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Judd Apatow on origins of his “Knocked Up” spin-off: “Why do I have to meet new actors?”

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Judd Apatow‘s upcoming film “This Is 40″ might be a spin-off to his 2007 hit “Knocked Up,” but that also marks a first for the comedy director. He’s never before written or directed a follow-up to one of his movies. Thus far Apatow has three directorial film credits to date — “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and “Funny People” — and while some of his actors may overlap, his stories never do. Apparently while preparing “This Is 40,” Apatow decided it was time to revisit his favorite onscreen family.

“I started thinking about writing a movie about a family and their midlife crisis, and then I realized I already have that family in one of my movies and I like them. Why do I have to meet new actors? I can use these amazing actors that people seem to like and were interested in learning more about and it came out really well,” Apatow said when we caught up with him at Friday’s Hilarity for Charity event, which raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

While there will be some familiar actors in the spin-off like Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann and their two daughters, Maude and Iris, there’s one face that will be noticeably absent. Seth Rogen, who starred in “Knocked Up,” will not be making an appearance in “This Is 40.” It will be the first time Rogen hasn’t appeared in a film Apatow has directed.

“[Filming is] already done, so I know the answer’s no because I’ve seen the movie and I’m not in it,” Rogen told us when asked if he would be in the movie. His thoughts on Apatow’s latest directorial effort? “It’s great. I love it. I wish [I was in it].”

Even though Rogen won’t be making an appearance in the film, there are plenty of exciting new stars who will. Apatow listed off Albert Brooks, John Lithgow and Megan Fox as three actors that fans should get excited to see in the movie. “It was a lot of other fun people,” Apatow said of the cast.

“This Is 40″ takes place a few years after “Knocked Up” left off and follows the lives of Pete (Rudd) and Debbie (Mann) as they struggle with issues with their jobs and marriage. It is due in theaters on December 21.

Are you disappointed Rogen won’t be in “This Is 40″? What other film would you like to see Apatow work on a spin-off for? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Seth Rogen offers “The Apocalypse” update: “It’s looking good”

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Fans who have been following the progress of Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel’s short “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse” making its way to the big screen over the past five years got treated with great news earlier this month. Apparently Sony is in negotiations to finance and distribute the upcoming horror comedy with a speculative 2013 release date, though no exact date has been set. The feature-length film has been in pre-production since Mandate came on board to produce it in 2008, and now is finally getting the forward momentum it needs to begin filming within the year.

IFC caught up with Rogen at his Hilarity for Charity event, which raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association, and asked for a status update on “The Apocalypse.” Ultimately he didn’t have too much to add to The Hollywood Reporter‘s recent news story.

“We’re kind of in like the final stages of putting everything together and I don’t want to jinx it but it’s looking good,” he said about the film’s progress.

The short — which can be viewed here –- starred just Baruchel and Rogen, but “The Apocalypse” has expanded the cast a bit. James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson have been reported to be playing versions of themselves in the flick, and Rogen clarified that they won’t just be in it for quick cameos.

“They’re like the main characters in the movie,” he said. “I’m really excited to work with those guys honestly. I don’t get to see them that often and I think when we’re working together is kind of when you see them the most. On top of making a good movie, I hope I just get to hang out with them also.”

“The Apocalypse” will be Rogen’s directorial debut. If the deal with Sony comes together, it is set to go into production in the spring.

Are you looking forward to seeing “The Apocalypse”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Judd Apatow on possibility of directing film starring daughters, debunks old “Sherlock Holmes” rumor

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Judd Apatow might have seemingly created a family of comedians that he loves making films with, but he also loves to incorporate his family into his movies. His wife, Leslie Mann, has appeared in six projects he’s worked on, while his two daughters, Maude and Iris, star in three out of the four films he’s directed. In fact, Apatow recently told IFC that he chose bring those three back to reprise their roles in his “Knocked Up” sequel, “This Is 40,” because they were the family he most liked in the movies he’s created.

So as Maude, 14, and Iris, 9, get older, their involvement in their father’s films begs the question whether or not he’d chose to one day make a movie for them to star in. Apatow said he’s not ruling the idea out.

“You never know,” he said in an interview Friday at Seth Rogen‘s Hilarity for Charity event, which raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association. He added that it seems like a feasible option because “I don’t like meeting new people.”

One project that he definitely won’t be working on any time soon is the rumored “Sherlock Holmes” movie starring Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen. It was first announced back in 2008, but details about the alleged collaboration have been scant ever since. Apatow explained that that’s because the movie was never actually happening.

“That’s always something that’s out there that just isn’t correct,” he said. “If you think about it, it doesn’t seem to make sense.”

That may be true but, as we told him at the time, that’s the reason we were intrigued by it. May we be the first to suggest a “Sherlock Holmes” reinvention with Maude and Iris as Sherlock and Watson, respectively? Who’s with us?

Would you like to see a Judd Apatow movie with Maude and Iris at its center? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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