Neil Simon (1927-2018) was a playwright and writer for film and television, known for his Broadway plays (including The Odd Couple and The Sunshine Boys, also writing the film screenplays). His works were generally comedic but sometimes involves darker satire or serious themes.
Simon began his career in fifties radio and television, contributing to Your Show of Shows and The Phil Silvers Show. His first stage play was Come Blow Your Horn and other notable plays include Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Plaza Suite, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Barefoot in the Park, The Prisoner of Second Avenue. He wrote the book for the musicals Sweet Charity (directed by Bob Fosse) and Promises, Promises. Original film screenplays include The Out of Towners (with Jack Lemmon), Murder by Death, and The Goodbye Girl (with Paul Benedict, which Simon later adapted to the stage).
- In a pitch to sell The Muppet Show to broadcasters, Kermit the Frog describes Statler and Waldorf as their answer to The Sunshine Boys (Simon's 1972 play later adapted to film with Walter Matthau and George Burns).
- In episode 314 of The Muppet Show, Fozzie Bear takes over as script writer and gets his tie caught in the typewriter: "I wonder if this ever happened to Neil Simon."
- The Odd Couple (in its various incarnations) has been referenced multiple times by the Muppets, with Dr. Phil Van Neuter and Mulch starring in the play itself in Muppets Tonight episode 208.