A great and wise man once said, “I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman.” Homer J. Simpson and countless other animated characters have been entertaining audiences for decades. For the most part, animated shows have been geared towards children. Throughout the 80’s, countless children woke up early on Saturday mornings, to catch their favorite cartoons. Although, during the 80’s and 90’s, animated sitcoms became edgier and more geared towards an adult audience. In fact, some of the animated sitcoms have had a major impact on television in general. Below is a list of a few of these impacting shows, and the people who brought them to life. The creators behind these shows have become richer than their animated characters could have ever dreamed of. Here is a look at 10 of the Richest animated sitcom creators.
10) Aaron McGruder – The Boondocks – Net Worth: $10 Million
Aaron McGruder is best known as the creator and writer of the comic strip and animated television series, The Boondocks. The series aired from November 6th, 2005 to June 23, 2014 on Adult Swim. The series is about two brothers who move in with their uncle. The series explores American politics and the African-American culture. It has gained some controversy due to its comments on American politics, and because of a feud with B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television). Regardless, the series has been well received.
9) Scott Adams – Dilbert – Net Worth: $75 Million
As a child, Scott Adams was a big fan of the Peanuts Cartoons and Mad Magazine. This would lead him to drawing his own cartoons. However, he was rejected from art school and decided to turn his attention to a career in Law and management. He worked in several offices and held many prominent positions, in many different companies. During this time, he created the character of Dilbert and based several of the characters on people he worked with. Dilbert aired from January 25, 1999 to July 25, 2000 on UPN. The series satirizes the white collar work environment and is immensely popular. It was originally a comic strip before becoming a series. He won two very prestigious awards, Best Newspapers Strip of 1997 and The National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the year.
8) Mike Judge – Beavis and Butthead/ King Of The Hill – Net Worth: $75 Million
Mike Judge had his first breakthrough after the success of a series of short films called, Milton. The series was picked up by Comedy Central and would eventually be the basis for a live action film titled Office Space, also written by Mike Judge. He is perhaps best known for creating the highly successful and controversial MTV series, Beavis and Butthead. The series had its original run from March 8, 1993 to November 28, 1997. He also created the very popular animated sitcom King of the Hill, which ran on Fox from January 12, 1997 to May 6, 2010, making it the third longest running animated series behind South Park and The Simpsons.
7) Stephen Hillenburg – SpongeBob SquarePants – Net Worth: $90 Million
Stephen Hillenburg was originally a marine biologist, before switching to a career as an animator. As a child, he was extremely interested in both, but didn’t see how he could combine the two. He is best known for creating the series SpongeBob Square Pants, which is currently in its 9th season on Nickelodeon. The Pilot first aired May 1, 1999. The series is incredibly popular and critically acclaimed. It has been nominated for several awards, including winning one Prime Time Emmy.
6) Bill Lawrence – Clone High – Net Worth: $100 Million
Bill Lawrence is best known for his live action shows; Scrubs, Spin City and Cougar Town. All very successful shows, but Bill Lawrence also made an attempt at an animated sitcom, Clone High. The series ran for only one season on MTV, from November 2002 to April, 2003. The series was co-created by Bill Lawrence, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The series followed the lives of clones of certain historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Ghandi.
5) Seth Macfarlane – Family Guy/American Dad – Net Worth: $150 Million
Seth Macfarlane started his career working for Hanna-Barbera, on several shows including, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo and I Am Weasel. He pitched his idea of Family Guy to the Fox Network, who picked up the show after his second attempt to get the show on the network. The show, as many of us know, went on to become a massive success. The first episode aired January 31, 1999 and it’s currently still on the air. He also created the animated sitcoms, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. American Dad has been on the air since 2005. At one point, Seth Macfarlane was the highest paid writer in Hollywood and has won two Primetime Emmy awards for his work on Family Guy.
4) Al Jean – The Critic – Net Worth: $200 Million
While at Harvard University, Al Jean started his career as a writer for the Harvard Lampoon Newspaper. It was at that point that he met his long time writing partner and collaborator, Mike Reiss. They went to work on shows such as Alf, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In 1989, they were hired as a part of the original writing staff for the then unknown sitcom, The Simpsons. Al Jean and Mike Reiss took over as show runners with the critically acclaimed third and fourth seasons. Al Jean then co-created the animated sitcom, The Critic, which aired first on ABC and then on FOX. The series did well initially, but failed to maintain an audience. He then worked for Disney before returning as sole show runner for The Simpsons. Al Jean has received 8 Prime Time Emmy awards.
3) William Hanna and Joseph Barbera – The Flintstones – Net Worth: $300 Million
Hanna-Barbera are responsible for some of the most iconic and legendary animated series ever created. According to People.com, today their estimated net worth would be around 300 million. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera met in the late 30’s, while working at MGM. The two soon formed a partnership and became writing partners. In 1940, they created one of most successful cartoons of all time, Tom and Jerry. They moved into television, creating shows like The Ruff and Reddy Show, Yogi Bear and The Huckleberry Hound Show. They soon realized that more adults where watching these cartoons and created The Flintstones. The series had it’s original run from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966. The series is basically the animated version of the hit sitcom, The Honeymooners. The Flintstones is considered the first animated sitcom that was geared towards more of an adult audience. Together, Barbera and Hanna won eight Prime Time Emmy Awards.
2) Trey Parker and Matt Stone – South Park – Net Worth: $300 Million
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are the creators of the groundbreaking, and very controversial animated series, South Park. South Park is known for its dark, crude, sometimes offensive and topical humor. The series is far more adult oriented than any other series. Trey Parker assumes the majority of the responsibility for writing and directing each episode, while Matt Stone now focuses more on the business end of the series. Both voice a majority of the characters, as well. In 1992 and 1995, they made two animated short films that would serve as the basis for South Park. The second video is considered one of the first internet videos to ever go viral and consequently, helped South Park get on Comedy Central. Unlike any other animated sitcom, each episode is actually written in the week before the episode airs. In the span of a week, they come up with the idea, write and animate it. Often, the episode is ready just moments before it airs. The series has won five Primetime Emmy Awards.
1) Matt Groening – The Simpsons/ Futurama – Net Worth: $500 Million
Matt Groening is possibly one of the most successful animated sitcom creators of all time. He is best known for creating the iconic and legendary animated sitcom, The Simpsons. He had his big breakthrough with the comic strip, Life in Hell. The strip became immensely popular and caught the attention of James L. Brooks. Brooks wanted the comic strip to appear as bumpers on the FOX network’s newest variety show, The Tracey Ullman Show. Groening feared he would lose the rights to Life In Hell, so he drew up The Simpsons, at the last minute. The characters were crudely drawn and loosely based on his family. The Simpsons was the highlight on the Tracy Ullman show and would become it’s own series. The first episode aired December 17, 1989, and is now on the verge of starting its 26th season. He also co-created the critically acclaimed, Futurama, which orginally aired from March 28, 1999 to August 10, 2003, and again from March 23, 2008 to September 4, 2013. He has been nominated for an amazing 25 Prime Time Emmy Awards and has won twelve. Ten for The Simpsons and two for Futurama