two seasons until he was named a co-showrunner on the venerable animated series in Season 3. Here is what Jean wrote for Deadline:
10 Things You May Not Know About Sam Simon
1. He managed a champion prize fighter, Lamon Brewster.
2. He was once attacked by one of the dogs he rescued and was even more generous after.
3. He was once hit on the head with a shot put. There is no record of his generosity towards shot puts.
4. In sitcom scripts, he hated callbacks.
5. Nothing on The Simpsons made him laugh harder than Mr. Burns (and it was Sam who suggested Smithers love Burns).
6. He got along great with his ex-wives.
7. In sitcom scripts, he really hated callbacks.
8. He worked in animation before The Simpsons, for Bill Cosby, whose show The Simpsons was pitted against.
9. A reality television show was filmed around the really cool games at his house.
10. The last year of his life was his happiest.
A true genius and philanthropist in every sense of both words, he will be missed by all creatures great and small.