Joel Moss Levinson

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Joel Moss Levinson
Levinson in July 2005
Born1979/1980 (age 38–39)[1]

Joel Moss Levinson is a writer, comedian from Yellow Springs, Ohio. He often collaborates with his older brother, Stephen Levinson, as the Levinson Brothers.[2]

In 2016 they began work on a musical comedy called "Boy Band," the story of a late 1990s Boy Band who were wildly successful but have now gotten older, fatter and balder and haven't realized they are no longer "boys." The movie was primarily filmed in and around Dayton, Ohio and gained attention from national publication Newsweek as a new approach to advance the "decentralization of comedy." The movie features Questlove, Chase Crawford, Gilbert Gottfried and stars Steve Agee, Jordan Carlos, Dave Hill, Seth Herzog as the boy band "The Heartthrob Boyz," and was the subject of a successful Kickstarter campaign.[3]

The pair were a part of TedX Dayton 2014, speaking about successful collaboration.[4]


Along with their third partner, CONAN and former Daily Show writer Rob Kutner, the Levinson Brothers released "2776" a comedy/musical album benefitting the charity OneKid OneWorld. Featuring Aimee Mann, Patton Oswalt, Ed Helms, Ashanti, Reggie Watts, Ira Glass, Nina Totenberg, Will Forte, Rebirth Brass Band, Yo La Tengo, Margaret Cho, Neko Case, Kelly Hogan, Dick Cavett, Dick Gregory, k.d. lang, Will Arnett, Alex Trebek and more, the album appeared briefly on the Billboard Comedy charts. The album's liner notes were written by George Saunders and appeared in the New Yorker [2][5] Joel composed the music for all but two of the 28 tracks.[6]

In 2012, the Levinson Brothers and Rob Kutner released an EP called "It's OK To Do Stuff" in celebration of the 40th anniversary of "Free To Be You And Me." Made up of songs satirizing the original with songs about gender, childhood, equality and relationships. "It's Okay to Do Stuff is first and foremost meant to be funny — and it is, most of the time. Here, the earnestness of Free to Be is replaced with satire, but irony is the ethos of our age, remember?" The album features Lizzy Caplan, Fred Willard, Jane Weidlin, Steven Page, Colin Hanks, Fred Stoller, Eddie Pepitone, Eugene Mirman and others.[7]


Joel gained national attention in 2008 as an Internet personality who professionally wins consumer generated marketing contests, and earned more than money and prizes, by creating corporate jingles and short commercials.[1][8]

Levinson grew up in Dayton, Ohio. His father Jim was a prosecutor and his mother was a writer. He attended George Washington University for a few semesters.[1] He worked for the KIO (Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio) region for BBYO and traveled the country as a song leader for the organization.[citation needed]

In November 2008, he appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about his contest winnings.[9] Joel was named an Access Hollywood Rising Star on December 1, 2008.[10] In 2009 he appeared on CBS News with Katie Couric.[11]

Contests won[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Clifford, Stephanie (October 27, 2008). "Finding a Gold Mine in Digital Ditties". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-28. So far, Mr. Levinson, a college dropout with dozens of failed jobs on his résumé, has won 11 contests (many more since the article was written) — earning more than $200,000 in money and prizes. His success has made him into the digital age version of Evelyn Ryan, the woman from Defiance, Ohio, who supported her family by winning commercial jingle contests in the 1950s and ’60s.
  2. ^ a b "Levinson Bros "2776" Aimee Mann, Patton Oswalt, Will Forte". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  3. ^ "How to make a feature film in the suburbs". Newsweek. 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  4. ^ "Stephen & Joel Levinson | 2014 Speakers". TEDxDayton. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  5. ^ Petrusich, Amanda. "Liner Notes". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  6. ^ AllMusic Review by David Jeffries (2014-07-15). "2776: A Levinson Brothers & Rob Kutner Presentation - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  7. ^ Emma Miller (2012-12-05). "40 Years After 'Free To Be,' A New Album Says 'It's Okay To Do Stuff' : Monkey See". NPR. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  8. ^ Pressler, Jessica (October 28, 2008). "Internet Crush: Joel Moss Levinson". New York Magazine.
  9. ^ "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Season 17: Ep. 3655". November 12, 2008. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Greenwald, David (December 1, 2008). "Rising Star: Joel Moss Levinson". Access Hollywood.
  11. ^ "Cashing In on YouTube - Videos". CBS News. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
  12. ^ Banin, Jana (2013-10-22). "Watch: Manischewitz's Thanksgivukkah rap battle | Jewish Telegraphic Agency". Retrieved 2016-07-12.

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