About Me

Rick Polizzi
Television Producer/Author

Born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana, I began working at the city’s largest television station, WWL-TV in the late 70’s. Working in the production department, we created commercials and PSA’s, then I moved up to on-air reporter for PM magazine. I relocated to Los Angeles in 1981 and soon after, graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Starting in 1986, I worked as post production supervisor for Churchill Entertainment, which specialized in children’s and educational programming.

I also worked as a dimensional animator and contributed to the set designs for the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S. Mouse (ABC weekend specials) and Stanley and the Dinosaurs (Disney Channel).

Starting in 1986, I worked as post production supervisor for Churchill Entertainment, which specialized in children’s and educational programming.

I also worked as a dimensional animator and contributed to the set designs for the Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ralph S. Mouse (ABC weekend specials) and Stanley and the Dinosaurs (Disney Channel).

In 1996, I began working for FOX Television’s the Simpsons. Soon after, I became Animation Producer and have won three Primetime Emmy Awards.

In 1996, I began working for fox television’s the Simpsons. Soon after, I became animation producer and have won three Primetime Emmy Awards.

I’ve always kept in close contact with my hometown of New Orleans and I am so proud to say they’ve treated me like a king… literally! in 2005, I was crowned king during Mardi Gras. The parade threw metal coins, called doubloons, with my face engraved on them.



Stars share their thoughts about New Orleans


                                         Rick Polizzi


by christine fontana

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.

I tied the knot in New Orleans Even though I was living in California, my wife and I got married at St. Louis Cathedral in 1988. I have a gigantic family here, so it made total sense to come back here and have the wedding. We paraded from the cathedral to the Royal Sonesta Hotel. We had to get a parade permit, too. My dad made some special handkerchiefs for us, and my mom and some of her friends made umbrellas with flowers on them. It was a great wedding and we had an awesome time.

Remember The Normals? I always liked them. They were a New Orleans punk band in the late 1970s that a bunch of my friends were in. I played drums in a band at that time, too, called The Skinnies. The Normals and the Skinnies made some 45-inch records. Every once in a while, a friend will call me and tell me that they saw a copy of a single on eBay and that they’re going for $150! I’ve got a few laying around that I might put on eBay. I had friends in The Cold and I played drums for them for a day or two in the very beginning, but I was working at WWL so I didn’t stick with it. I liked The Cold a lot, too.

The people make New Orleans a really unique place. Their attitude is just so laid back. It’s probably the humidity or something. I’m not sure that I’ve seen Hollywood accurately portray New Orleans and its people; they’re too busy saying “N’awlins” and they never really get it right. They either polish or dirty everything up. They want an extreme for everything.

New Orleans has this weird, magical touch that you just can’t put your finger on Just by walking in the French Quarter, you feel the history. Even though it’s not as old as other parts of the country, like on the East Coast, to me it’s just so different and so much more romantic and stylish. You just get immersed in it..

  Alumni Spotlight

  Richard Polizzi

Richard Polizzi, ’76

He boasted that he has another New Orleans connection, as he is the “Al Copeland of Los Angeles,” but instead of a Christmas celebration, he champions an equally massive Halloween display on his property.

“I go all out for Halloween for the two weeks leading up to the holiday. Traditionally, I have about 15,000 people hanging out on the lawn of my house each year. In fact, all the major networks, plus CNN and HGTV have featured my home on their channels,” he explained.

Polizzi said he, his wife Carla, and two daughters Hannah and Bryce, watch the revelry from their four-story tree house in front of their Sherman Oaks home.

Animation Producer, “The Simpsons”

While many graduates of Archbishop Rummel High School have received accolades for achievement in their particular professions, not too many, if any, can match the recognition that Rick Polizzi, ’76, has garnered.

Twice so far in his career, Polizzi has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with Emmys for his work as animation producer for the highly-popular animated series on the FOX network, “The Simpsons.”

“Those Emmy awards for Outstanding Animated Programming represent some of the highlights of my life,” said Polizzi, who has been nominated for an Emmy five times, and won in 2003 and 2006. Having worked with “The Simpsons” for 12 years, Polizzi proudly admits that he has written some of the couch gags that change each week in the opening credits of the show.

He explained, “When we work on a single episode of the cartoon, the crew will spend between 10 and 12 months on that one show. From the script, to hand drawn sketches, to a layout utilizing between 100 and 150 artists: producing one episode takes more time than having a baby.”

He said that when the episode is nearing completion, the animation goes to Seoul, South Korea, for the final product.

“It’s great work and really fun,” he said, “because the program is so current. Plus everyone can identify with Bart, Homer, and Marge Simpson.”

Polizzi continued, “Knock on wood, there’s no end in sight for the series. The first movie made over a half billion dollars at the box office, so we’re now looking at a second movie.”

He added that they are in near completion on the first Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios in California and Florida.

The 1976 alum said he paid his dues in the industry before he obtained the Simpsons gig in 1996.

Polizzi continued, “I had worked on several projects, had done voices and animation for several movies and after-school specials, and also wrote a few coffee table books about my collectibles: old toys and games.

“This was my way of making my hobby pay off. Three of my books were published and have done well.”

Although Polizzi has found much success and fame in Los Angeles, he admitted, “I miss New Orleans terribly. I miss the food, I miss crawfish, and I miss Mardi Gras.”

But he did return home in 2005 to reign as the King of the Krewe of Mid City.

“Being a long time doubloon collector, I was thrilled to have my name and picture on the parade’s official doubloon when I was King,” he said.

“My Halloween display is fun and not scary, but for two weeks I have police and fire officials directing traffic in front of my home,” he said.

He said that he credits his exhibit to fond memories as a kid of holiday displays. His family would drive to the Lakefront and the Copeland Christmas display, because Polizzi grew up down the street from Copeland on Folse Drive, where his parents, Richard and Madeline, still live.

“My Mom and Dad owned Patio Drugstore on Veterans Highway and my Dad would go all out at Christmas decorating the store, the house and even making short movies about the holidays. That’s what really got me interested in filmmaking,” Polizzi revealed.

Although he is firmly entrenched in the entertainment business today, he was not a quick study.

“When I was at Rummel, I was too chicken to join the Genesian Players and work with Mr. (Chuck) Guajardo’s productions. I regret that now but I did have a few creative outlets; I worked with Mr. (Bill) Arthurs and developed my photography skills and helped other classmates with their Super 8 film projects for school,” he said.

Following his 1976 graduation from Archbishop Rummel, Polizzi attended USL (now UL Lafayette) for one year and then three years at Loyola.

“Ironically, while at Loyola, I was cast in a play that Mr. Guajardo directed for the university,” he remembered. “He was great and everyone had a terrific time.”

After Loyola, Rick worked at WWL-TV and was a reporter on PM Magazine. He then made the move west and transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. He graduated in 1981, but he knew back then that he was where he belonged in the entertainment capital.

This two-time Emmy Award winner, Simpsons producer, coffee table book. author, Mardi Gras king, and Halloween impresario may be the envy of many persons, but for Rick Polizzi, ’76 Archbishop Rummel alum, he might respond with a quote from Bart Simpson and say, “Don’t have a cow, man.”