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Joel  Cohen

Joel Cohen

Emmy-Winning Writer & Co-Executive Producer, The Simpsons

Biography

What does it take to stay creative and innovative for 30 straight years? What lessons can be drawn from the process and group dynamics of a hit TV show? How do you fix a leaky water heater? Joel Cohen can answer two of those questions. As the Emmy award-winning writer and producer for The Simpsons, the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in history, Joel has been a key part of the show’s success. Read More >

Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast more than 600 episodes, and was named by Time as “The greatest TV show of the 20th century.” It has won dozens of awards, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award.

A graduate of the University of Alberta (B.Sc.) and York University (M.B.A.), Joel Cohen found success in the corporate world before making a completely illogical career move into comedy writing. Cohen’s experience as both a “creative” and a “suit” has not only left him with a puzzling resume, it also gives him a unique perspective to discuss innovation and its place in business. “The same factors that allow creativity to arise, to live or to die for writers are also present and relevant in corporations and even individuals.”

In addition to writing for several movies, TV and online projects, Joel is also the author of the new book How to Lose a Marathon: A Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters. This hilariously chronicles Joel Cohen’s step-by-step journey from being a couch potato to being whatever type of potato can finish a marathon.

In his fascinating and wonderfully humorous presentations, he provides vibrant stories and key lessons to the show’s sustained creative process, group dynamics and culture of innovation. A hilarious speaker, Cohen draws links between running a business and keeping a hit show fresh. This most certainly will be the best time you will ever have at a speech.

Joel has been invited to keynote more than a hundred events worldwide, including Merrill Lynch, AOL, Oklahoma State University, International Interior Design Assn., Accenture, Canadian Home Builders Assn., Colorado State University, Red Hat, Training Magazine, InnoTown, Illinois State University, Communique, Brightworks, Savannah College of Art and Design, Eli Lilly, Desire2Learn, Colorado State University, CropLife Canada,  DDB Group Asia Pacific, Envirotec, Beckman Coulter, Arido, Google, Canadian Produce Marketing Assn., Institute of Communication Agencies, Chick-fil-A, Mexico Corporate Leaders Summit, Compass Group, Canadian Construction Assn., Aptean, The Economic Club of Grand Rapids, …and many more. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Joel Cohen Interview

Business Lessons from the Simpsons

Speech Topics

The Simpsons: There's No "I" in "Innovation" (oh wait, there's actually two of them) - Lessons in Innovation from the Most Successful Show in TV History

Joel Cohen is an absolutely hilarious, deadpan, quick-on-his-feet speaker...perfect for any group that needs to enhance their innovation culture, but who prefer to laugh a little (okay, a lot) while learning how. Armed with inspired anecdotes and clips, he takes you into the fabled writer's room at The Simpsons to draw the links - and there are many - between maintaining a hit show and running a successful company. He asks, and then brilliantly answers, questions essential to the success of any industry. How do you manage group dynamics to get the best from your talent? How do you find, evaluate, implement, and even discard new ideas? How do you chart a renewable path to innovation? And how do you overcome creative log jams? Note: for actual, literal logjams, Cohen recommends a chainsaw...or even better, hiring a guy with a chainsaw).