Thursday, July 30, 2015


I read a lot of books.

Recently I read this one because,

After that I read this series,
which was fun:

But while 
space colonization
sadistically evil fallen angels
are awesome,
I'm currently 
obsessed with 

Now I always knew I kinda liked 
writer/director/producer Judd Apatow.
Of the eleventy billion films he's 
written and/or produced 
I've seen:

The Forty Year Old Virgin
Knocked up.

And I absolutely 

I also watched a couple episodes of
Freaks and Geeks,
which I loved.
I'm not sure why I never 
got around to finishing it.

So yeah,
 I like Mr. Apatow for the funny.
But this book has made me like him
for his unrelenting love of what he does.

Judd always had a passion for comedy.
So a long time ago he decided 
to interview his favorite comedians
 for the radio station he worked at.

Never mind that he was only 15 years old.

Ignore that the radio station
was in his high school.

And forget that most of the interviews 
never went on the radio anyway.

All these funny people expected 
someone from a real radio station.
But instead a kid from Long Island 
shows up with an enormous tape recorder.

To their credit,
everyone was awesome
and indulged young Judd:

Jerry Seinfeld
Garry Shandling
Martin Short
Sandra Bernhard
Steve Allen
Harry Anderson
Jay Leno
and more!

Judd did these interviews to meet his heroes
and find out what made them tick.
To get advice about comedy.
And just to bask in their funny.

And he was 15 years old.

As Mr. Apatow grew to become
a sizable figure in Hollywood comedy,
he continued to interview 
his equally sizable peers, 
his stars and his heroes:

Harold Ramis
Chris Rock
James L. Brooks
Key and Peele
Louis C.K.
Lena Dunham
Jon Stewart
Mel Brooks
Sarah Silverman
Stephen Colbert
Steve Martin
and lots more.

The book is a fascinating look into what drives people to comedy:
Broken families.
Trying to get girls.
Feeling like an outsider.
The ability to control what people are laughing at you about.

It's also a view into Mr. Apatow's thought process.
The best creative-types 
are those that have a pure passion for what they want to do
and they'll do anything to get it.
I mean, this was a guy that audio taped
Saturday Night Live and then transcribed it on paper afterwards
 to study how the whole show worked.

One of the reasons I love this book is because
I did a similar thing:

When I came to NYC in 1990,
I started an interview series for the
ASIFA-EAST newsletter about
animators and animation studios.

Just like Judd,
I wanted to meet the people that did
the stuff I wanted to do.

It was also a great way to get my foot in the door
and get to know people at the studios around town.
I actually ended up getting some jobs out of those contacts.

if you're looking for a wonderful
(and sometimes dark) 
look into the mind of great comedians,
go get

No comments: