A chat with the science-savvy writers behind “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.”
Joshua Roebke in Seed Magazine:
When not working on what no less an expert on comedy than Stephen Hawking has called the “cleverest show on television,” six-time Emmy-winning executive producer and head writer for The Simpsons Al Jean and four-time Emmy-winning former Simpsons writer and executive producer of Futurama David X. Cohen would often meet at the homes of colleagues for their weekend math club.
Each has a serious background in science: Jean’s Harvard BS is in mathematics, and Cohen’s Harvard BS is in physics (he also has a master’s in theoretical computer science from Berkeley). Seed spoke with the two, wondering:
Of Hawking, Gould and Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Dudley Herschbach, who was your favorite scientist cameo?
Cohen: I wrote the episode that Stephen Jay Gould was in, but I didn’t meet him because he was recorded in Boston. However, I heard that he passed on his compliments to me, which is definitely more than I got from him when I took his class in college.