Television and animation fans were struck with tragic news as Mike Mendel, who had produced for famous series like Rick and Morty, The Simpsons, and The Critic, has passed away at the age of 54. An Emmy award winning producer with over 25 years of work, his influence does not just cover Rick and Morty but many of television's biggest hits. Adult Swim recently paid tribute to the famed producer through their official Twitter account. Adult Swim shared the following statement on Mike Mendel's passing:
"All of us at Adult Swim are devastated by the untimely passing of Rick and Morty producer Mike Mendel. He guided and supported a generation of artists, writers, and creators and his absence will be felt by the entire community. Our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends, and colleagues."
Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland also took to Twitter earlier to share his tribute to Mendel, and revealed that he was "devastated" and "destroyed" after hearing the news, "My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away. I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed."
My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away. I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed.— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) September 23, 2019
J. Michael Mendel's work can be seen in such series as The Oblongs, The PJs, Drawn Together, and Good Vibes among many others. The most notable is without a doubt The Simpsons as Mendel began his work for the series when it was still a series of shorts airing as part of The Tracy Ullman Show before spinning off into the mega-hit it is today.
His last credited work for Rick and Morty is the Season 3 premiere, "The Rickshank Redemption," which many fans hold in high regard as a great introduction to the series as a whole. It's clear by his imprint on the industry that he will be missed by colleagues and fans alike as many of the animated series he was involved in will continue on with new episodes. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Mendel's loved ones at this time.