David Mirkin (born September 18, 1955) is an American feature film and television director, writer and producer. Mirkin grew up in Philadelphia and intended to become an electrical engineer, but abandoned this career path in favor of studying film at Loyola Marymount University. After graduating, he became a stand-up comedian, and then moved into television writing. He wrote for the sitcoms Three's Company, It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show and served as showrunner on the series Newhart. After an unsuccessful attempt to remake the British series The Young Ones, Mirkin created Get a Life in 1990. The series starred comedian Chris Elliott and ran for two seasons, despite a lack of support from many Fox network executives, who disliked the show's dark and surreal humor. He moved on to create the sketch show The Edge starring his then-partner, actress Julie Brown. Mirkin left The Edge during its run and became the executive producer and showrunner of The Simpsons for its fifth and sixth seasons. Mirkin has been cited as introducing a more surreal element to the show's humor, as shown by his first writing credit for the show, "Deep Space Homer", which sees Homer Simpson go to space as part of a NASA program to restore interest in space exploration. He won four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for his work on The Simpsons. Mirkin stood down as showrunner after season six, but produced several subsequent episodes, co-wrote The Simpsons Movie (2007) and in 2013 remains on the show as a consultant. Mirkin has also moved into feature film direction: he directed the films Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997) and Heartbreakers (2001).
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