“Simpsons” Co-Developer to Receive WGAW’s Humanitarian Award

Emmy-Winning/Philanthropist To Receive Valentine Davis Award for Humanitarian Efforts & Community Service

Photo Credit Michael Brian
Photo Credit Michael Brian

Los Angeles, CA – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has named The Simpsons co-developer, Emmy-winning television writer/director/producer, and philanthropist Sam Simon as its 2014 Valentine Davies Award honoree in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and community service on behalf of writers.  Simon will be feted, along with other honorees, at the WGAW’s 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony to be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

“The work of Sam Simon’s life has entertained and humbled us, in equal measure. And while this Guild has often honored his wit and skill, today we honor his generosity and love – his understanding that we are, in the end, all caretakers of each other.  Sam has dedicated himself to the cause of at-risk animals and people who have no other protector.  A friend to them, he has become an inspiration to us, his grateful colleagues,” said WGAW President Chris Keyser.

Well-known within the entertainment industry for his major philanthropic efforts to aid animals and humans alike, Simon is the founder of The Sam Simon Foundation, whose mission is to “save the lives of dogs to enrich the lives of people.”  The Foundation’s Assistance Dog Program adopts at-risk dogs facing death in shelters and trains them as certified assistance dogs, which are placed, free of charge, as companions to aid the deaf and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.  Simon’s Foundation also operates a highly successful Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, L.A.’s largest provider of free spay and neuter services, which once a week also provides low-income L.A. residents with free surgery needed for their pets.

Simon’s live-action TV writing-producing credits include The Drew Carey Show (executive producer, 1998-2003), The George Carlin Show (creator/executive producer, 1994-95), The Tracey Ullman Show (executive producer, 1988-1990), Cheers (1984-85), and Taxi (1982-83). Simon’s additional TV writing or co-writing credits include co-creating Phenom (Created by Dick Blasucci & Marc Flanagan & Sam Simon) and penning episodes for Barney Miller, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and Shaping Up, which he co-created with Ken Estrin. Simon’s screenwriting credits include the 1991 feature film comedy The Super.

Behind the camera, Simon has also directed episodes of such hit TV sitcoms as Anger Management, Friends, The Drew Carey Show, Norm, Men Behaving Badly, and The George Carlin Show. In front of the camera, Simon, a champion poker player, hosted his own poker reality series, Sam’s Game, which aired on Playboy TV, in addition to winning many tournaments and seven cash prizes at the World Series of Poker.

Born on June 6, 1955, Siomn landed his first job as a sports newspaper cartoonist at The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner.  After graduating from Stanford, Simon became a storyboard artist – and later an animation writer – at Filmation Studios, his first entry into the world of TV animation, working on such animated TV shows as The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle and Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids.

For more information about the 2014 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, please visit www.wga.org<http://www.wga.org> or www.wgaeast.org<http://www.wgaeast.org/>.