John Swartzwelder is an American writer known in the world of television almost exclusively for his work on "The Simpsons," of which he has penned over 50 episodes. He grew up in Renton, Washington, and made a start in advertising before quitting to work for "Saturday Night Live" in 1985. While there he met fellow writer George Meyer. When Meyer left "SNL" to start "Army Man," his own humor magazine, Swartzwelder went with him. Although only three issues of the magazine were ever published and never widely distributed, "Army Man" nevertheless had many hardcore fans in the comedy community, including producer Sam Simon, who recruited Meyer and Swartzwelder, along with fellow "Army Man" contributors Jon Vitti, Ian Maxtone-Graham, and David Sacks, to join the writing staff of Fox's start-up animated sitcom "The Simpsons." Simon made the right choice -- the show's writing, often praised for its incisive satire, was a massive hit. Swartzwelder stands out from the rest of the show's writing staff as an eccentric recluse and an adamant smoker. When smoking was banned in the writing room in 1994, he requested permission to write episodes from home. Furthermore, when the California smoking-ban put Swartzwelder's other favorite writing place, a local diner, off limits he bought his favorite booth from the owner and had it installed in his house. He has also refused to do any DVD commentary for the show. Swartzwelder is the author of several novels, including "The Time Machine Did It" and "The Exploding Detective."