Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen delivering a hilarious keynote speech

Joel Cohen’s keynote provides insight (and tons of humor) into the success of The Simpsons

by Mike Humphrey

Over a wonderfully fresh shrimp, avocado and arugula salad at a trendy Philly restaurant, Joel Cohen describes the concept of the “puke draft”.  No, it had nothing to do with his lunch.  He shares how ideas are most often half-baked and incomplete at their genesis. So, members of his team at The Simpsons will often create a “puke draft”, which takes their rough idea and shares it for improvement and revision from the other talented writers on the show.  Through this process, many of these ideas develop into full episodes for the most successful prime time show in the history of television. Continue reading

Speaker Joel Cohen - The Simpsons

“The Simpsons” at 30: Six Era-Defining Episodes

Keynote speaker Joel Cohen is an Emmy-winning Writer/Producer of The Simpsons (article from NYT)

For the past three decades, there has been one constant in America’s comedy landscape: “The Simpsons.” With that animated sitcom now in its 30th season,  it’s a good time to reflect on how “The Simpsons” has evolved during its unparalleled run, and how each era in that evolution has reflected — or failed to reflect — the state of comedy, and of the culture, as a whole.

Neither “The Simpsons” nor history has stood still since the show debuted in 1989. The first family of Springfield has witnessed five American presidents, the dawn of the internet age, the end of the Cold War, at least two prolonged conflicts in the Middle East, terrorist attacks, natural disasters and more. And while Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie have stayed the same age, what the world finds funny has changed — in no small part because of those characters’ influence. Almost thirty years after its premiere, “The Simpsons” still matters…..READ MORE