Background Geek of the Week: He’s A Writer, Not an Anesthesiologist

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He isn’t James Brook, but James Brooks wouldn’t be James Brooks without him.  He has been with the Simpsons since the beginning; producing nearly 500 episodes.  This Geek has been nominated for Best Picture Oscar for producing As Good As It Gets.  Despite all this, he is best known as a karaoke singing anesthesiologist voiced by Dan Castellaneta.  Who is this geek who has done so much in the shadows?Our geek this Richard Sakai.  He is a James Brooks’ right hand man, producing TV and films with him for 40 years.

He began his career as a helper for James L. Brooks in 1977. In 1984, Brooks invited Sakai to become a producer in his new film production company Gracie Films. As a film producer, he has produced many of James L. Brooks’ later films, such as Spanglish, As Good as It Gets and Jerry Maguire (for which he received an Academy Award nomination). He also produced Riding in Cars with Boys and Bottle Rocket. He is also a producer forThe Simpsons Movie.

As a TV producer and director, he has worked on many different shows. He directed episodes of Taxi, Newhart and Who’s the Boss? and also produced The Tracey Ullman Show, Taxi, The Critic, Phenom, What About Joan?, and more famously, The Simpsons, for which he has won several Emmy Awards.

On The Simpsons, he has been animated several times, most notably, as a karaoke singer in the episode One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), as one of the escaping prisoners in the commercial about “revolving door prisons” inSideshow Bob Roberts, and as a jazz vibraphone player in Jazzy and the Pussycats.

Sakai has made a huge impact on the geek community with the Simpsons.  For more on Richard Sakai, check out his Wikipedia page.
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