Emmy-winning writer/lyricist/composer David Steven Cohen has been creating iconic and happily-twisted entertainment for over 25 years.
David began his career working with Steve Martin on a comedy-anthology series for CBS. Soon after, he became a writer for Pee-wee’s Playhouse and ALF, co-creating and exec-producing NBC’s animated ALFTales. He joined Fox’s seminal and surreal teen comedy Parker Lewis Can’t Lose as co-executive producer and head writer, also serving as as co-executive producer on Fox’s Living Single. He co-wrote the animated feature Balto (Universal/Amblin) for executive producer Steven Spielberg.
David haunted a generation of innocents as head writer of Cartoon Network’s cult classic Courage the Cowardly Dog. He first disturbed their nascent sensibilities as executive producer of Nickelodeon’s musical series, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, for which he received two Emmy nominations and a Writers Guild Award. Not limited to unsettling the young, David worked with Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert as consulting producer of Comedy Central’s Strangers With Candy.
David has written some particularly strange episodes of the PBS animated series Arthur, bringing him another Emmy nomination as well as the #1 and #7 spots in Wired Magazine‘s “The 15 Geekiest Episodes of PBS’s Arthur”. David wrote the top-ranked Falafelosophy for world-renowned author Neil Gaiman, who played his animated self, mystically guiding Arthur’s friend Sue Ellen as she creates a graphic novel. Gaiman enthusiastically (and quite generously) blogged after first reading David’s script: “It’s a delight; with luck it’ll have kids all over the world making their own little graphic novels, and will usher in the dawn of a new golden age of comics and creativity.”
Other credits include collaborations with Chris Rock, Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien and celebrated New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, the syndicated Archie comic strip, Tiny Tunes, and Phil of the Future (Writers Guild Award nomination), and Space Racers, an animated space-science series produced with NASA. He was head writer of the animated series Little People, which he developed for Mattel and HIT Entertainment. David recently won an Emmy Award for his work on the animated PBS series Peg + Cat.
As a lyricist and composer, David has enjoyed hearing his songs performed and recorded by Elaine Stritch, Jimmy Fallon, Megan Mullally, Lea DeLaria, Bobbie Eakes, The Cat in the Hat and many others. He has written lyrics and music for dozens of productions, most recently Peg + Cat and Space Racers. David co-wrote soundtrack and theme songs for Wubbulous World and Space Racers and the song-score for the Warner Bros./Scholastic animated feature Clifford’s Really Big Movie. David is now dabbling in strangeness under the nom de rap Run-D.S.C. Check out his rhyme-spitting semi-skills on the Space Racers song Gravity, recorded with pal and collaborator Jody Gray.
David penned the libretto for the opera Lilith, which premiered at Lincoln Center (New York City Opera) in 2001. The New York Times praised David’s reimagining of the Jewish folktale about Adam’s demonic first wife as “a haunting contemporary parable.” Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series celebrated David’s songs in Hear and Now: An Evening of Contemporary Lyricists.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of David’s career thus far was his backup vocal on a “Weird Al” Yankovic song, notable for its intensely moving absence in the final album mix. David’s copy of the CD resides in Brooklyn Heights along with his other stuff, which his wife and two sons feel is all a little “cluttery”.