Joe Keenan
Born (1958-07-14) July 14, 1958 (age 65)
EducationBoston College High School
Alma materColumbia University (BA)
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, television producer, novelist
Known forFrasier
Desperate Housewives
WorksBlue Heaven
Putting on the Ritz
My Lucky Star
SpouseGerry Bernardi

Joe Keenan (born July 14, 1958) is an American screenwriter, television producer and novelist. Known for his television work on series like Frasier and Desperate Housewives, Keenan has been referred to as the "gay P.G. Wodehouse" for his three successful novels.[1]

Early life

Keenan was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts into an Irish American Catholic family. He has a twin brother, John, and two other siblings, Ronald and Geraldine. He grew up in the blue collar neighborhood of Cambridgeport. Keenan attended Boston College High School and Columbia College.[2]

Early career

In 1991 Cheers creators James Burrows and Glen and Les Charles, having read Keenan's novel Blue Heaven, invited Keenan to create a new sitcom for their production company. The resulting pilot, Gloria Vane, starring JoBeth Williams, was not picked up by a network, but it led to a writing post on Frasier. In 1992, his first play, The Times, a musical that charts the course of a seventeen-year marriage between Liz, an actress, and Ted, a writer, won the Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1993, the lyrics for The Times won the Edward Kleban Award.[3]


He joined the staff of the sitcom Frasier as an executive story editor in 1994 for the series' second year. His first produced script for the series, "The Matchmaker", received an Emmy Award nomination, a GLAAD Media Award, and the 1995 Writers Guild Award for Episodic Comedy. He won a writing Emmy Award in 1996 for being one of eight writers of the classic Season 3 episode, "Moon Dance", and also received Emmy Award nominations for "The Ski Lodge" episode in 1998 and, with Christopher Lloyd, "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue," in 2000, which won the 2001 WGA award for Episodic Comedy.

During his six-season tenure on Frasier he rose through the ranks from executive story editor to co-producer, supervising producer, co-executive producer, and finally, executive producer. He was executive producer when the series ended in 2004. He also co-wrote the series finale, "Goodnight, Seattle." Keenan won five Emmy Awards during his tenure on the show. He was nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series five times, and won once. He won the Outstanding Comedy Series award four times for his work as the show's producer.[2] He also won two Writers Guild of America Awards for his work on the series.[3]

Desperate Housewives and beyond

In 2006, Keenan joined Desperate Housewives as a writer and executive producer for the third season of the television show. Although his work received good critical response, and one of his episodes,"Bang", was named the best of the season by many critics, he left the series after one year.[4]

Keenan also created two short-lived comedy series with fellow Frasier producer and writer Christopher Lloyd: Bram & Alice in 2002 and Out of Practice in 2005. He also co-wrote the 1994 film Sleep with Me as well as the screenplay for the 2007 Annie Award-winning animated feature Flushed Away.[citation needed]


Keenan is also a published author, and has been referred to as a "gay P.G. Wodehouse".[1][5] As of 2007, he has written three novels:

Putting on the Ritz won the Lambda Literary Award for Humor in 1991, and My Lucky Star won the Lambda Literary Award for Humor in 2006. In October 2007, the novel also won the Thurber Prize for American Humor.[6]

Personal life

Keenan lives in Los Angeles, but does not drive a car. He has been with his husband, Gerry Bernardi, since 1982.[1][7]


Year Title Writer Producer Executive producer Notes Network
1995–2004 Frasier Yes Yes No Executive/Co-executive producer of 48 episodes
Writer of 24 episodes
2002 Bram & Alice Yes No No CBS
2005–2006 Out of Practice Yes No Yes Creator/Executive Producer of 22 episodes
Writer of 4 episodes
2006–2011 Desperate Housewives Yes Consulting Yes Executive Producer of 10 episodes
Consulting producer of 55 episodes
Writer of 7 episodes
2012–2014 Glee No Consulting No Consulting Producer of 15 episodes Fox
2013 Hot in Cleveland Yes No No Writer of 2 episodes TV Land
Sean Saves the World Yes Consulting No Consulting Producer of 2 episodes
Writer of 2 episodes
2015–2017 The Odd Couple Yes Consulting No Consulting Producer of 46 episodes
Writer of 1 episode
2019–present Why Women Kill Yes Consulting No Consulting Producer of 9 episodes
Writer of 4 episodes


  1. ^ a b c Alonso Duralde (January 31, 2006). "Pretty, Witty—and Gay". The Advocate. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  2. ^ a b Suzanne C. Ryan (March 21, 2006). "He's Always On the Lookout For Laughs". The Boston Globe. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
  3. ^ a b Keenan, Joe (2006). My Lucky Star. New York: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-06019-6.
  4. ^ Adalian, Josef; Schneider, Michael (March 29, 2007). "Keenan Not 'Desperate' Any More". Variety. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  5. ^ Peter Cannon (November 7, 2005). "My Lucky Star". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  6. ^ The Associated Press (October 3, 2007). "Frasier' Writer Wins Literary Award". The Advocate. Archived from the original on December 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  7. ^ Weinstein, Debra (25 January 2006). "Closet Drama" – via