March 23, 2022

Bill Oakley on The Simpsons, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Freedom of Fast Food Reviews

Bill Oakley is a Portland-based writer and producer known for his work on The Simpsons (where, with partner Josh Weinstein, he was executive producer and showrunner for the 7th and 8th seasons), Futurama, Regular Show, and Mission Hill. He most recently served as a writer and producer on Portlandia, Disenchantment, Chicago Party Aunt, and Close Enough on HBO Max. Bill is also popular on Instagram and Twitter (@thatbilloakley), where he reviews fast food from the comfort of his car, and has been dubbed “The Gordon Ramsay of Fast Food” by The Wrap Entertainment News. He appears regularly on the History Channel’s “The Food That Built America” and will appear on Netflix’s travel cuisine documentary Somebody Feed Phil this season as well.

What you will learn:

  • How Bill broke into the world of writing for animated television.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of writing partners.
  • What it was like writing for and being a showrunner on The Simpsons in the 1990s.
  • Strategies Bill implements as a writer to avoid distractions and enhance productivity.
  • Why writer’s rooms are overrated.
  • How writers on animated shows were paid differently in the 80s and 90s vs. today.
  • How residuals work for television writers
  • How Bill found creative freedom as a food critic.
  • How Bill hopes to parlay his food blogging success on social media into career opportunities.


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