Bill Oakley : biography
Bill Oakley (born February 27, 1966) is an American television writer and producer, known for his work on the animated comedy series The Simpsons. Oakley and Josh Weinstein became best friends and writing partners at high school; Oakley then attended Harvard University and was Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon. He worked on several short-term media projects, including writing for the variety show Sunday Best, but was then unemployed for a long period.
Oakley and Weinstein eventually penned a spec script for Seinfeld, after which they wrote "Marge Gets a Job", an episode of The Simpsons. Subsequently, the two were hired to write for the show on a permanent basis in 1992. After they wrote episodes such as "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)", "Bart vs. Australia" and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?", the two were appointed executive producers and showrunners for the seventh and eighth seasons of the show. They attempted to include several emotional episodes focusing on the Simpson family, as well as several high-concept episodes such as "Homer’s Enemy", "Two Bad Neighbors" and "The Principal and the Pauper", winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for their work.
After they left The Simpsons, Oakley and Weinstein created Mission Hill. The show was plagued by promotional issues and was swiftly canceled. They worked as consulting producers on Futurama, then created The Mullets in 2003. The two wrote several unsuccessful TV pilots, and were due to serve as showrunners on Sit Down, Shut Up in 2009. Oakley left the project over a contract dispute. He has since written for The Cleveland Show and Portlandia, without Weinstein. He currently serves as co-executive producer and writer on Portlandia, sharing a Writers Guild of America Award with his fellow writers in 2013. Oakley is married to fellow writer Rachel Pulido.
Oakley was born William Lloyd Oakley and raised on a farm in Maryland. He was a fan of Mad magazine from an early age, which helped shape his comic sensibility. He attended St. Albans High School in Washington D.C., where he met and became best friends with Josh Weinstein in the eighth grade. The two created the school humor magazine The Alban Antic in 1983. Such would be the length of their partnership; the two often finish each other’s sentences. Oakley later attended Harvard University, where he wrote for and served as Vice President of the Harvard Lampoon, working on the famous 1986 USA Today parody issue. He graduated in 1988 after studying American history.
- Episodes listed are those Oakley has been credited as writing or co-writing
- Sunday Best (1991) – writer
- The Simpsons (1992–1998) – writer, producer, story editor, supervising producer, consulting producer, executive producer, showrunner (all episodes with Josh Weinstein)
- "Marge Gets a Job"
- "Marge in Chains"
- "Treehouse of Horror IV" ("Terror at 5½ Feet" segment)
- "$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)"
- "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"
- "Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song"
- "Lady Bouvier’s Lover"
- "Sideshow Bob Roberts"
- "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"
- "Bart vs. Australia"
- "Who Shot Mr. Burns" (parts 1 & 2)
- "22 Short Films About Springfield" (Skinner and Chalmers scene)
- Mission Hill (1999–2002) – creator, writer, executive producer, voice of George Bang
- Futurama (2001–2002) – consulting producer
- Ruling Class (2001) – writer
- The Funkhousers (2002) – writer
- The Mullets (2003) – creator, executive producer
- 22 Birthdays (2005) – writer
- Business Class (2007) – creator, writer
- The Cleveland Show (2010–present) – writer
- "Gone with the Wind"
- "American Prankster"
- "All You Can Eat" (story with Assem Batra)
- Regular Show (2010) – writer
- "Just Set Up the Chairs"
- "Caffeinated Concert Tickets"
- Portlandia – writer, consulting producer
- With Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel, Oakley has co-written every episode since "Brunch Village"