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Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen is an Emmy award-winning writer and producer, best known for his creation of The Simpsons, the longest-running American scripted primetime television series ever. Joel is a hilarious, deadpan, quick-on-his-feet speaker, who has delivered keynote speeches at more than a hundred events worldwide including those at Google, AOL, Envirotec and many more. A wonderful corporate speaker, too, Joel draws links between running a business and keeping a hit show fresh.


About Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen, just like his writing, is wonderfully humorous. He provides vibrant stories in his keynote speeches that offer key lessons to the show’s sustained creative process, group dynamics and culture of innovation. The Simpsons is undoubtedly one of the biggest, most successful television shows in existence. Having broadcast over 600 episodes, it has won dozens of awards, including 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, 30 Annie awards and a Peabody award.


Joel Cohen graduated from the University of Alberta (B.Sc.) and York University (M.B.A). Unknown to many, he was actually very successful in the corporate world before his big move into comedy writing. Cohen’s experiences as both a ‘creative’ and a ‘suit’ has not only left him with an eclectic resume but also the rare ability to be able to discuss innovation and its place in business.

In addition to writing for The Simpsons, Joel’s comedy credits include writing for the likes of ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’ and ‘Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.’ He is also the author of a book entitled ‘How to Lose a Marathon: A Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters. This depicts Joel’s step-by-step journey from being a couch potato to being whatever type of potato can finish a marathon.

A quick resume of Joel Cohen’s career:

  • Co-Producer and Writer, ‘The Simpsons’
  • Writer, ‘Suddenly Susan’
  • Contributing writer on over 30 feature films
  • Co-created Starbucks first ever entertainment series
  • Former Advertising Executive, Turner Broadcasting
  • Managed a sales division with over $40 million dollars in revenue
  • Author,’ How to Lose a Marathon: A Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters’
  • Awards: 2 Emmy awards (nominated 4 times)
  • Awards: 3 Writer’s Guild Award
  • Awards: Jewish Image Award (an honor he had never heard about before, yet accepted the trophy all the same)
  • Has given over 100 speeches in the US and around the world
  • B.Sc., University of Alberta
  • MBA, York University
Speech Topics

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).

Booking Information


"In the 27 years I have been arranging speakers for this organization, I have not enjoyed a presentation as much as I personally enjoyed Joel's. He was absolutely fantastic, funny, and engaging, and we've gotten great feedback from attendees. Thanks for your recommendation."

The Economic Club of Grand Rapids

"Just a brief note to again thank you for a great presentation at IBM'S IMPACT Conference in Orlando. All of the feedback's been extremely positive. It was great to work with you and I hope to do it again soon. Thanks again for a job well done."

IBM & Drury Design Dynamics

"Joel was great and better still he is a lovely guy. His presentation was to an audience of about 800 people and he was well received. So much so that I believe he was considered the best speaker of the two day event...which meant DDB was also shown in a good light."

DDB Group Asia Pacific

"Everyone had a great time and very much enjoyed your time with us. Thank you for making an otherwise boring sales meeting very much brighter."


"I just wanted to tell you that yours was the funniest presentation I've ever seen in my life. Judy and I were the most cynical bastards in that room and we were pissing ourselves. My favourite was the Ikea bit. I loved it because I was thinking at first that it wasn't as funny as the other stuff but then you kept going and going and going. Effing genius."

Institute of Communication Agencies

"Just a short note to thank you so much for your presentation last week and all the running around you did for press opportunities. Much appreciated! Your keynote was fun and relevant to our members.. in addition, with times like this, it was fabulous to inject some humour into the room and leave people laughing. All of our guests thoroughly enjoyed it!"


Joel Cohen Videos

Joel Cohen News

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