Mike Mendel's tragic passing shook the world of television and animation recently. The producer had worked on beloved series like Rick and Morty, The Critic, and The Simpsons. FOX's long-running sitcom paid tribute to Mendel on Sunday during the broadcast. A somber black screen with a Simpson-ized version of the producer showed up on-screen. A simple message read: "In Loving Memory of Mike Mendel."
The Emmy award-winner passed away at the age of 54 years old after a career making people laugh. He served as an associate producer for the first five seasons of The Simpsons. Mendel continued to produce episodes until Season 10's "Make Room for Lisa." Then, in 1999, he ventured around the animation landscape. This odyssey included stints with The PJs, Drawn Together, and Sit Down Shut Up. Mendel was even an associate producer on Jerry Maguire.
Adult Swim paid tribute to the 25-year industry veteran on the network's official Twitter account. They would go on to release 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 worked closely with Mendel over the course of the show. He also voiced his sorrow on Twitter earlier this week while sharing his tribute to Mendel. Roiland revealed that he was "devastated" and "destroyed" after learning about what happened, "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."
Mendel's work can be seen in other series too, such as The Oblongs, Good Vibes, and many others. His work for The Simpsons began when it was still a short-form series airing as part of The Tracy Ullman Show. The show would spin-off and the rest is history. The Simpsons has already been renewed for a 31st season on FOX, and Disney is making the entire series available on Disney+ when it launches later this year. No one could have dreamed that this show would have grown to this size, or still be going strong. Mendel will always be remembered for his part in crafting a series that many hold such fond memories of till this day.
Our thoughts and condolences continue to be with Mendel's loved ones at this time.