Birthplace: Saratoga Springs, New York
Josh Greenbaum (birthname: Joshua Greenbaum) is a director/writer/producer who has shifted from making shorts, comedy videos, and non-fiction features on a range of topics from sports to movies, to theatrical features. After a fecund period around 2007 when he made six shorts as a graduate student at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Greenbaum continued to make five more short films, three comedy videos, directing episodic TV, and creating a series for Nickelodeon.
Greenbaum’s feature debut as director/producer was the golf-themed documentary, The Short Game (2013), executive-produced by Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, which premiered at the SXSW festival (where it won the audience award) and then screened theatrically and streamed on Netflix, where it was the debut entry in Netflix’s “Originals” section. Greenbaum created the Hulu original documentary series profiling eight people performing as sports mascots, Behind the Mask (2013-2015), which won an Emmy in the sports division for outstanding new approaches in sports programming.
Greenbaum stayed in the documentary lane with his next feature as director/writer/producer, Becoming Bond (2017), about the single-movie Bond star, George Lazenby. As director/writer/producer, Josh Greenbaum next trained his documentary lens on comedy with Too Funny to Fail: The Life & Death of The Dana Carvey Show (2017), featuring Carvey (also credited as co-writer), Robert Smigel, Bill Hader, Steve Carell, and Stephen Colbert.
Greenbaum’s first theatrical feature comedy—as director only—was the comedy, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021), starring and co-written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, with Jamie Dornan and Damon Wayans Jr., and released via Lionsgate/Alamo Drafthouse. Again as director only, Greenbaum helmed his first feature enjoying a wide release, the live-action dog comedy,
Strays (2023), starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, and Will Forte, and produced by Phil Lord’s and Christopher Miller’s Lord Miller Productions (with Picturestart), and released by Universal Pictures.
Josh Greenbaum was born and raised in Saratoga Springs, New York. Greenbaum graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in 1997. Greenbaum pursued his higher education at Cornell University, and read at the University of Oxford in England. After earning his undergraduate degree, Greenbaum studied filmmaking and earned his MFA at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, where he made several short films, among which was Border Patrol (2007), which won an MTV Movie + TV Award for Best New Filmmaker.
Directing The Arnold: Josh Greenbaum had one of the most unusual assignments as a director of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he made a short (for The Arnold’s After-School All-Stars charity), Arnold Pranks Fans as The Terminator (2015), in which Schwarzenegger posed as his iconic action figure in Madame Tussaud’s on Hollywood Blvd.