Ian Maxtone-Graham

Ian Maxtone-Graham
Born Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham
(1959-07-03) July 3, 1959 (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Television writer/producer
Nationality American
Period 1983–present

Ian Howes Maxtone-Graham (born July 3, 1959) is an American television writer and producer. He has formerly written for Saturday Night Live (1992–1995) and The Simpsons (1995–2012), as well as serving as a co-executive producer and consulting producer for the latter.

Early years

Maxtone-Graham was born in New York City, the son of maritime historian John Maxtone-Graham. He is the great-nephew of Jan Struther, the writer of Mrs. Miniver. He attended Trinity School and Brown University. An enthusiastic swimmer, his first job after college was as a diver with an underwater research team. After struggling to establish a career in journalism, he penned material for the television show Not Necessarily the News and the magazines National Lampoon and Army Man. His work in Army Man, an offbeat magazine published by future Simpsons colleague George Meyer, brought him to the attention of Jack Handey, who suggested he work for Saturday Night Live.[1]

Saturday Night Live

While working for Saturday Night Live, Maxtone-Graham co-wrote "The Chanukah Song" with Adam Sandler[2] and, according to the DVD commentary for the SNL clip show "The Best of Alec Baldwin," also wrote the infamous "Canteen Boy" sketch in which Canteen Boy is sexually molested by his scoutmaster, Mr. Armstrong (played by episode host Alec Baldwin). According to the memoir of Jay Mohr, Ian Maxtone-Graham threatened to quit and sue the show during the 1993-94 season after an altercation with Norm Macdonald: the lawsuit never came to fruition.[citation needed]

During all-night Saturday Night Live writing sessions, Sarah Silverman often stole underwear and socks from a cache of fresh clothes Maxtone-Graham kept in his office, and wore them in lieu of her own clothes.[3]

The Simpsons

Maxtone-Graham has become somewhat infamous among The Simpsons fans for a 1998 interview with The Independent, in which he admitted that he had "barely" seen The Simpsons before being hired, and ridiculed "the beetle-browed people on the internet" for their criticism of the show.[4][5] Although he upset many fans with his comments, Maxtone-Graham has won six Emmys for his work on The Simpsons,[6] and received an Annie Award for writing "The Seemingly Neverending Story".[7]

One of the episodes written by Maxtone-Graham is "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", in which Homer grows a tomato-tobacco hybrid called "tomacco". The episode was widely acclaimed from viewers and critics alike.[8] Notably, it inspired an Oregon man to make his own version of tomacco by grafting a tomato stem with a tobacco root. He eventually gave some to Maxtone-Graham, who ate it.[9]

At 6'8" (2.03m), Maxtone-Graham inspired a character on The Simpsons: "Very Tall Man", who first appeared in "22 Short Films About Springfield".[4]

Writing credits

Maxtone-Graham has been credited as writing the following episodes of The Simpsons:


  1. ^ Catherine Seip. "A Decade of D'oh!". Mediaweek, December 20, 1999.
  2. ^ Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein. "An animated conversation". The Boston Globe. July 22, 2009. Retrieved on January 28, 2010.
  3. ^ Silverman, Sarah. The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee. HarperCollins, 2010. p. 103-104
  4. ^ a b O'Sullivan, Charlotte (1998-06-22). "Behind Every Homer Is a Very Tall Man". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  5. ^ Turner, Chris (2004). Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation. Foreword by Douglas Coupland. (1st ed.). Cambridge: Da Capo Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-306-81341-2. OCLC 670978714.
  6. ^ Primetime Emmy Award Database. Emmys.com. Retrieved on January 28, 2010.
  7. ^ 34th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine. The Annie Awards. Retrieved on January 28, 2010.
  8. ^ "The Simpsons Episode 5 Series 11 Cast List And Preview". Radio Times. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  9. ^ Horatia Harrod. "Simpsons stories: the tomacco man". Telegraph. January 5, 2010. Retrieved on January 28, 2010.

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