Judd Apatow on Funny People

We talk with filmmaker Judd Apatow about his movies – “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Superbad” – and what he finds funny.

Judd Apatow, a producer of "Get Him to the Greek," arrives at the premiere of the film at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, May 25, 2010. (AP)

Every era has its reigning Hollywood comedy style. Julia Roberts and romances in the ‘80s. Gross-out Jim Carey in the ‘90s. And lately, the new reigning way: the “bromance” of Judd Apatow.

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin.” “Knocked Up.” Often gross. Maybe stoned. But also searching, with a touching honesty, on friendship, sex, marriage, maturity.

Now, Apatow has raised his head up out of the movies to look at what else is funny. He’s been reading, and sharing his reading list – from Ernest Hemingway to Alice Munro to Adam Sandler.

We talk with Judd Apatow about what he finds funny.

-Tom Ashbrook


Judd Apatow, renowned comedy filmmaker, director, and screenwriter. His movies include “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Taladega Nights,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.” His new book is “I Found This Funny.”

We live-tweeted this show. Here’s the running thread, with special thanks to WBUR’s Sarah Knight:

OnPointRadio Twitter

@JuddApatow “Messages need to be insidious in movies for people to undersand & absorb them.” Look @ the big picture in his work

Not just for the dudes, @JuddApatow has been working on some woman-centric movies/tv shows, coming soon

Tom asks @JuddApatow if the Bromance genre is over: “It’s probably over already, it’s just reverberating for people.”

@JuddApatow “Comedians are very desensitized. Only the harshest things make them laugh.”

@JuddApatow “Life is so ridiculous we have to have fun with what we’re ashamed of and what makes us uncomfortable.”

Proceeds of “I Found This Funny” benefit

Movie person instead of a book person? Will @JuddApatow’s book make you read?

@JuddApatow met (stalked) @SteveMartinToGo at age 13. Have you met your idol? (comedy or otherwise)

@JuddApatow dropped out of college to go on the trip he won on The Dating Game.

@JuddApatow’s Aunt Pat has joined the conversation, what about you?

@JuddApatow “If you’re looking to kill some time in the dentist’s office, this is a good book for you.”

AV Club’s review of @JuddApatow’s new book “I Found This Funny”

@JuddApatow’s reading list: Hemingway, Ephron, Robert Smigel, SNL alums, Steve Martin, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more

“I would love to make another Superbad…They treat it like Lawrence of Arabia, they don’t want to mess it up with a bad sequel”

Carrgregator @OnPointRadio @JuddApatow would love to be listening to this! But I am stuck at jury duty in queens #whatsfunny or rather #tragicomedy

crmonks: Playing Assassins Creed while listening to @JuddApatow on @OnPointRadio discuss the @mcsweeneysbooks book I helped him edit.

@JuddApatow lists Stephen King and stand-up comedy (the angry kind) as early influences in his comedy.

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