After graduating from Archbishop Rummel High School in 1976, attending a few Louisiana colleges and then working for WWL-TV Channel 4 in production and later as the entertainment reporter for “PM Magazine,” Rick Polizzi decided to venture off to California, where he struck gold. The native New Orleanian graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and eventually landed a position as animation producer for Fox Television’s wildly successful and innovative animated television show, “The Simpsons;” he’s been with the show for eight years. Polizzi is also responsible for producing commercials the characters appear in, such as spots for MasterCard, Butterfinger and Ritz Crackers. And Polizzi is part of the elite team of writers and producers for “The Simpsons,” who won an Emmy Award for best animated series last year. With work under way on a Simpsons feature film, the future looks busy for Polizzi.
Over the years, Polizzi also has had three coffee- table books published “Spin Again,” “Baby Boomer Games” and “Classic Plastic,” which showcase the pop culture of collectable board games and plastic model kits. He also has written screenplays.
Polizzi is always glad to come back home for a big taste of the Big Easy and was elated that he and his family were able to make it in this year for Carnival.
Carnival is my favorite time to visit New Orleans. I love going to downtown parades and seeing the whole spectacle; I love to go to the French Quarter, too. This is definitely the most charming city in the world. Even when I’m in California, I’ve got to take off work around Mardi Gras time. Once or twice I tried to work on Mardi Gras, and it was so depressing. My family and I even go to Disneyland just to try and do something fun if I can’t make it to New Orleans.
I miss the food in New Orleans. I like to go get beignets and eat seafood because I can’t get it as easily in Los Angeles. I like how you can go to these little corner neighborhood places and just order a pile of crawfish and get a giant beer, even though I don’t drink, but I like seeing people get those big mugs of beer. Or just grabbing the crawfish and going home to eat them is great. I like oysters, crawfish bisque, gumbo and Manual’s Hot Tamales, too.