Josh Lieb is an Emmy-winning producer for The Simpsons and The Daily Show and author of I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President. He has also been a writer for the popular 1990s television series "NewsRadio" and for The Jon Stewart Show.
Question: What excites you most these days?
Josh Lieb: My son. I have a little boy, a little baby. I find him very exciting. He's teething now and, you know it's all very boring and predictable but it's pretty exciting for me. I can't say I'm excited about anything in particular on the TV show, or books, or any political development. I'm fascinated by what's going on out there, but nothing is exciting me quite like having a little boy so I am definitely a mammal.
Question: What are you most concerned about for the next generation of kids?
Josh Lieb: It’s still strictly education. One of the reasons I would also write for a young audience is I don’t think there is anything better a child can do is read. If we can get our children to read, we’re set. And I probably think that because I am a reader, but I do think that is necessary for an intelligent child and for a flourishing democracy. Again, it was several years ago when I as last interviewed by Big Think, nothing has changed in our educational system. I don’t even remember what we talked about, but it’s the same problem that we talked about then. Everyone talks about fixing our schools, and nobody does anything. There is actually an exciting charter school – I really don’t know much about it – out in one of the boroughs here where they are paying every teacher $100,000, which was actually an idea I had several years ago. And I am very curious to hear how that goes over because I think the number one thing we can do is to put – look, Oliver, in the book, probably the main reason he hates school besides the fact that he is smarter than everybody is that he has no respect for his teachers. Some of these teachers are petty tyrants. Most teachers are great people, but anyone who has been to school, which all of us knows, you’ve got your petty tyrant, you’ve got your dim bulbs, you’ve got your narcissus. I just know too many really smart, interesting people in college who would have loved to have gone into teaching because they love going to school. If they thought they could have supported their families doing it.
Recorded on: October 9, 2009