David S. Cohen (or David X. Cohen) got his big break as a writer when he was hired to write for the Simpsons, taking the place of Conan O'Brian after he left for late night TV. Five years later Cohen was approached by Matt Groening to help him develop and run his new animated show for FOX, Futurama.
Like my father, and his father before him...
Both of David Cohen's parents are scientists, biologists to be exact. Doing what he considered to be natural he followed in the footsteps of his parents. Cohen attended Harvard University to study science, physics being his geeky choice (science and math having always been his favorite subjects in school). He graduated in 1988 from Harvard, magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics. After graduation Cohen worked for a year in the robotics laboratory at Harvard University, before heading to UC Berkley. After three years of postgraduate work Cohen received a degree in theoretical computer science from UC Berkley. At this point, however, he said that he realized he was not enjoying his studies as much as he thought he should, so he turned to an old habit.
David S. Cohen
Cohen claims that he started his professional writing career as a child, drawing comics and forcing his sister to buy them for a penny. Cohen continued to write for his high school newspaper as the humor columnist and for the Harvard Lampoon Magazine.
Cohen's year at the Harvard Robotics Laboratory is due, in large part, to a panic that overtook him when he realized that he had the opportunity to pursue a career in writing, though up to that point he had always thought he would be a scientist, as both of his parents where before him.
After realizing that science wasn't providing the satisfaction that he was looking for Cohen decided to pursue a career in writing. He spent a year sending out spec scripts, unsuccessfully; but eventually found work writing a few episodes of Beavis and Butthead. Cohen joined the Simpsons’ writing team during season five and stayed around through season ten. While there he, like some writer before him, is said to have penned a word, “cromulent – valid or authentic.”
David X. Cohen
After five years of writing at the Simpsons Cohen was asked by Matt Groening to join him in the creation and running of Futurama, an animated science fiction TV series for Fox. Cohen helped create the show and took the office of head writer, along with receiving Executive Producer and Co-Creator credits.
While his real name is David S. Cohen, he took on the name of David X. Cohen (the “X” being “sci-fi-ish”) because the name David S. Cohen was already taken by “some jerk” in the Writer's Guild (who do not allow two identical names).
Since Futurama’s cancellation after only four seasons Cohen has been doing script “punch ups” and trying to get a project or two off the ground. It was also recently announced that four new feature length Futurama movies are in the works for release in 2007.
Futurama DVD Commentaries
Simpsons DVD Commentaries