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David Samuel Cohen
A closeup of a man in front of a microphone. He has a receding hairline and wears dark-framed glasses.
Cohen at the 2009 Comic Con in San Diego.
Born July 13, 1966 (1966-07-13) (age 43)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
Pen name David X. Cohen
Occupation Television writer
Nationality American
Ethnicity Ashkenazic Jewish
Genres Humor

David Samuel Cohen (born July 13, 1966), better known as David X. Cohen, is an American television writer. He has written for The Simpsons, and he is the head writer and executive producer of Futurama.


Early life

Cohen was born and known pre-Futurama as David S. Cohen. Both of his parents being biologists, David always planned to be a scientist, but he also enjoyed writing and drawing cartoons.[1]


David Cohen graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey, where he wrote the humor column for the high school paper and was a member of the school's state champion mathematics team.[2] From there, Cohen went on to attend both Harvard University, graduating with a B.A. in physics, and the University of California, Berkeley, with an M.S. in computer science.[3] While at Harvard, he wrote for and served as President of the Harvard Lampoon, and was classmates in the Harvard physics department with Cats & Dogs and Antz director Lawrence Guterman. Both studied under physicist Sidney Coleman and Nobel Prize winner Norman F. Ramsey, as well as Fields Medal winner David Mumford.

Cohen's most notable academic publication concerned the theoretical computer science problem of pancake sorting, which was also the subject of an academic publication by Bill Gates. In addition, Cohen is credited as a co-author on several papers by computer vision researcher Alan Yuille.

Writing career

After three years of graduate school, Cohen took a leave of absence and started writing sample TV scripts. In 1992, this landed him a job writing two of the earliest Beavis and Butthead episodes. In 1993, Cohen began working on The Simpsons, writing or co-writing thirteen episodes. Nearly five years later, Cohen would team with Matt Groening to develop Futurama, where he would serve as writer or co-writer of six episodes and executive producer and head writer of the series' entire run.

Writing credits

Cohen is credited with writing or co-writing the following episodes:

Name change

When the primetime animated shows unionized in 1998, David was forced to change his name as there was already another David S. Cohen and the Writers Guild of America, west does not allow members to have the same name. He chose X because it sounded "sci-fi-ish", and has jokingly said that the X would make him "the David Cohen people would remember" (mentioned in a Futurama commentary for the episode "My Three Suns").[4] The "X" does not stand for anything, but Cohen included a period "so people don't think it's some mathematical formula: 'David times Cohen' or something."[5]


Cohen with Matt Groening at the Futurama panel of Comic-Con 2009.

Cohen was the co-developer of Futurama along with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Cohen served as head writer, executive producer, and voice director of the series. He was also the voice director of the Futurama video game.

In addition, he designed one of the robots in the robot strip club which he said was "his one artistic contribution to the show". The robot's waist gyrated sexily using a planetary gear. In an episode's commentary, this artistic contribution is discussed by Futurama co-creator Matt Groening, who describes Cohen as being very particular about how the animators used his design, and that Cohen's original drawing is still framed in his office.

He makes two brief cameo appearances in cartoon form, first in the Futurama episode "A Bicyclops Built for Two", along with several other people who worked on the show, and second on "I Dated a Robot" as a member of the eBay audience. Both appearances are pointed out during DVD commentaries. Also both appearances take place in the internet. (He also appears in animated form in the Simpsons episode "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" wearing the squid shirt.)

On April 26, 2006, Matt Groening announced that there were four planned Futurama straight-to-DVD movies, and confirmed that Cohen would be participating.[6] On June 22, 2006, it was announced that Comedy Central had purchased the syndication rights to Futurama and were going to produce at least 13 new episodes. According to Groening the episodes will be edited portions of the movies with new material added.[7] Cohen gave an interview in December, 2006, saying that at that point they were half-way through writing the season and were beginning to animate.[8] The first of four straight-to-DVD movies, Futurama: Bender's Big Score, was released on November 27, 2007.[9]

Personal taste

Cohen's favorite movie is Dr. Strangelove. He is a fan of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, South Park, and King of the Hill. Music-wise, he is a fan of Cypress Hill (which is why Cypress Hill appeared in The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza"), The Beastie Boys (who appeared in the Futurama episode "Hell Is Other Robots"), and Led Zeppelin, as expressed on numerous Simpsons DVD commentaries. According to a bonus feature on the Bender's Game DVD, he is an avid fan and collector of dodecahedrons.


  1. ^ David X. Cohen interview with Accessed February 6, 2007
  2. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "Blast Forward", The Record (Bergen County), March 26, 1999. "After graduating from Englewood's Dwight Morrow High School, he headed off to Harvard..."
  3. ^ David X. Cohen interview with Accessed February 6, 2007
  4. ^ David X. Cohen interview with Accessed February 6, 2007
  5. ^ Alan Sepinwall (1999-03-26). "From Englewood to the 30th century". The Star Ledger. p. 33.  
  6. ^ "Matt Groening". Retrieved 2006-06-14.  
  7. ^ Staff Writer (February 26, 2007). "Rhymes with Raining". Crave Online. Retrieved 2007-03-25.  
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2006-12-14.  
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-11-26.  

External links

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