WTF Podcast

Episode 389 - Sam Simon

Marc travels to the home of Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpsons, producer/show-runner on Taxi, and facilitator of countless television projects. They talk about Sam’s cancer diagnosis and what has changed in his life since finding out. Marc and Sam also discuss weed, vegetarianism, whales, poker, Groucho, Elvis, money and the meaning of it all. This episode is sponsored by LegalZoom, Warby Parker and Adam & Eve.


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David Rosen May 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Wow. Not even done listening yet but his anecdote about putting his dogs down when they couldn’t do the 3 things they loved anymore and since laying in bed and watching TV is one of the 3 things he loves so he’s never going to need to be be euthanized… I laughed so hard I cried. One of the best things I’ve ever heard.

Justin May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I agree - he’d be some kind of annoying weirdo or kook (can’t recall the phrasing) if he wasn’t rich. Which isn’t an insult or anything else. Because his ability to be fantastically creative and win big shows IS part of what he did right and good. I love that this directly confronted a terminal illness AND was real guys laughing and open about it all.

Gretchen May 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Fantastic show! I knew about the Sea Shepherd cause and I was totally for it but really I had no idea what trouble they had with the US government. I learned a lot and was inspired by this episode. Thanks so much Marc and Sam.

Pete May 19, 2013 at 7:13 am

Great interview and I really liked what Sam had to say up until the Sea Shepherd bit. They support a good ideal, but using horrible methods (not to mention primarily targeted at a nation who has international law on their side at present).

Sam made it sound as if they do nothing wrong and evil whaling corporations are out to get them arrested. Paul Watson (head of Sea Shepherd) is currently wanted in at least Costa Rica and Japan for serious offenses. His ships have hurled smoke bombs, stink bombs, etc, and caused accidents by rushing up along whalers as they try to dock to their fueling tankers. They purposely rush in and sandwich themselves between the whaler and the tanker and then claim they were rammed. They are endangering their own lives and the lives of whalers.

Japan is whaling under a loophole of the International Whaling Commision, but still technically abiding by the international laws, and limiting the numbers and species which they hunt (as opposed to Norway who just gave a big FU to the IWC). I encourage anyone and everyone to appeal to the IWC and UN to pressure Japan to put an end to whaling, but Sea Shepherd is just profiting by their own stupid publicity stunts which are putting HUMAN lives in danger.

Kevin Jones May 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Great episode Marc! My only comment is that even though I know you don’t do much research, I really wish you would’ve touched on more stuff mentioned in his Wikipedia page:

I would’ve love to hear Sam’s responses to questions about 1. His relationship with George Carlin, and 2. Working with Nora Ephron and Drew Carey. That’s just me but I think you should follow up like you did with Mencia!

Anyway, I’ve been listening to WTF since the beginning and it’s still great!

Nobunaga73 May 20, 2013 at 2:25 am

Pete, you took the words out of my mouth.  I loved most of this interview, but Sam Simon’s criticism of the US Ambassador to Japan is completely naive.  Japan is acting completely within international law and there’s absolutely nothing the US could legally do.  Besides, none of the species Japan harvests are ‘endangered’.  The Sea Shepherd group are the ones breaking the law and endangering lives.

Ryan May 22, 2013 at 1:15 am

Great interview!

I am a massive fan of the Simpsons and I have enjoyed Sam’s appearances on other podcasts so as the episode began and I learned that Sam had terminal cancer I was very sad. But as the episode went on and Sam talked about when to put dogs down I had to rewind the podcast because I couldn’t stop laughing. I gained even more respect for Sam as he faces that terrible disease with humor and comfort in the huge amount of good he has done with his life, even beyond making people all over the world laugh every day. Best wishes.

Ann Chagnot May 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

what an inspiring great man, courage is his middle name i should think, and Marc did a great job with what could have been a difficult interview

Dave May 23, 2013 at 1:56 am

Sam is a really smart dude, and I love hearing a man who knows he may not be much longer try to impart wisdom throughout the interview. He has a new-found wisdom, it seems (not that he didn’t have wisdom before). Great interview… WTF is the perfect format for a legendary person who is facing terminal illness—for him, perhaps, but certainly for us listeners.

Heather May 23, 2013 at 5:57 am

About “international law” being on Japan’s side. I think it’s safe to say that the law is not always on the side of justice. So for me, that’s not a valid argument. Mostly, I was very inspired by Simon’s outlook and good works.

Tom Minton May 24, 2013 at 12:08 am

I’ve said it since 1978 and I’ll say it again here: Sam Simon is the best writer in the business.

Nobunaga73 May 24, 2013 at 12:25 am

Heather, do you eat meat?  Wear leather?

Just trying to gauge your sense of justice.

Rob May 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Great episode. My nephew is currently undergoing Chemo for testicular cancer, and I sent him a link to this episode.

sheila hardcastle July 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm

someone please get this message to sam simon.There is a cancer clinic in fTexas the Bryzinski clinic.He has saved many lives with special kinds of cancer.I have followed his progress for many years.It is worth a try and it is non toxic..Please get this info to him asap.  thank you

debra heverly, m.d. July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I contacted Sam through the sam simone foundation - I don’t know if he got it so I’ll try again.
I am an M.D. and I know that traditional medicine offers little to patients with stage 4 colon cancer.  However, a naturpathic doctor friend of mine Brenda Montrella, N.D.  cured her husband when he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer - he’s alive and cancer free 16 years later.
I learned of Sam because we are part of many of the same animal help groups.  So this is a potential gift of life to him from all the 4 leggeds!
Brenda uses Paw Paw as one of the regimens - it can be used in conjunction with what he is doing.  I am a board certified m.d. but I would not hesitate to put myself in Brenda’s care if I or any of my loved ones had stage 4 colon cancer
Brenda can be reached at   or 814-934-7698

Jackpn August 29, 2013 at 2:38 am

In Vote for the next Book, I presented a variety of achievable subjects I thought would make sense for this next book. By “make sense” I mean several issues A subject I care about and want to create about, a topic that will have broader interest to readers and could justify a tiny price tag, and a item which will be updated on a regular basis going forward in order that I can continue updating the book as necessary.