Alfred Ernest Jean III (born January 9, 1961) is an American writer, animator, and producer. Jean is well known for his work on The Simpsons. He was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Harvard University in 1981. Jean began his writing career in the 1980s with fellow Harvard alum Mike Reiss. Together, they worked as writers and producers on television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, ALF and It's Garry Shandling's Show.
Jean was offered a job as a writer on the animated sitcom The Simpsons in 1989, alongside Reiss, and together they became the first members of the original writing staff of the show. They served as showrunners during the show's third (1991–92) and fourth (1992–93) seasons, though they left The Simpsons after season four to create The Critic, an animated show about film critic Jay Sherman. It was first broadcast on ABC in January 1994 (then aired its second season on Fox in March 1995) and was well received by critics, but did not catch on with viewers and only lasted for two seasons.
In 1994, Jean and Reiss signed a three-year deal with The Walt Disney Company to produce other television shows for ABC, and the duo created and executive-produced Teen Angel, which was canceled in its first season. Jean returned full-time to The Simpsons during the tenth season (1998–99). He became showrunner again with the start of the thirteenth season in 2001, without Reiss, and has held that position since. Jean was also one of the writers and producers who worked on The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film based on the series, released in 2007.