With Stephen Colbert preparing for a new gig, Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show, and Amy Schumer’s first movie coming out this week, we have plenty to muse about when it comes to comedy these days. Judd Apatow’s SICK IN THE HEAD gives us even more.
Apatow directed The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40 and had a producing hand in Anchorman and Bridesmaids, among others. The title of his latest film, Trainwreck, gives some indication of how brave (or ironically defiant) he is. His new book reveals the roots of his courage: after his parents divorced when he was a teenager, he became increasingly self-reliant, and he worked up the nerve to pursue his passion for comedy quite literally, by speaking directly to some of the most famous comedians in the business. His pitch was that he was “Judd Apatow from WKWZ 88.5 FM.” That was true. He just left out the fact that it was a high school radio station.
Amazingly, all of the people he interviewed—including the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Allen, and Martin Short—were incredibly generous with this awkward, earnest teenager who appeared at their door.
Now, 30 years later, having interviewed and re-interviewed several dozen of the most prominent stand-up comics on the planet, he shares the transcripts with us.
If you like comedy—and who doesn’t?—this book is pure gold.