Etan Cohen

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Etan Cohen
Born (1974-03-14) March 14, 1974 (age 45)
Alma materHarvard College
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1995–present
Home townEfrat, Israel
Sharon, Massachusetts, U.S.

Etan Cohen (Hebrew: איתן כהן‎; born March 14, 1974) is an Israeli American screenwriter and film director best known[citation needed] for writing the scripts to Tropic Thunder, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Men in Black 3.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Israel to a Jewish family,[1][2] Cohen grew up in Efrat, and later on in Sharon, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Maimonides School and Harvard College, where he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon.


His first produced scripts, in 1995 and 1997, were for Beavis and Butthead, where he was credited as Ethan Cohen.[3] He has since written for other Mike Judge-directed projects, including King of the Hill from 2001 to 2005, and for the feature film Idiocracy in 2006. In the late 1990s he worked on two other television series – the animated Recess and the short lived It's Like, You Know.... After scripting Idiocracy, he worked on the animated series, American Dad! and wrote the episode, "Failure Is Not a Factory-Installed Option". The American Dad! minor character of the same name is named for him.

In 2008, Cohen co-wrote, along with Ben Stiller and Justin Theroux, the action-comedy film Tropic Thunder. He also wrote Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

Cohen penned the script for 2012's Men in Black 3. In 2015 he made his directorial debut with Get Hard, which he also co-wrote.

Cohen wrote and directed the 2018 film Holmes & Watson. The film earned him a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director.[4]



Year Title Director Writer Notes
2006 Idiocracy No Yes
2008 Tropic Thunder No Yes
2008 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa No Yes Nominated: Annie Award for Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production[5]
2012 Men in Black 3 No Yes
2015 Get Hard Yes Yes
2018 Holmes & Watson Yes Yes Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director[6]


Year Title Director Writer Notes
1995–1997 Beavis and Butt-head No Yes
1999 It's Like, You Know No Yes
1999 Recess No Yes
1999 Timon & Pumbaa No Yes
2001–2005 King of the Hill No Yes Annie Award for Best Writing in an Animated Television Production[7]
2006 American Dad! No Yes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2007 US Comedy Arts Festival Comedy Festival Award for Best Short Film My Wife Is Retarded Won [8]
2019 39th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Director Holmes & Watson Won [9]


  1. ^ Smith, Lynn (August 15, 2008). "The joke is on you". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Chris Lee (May 29, 2012). "The Movie Redemption of 'Men in Black 3' Scribe Etan Cohen". The Daily Beast. IAC. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  3. ^ IMDb credits page
  4. ^ Howard, Annie (February 22, 2019). "Worst Director - Razzie Awards: 'Holmes & Watson' Named Worst Picture of the Year". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  5. ^ "Annie Awards (2009)". IMDb.
  6. ^ "Razzie Awards (2019)". IMDb.
  7. ^ "Annie Awards (2005)". IMDb.
  8. ^ "US Comedy Arts Festival (2007)". IMDb.
  9. ^

External links[edit]