David Richardson, who worked on some of TV's most successful comedies in recent memory, from The Simpsons to Two and a Half Men, has passed away. He was 65. The writer-producer worked on more than a dozen shows in his long career, ranging from long-running, critically-acclaimed hits to short-lived series like What About Joan? and My Big Fat Greek Life. Richardsoin's writing career began in the '80s and featured work almost exclusively on comedies, including a few episodes on the largely forgotten late night talk show The Pat Sajak Show. A 30-year cancer survivor, Richardson passed away due to heart failure earlier today, January 18.
Early in his career, Richardson spent two years on the hit sitcom Empty Nest, which gave him a chance to transition to the then-new The Simpsons, making his animation debut. He would spend most of his career in live-action but would return to animation with F is For Family in 2015.
"I first met David in 2000 when he was my boss on What About Joan, and I never forgot how great he was as a writer, a showrunner, and a friend," Michael Price, the showrunner of F Is For Family, told Deadline. "When I had the chance to become a showrunner myself on F Is For Family, he was the first person I called to add to the staff. From day one of the show he was my right hand — always pitching great jokes, masterful with story, and just a great, great guy. His fingerprints are on every frame of our show, and his loss is immeasurable to me."
Other series Richardson wrote and produced on included Malcolm in the Middle, 8 Simple Rules, Phenom, Ed, and Grand. Before he passed away, Richardson had completed work on the fifth and final season of F is for Family, due later this year on Netflix.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Richardson's family, friends, and loved ones at this time.