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WTF Judd Apatow

10 Things We Learned About Judd Apatow From His WTF with Marc Maron Episode

Trainwreck Judd Apatow

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Judd Apatow long ago made the leap from comedy director to all-out brand. He recently sat down with Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast to discuss his new book Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy, his new movie Trainwreck, and his fear of death. Here are 10 things we learned about the current king of big screen comedy.


10. He Thinks Letterman Blackballed Him

Apatow has always been a bit confused by the solid decade between his first appearance on David Letterman’s The Late Show, and his second. That doesn’t mean the neurotic director doesn’t have a few theories as to what caused it. One centers around a letter he once wrote to a staff member of Letterman’s, calling her a nasty word after he flew out for an interview, only to find the position already filled. Another has to do with a lengthy, largely unfunny bit about the MPAA he milked during his first appearance on the show. Either way, no one ever told him what the problem was.


 9. Who Is Seth Rogen?

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Dreamworks Television

Apatow laughingly remembers the time he threw a charity gala honoring Seth Rogen. The only problem, Rogen wasn’t yet famous, and had never done anything worth celebrating. The award was apparently to honor him for all the good things he might do someday. Various stars came to honor the completely unknown comedian, some more confused than others.


8. Stephen Colbert is Going Places

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Apatow talks about his admiration for Stephen Colbert, who he says is a talent that would be remarkable at anything he did. An ardent fan of The Colbert Report, Apatow points out how the late night comedian started straying from his established persona later in his run, singing songs and the like. It just showed he was ready for The Late Show, and the chance to reach a broader audience.


7. Seinfeld is Insignifigant

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Apatow tells a story about Jerry Seinfeld, in an attempt to illustrate how different the two men are. When Seinfeld was running his eponymous sitcom, he would keep a picture of outer space in the writers room, to remind him of his own insignificance. Apparently, it calmed him. Apatow doesn’t relate to that at all, finding his own insignificance panic inducing.  


6. He’s Afraid of the Quiet

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Universal Pictures

In fact, lots of things panic the comedy auteur. He tells Maron that the main reason he works so hard, and so often, is because the quiet terrifies him. 


5. Amy Schumer is Fearless

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Apatow express awe at watching the way Amy Schumer works. While he often has to force actors and comedians to go deeper, and more personal, she beats him to the punch. He actually finds himself pulling her back in at times. He also loves that, in the end, she is a killer joke writer. If he asks her to punch-up a line, she’ll work it over in the corner, and then come back with ten better ones.


4. Daughters Are Like L.A. Weather

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Apatow says he’s sad thinking about the fact that his oldest daughter, Maude, is going away to college next year. Still, he’s grateful for the time he still has with her. He says life without kids is a lot like the weather in Southern California. Without it, years just fly by, and you don’t even notice.


 3. He Has No Idea How to Parent

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Apatow does admit that he spoils his kids, but only because he doesn’t want to punish himself. He wants to fly first class, so they just come along for the ride. He figures the first half of his life was crappy, and the second half has been great. His kids will basically have the same deal, only in the reverse. Besides, he knows Jake Kasdan, who is the nicest guy in the world, and his father wrote Star Wars, so things have a way of working out.


2. Being a Director Takes One Thing

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Universal Pictures

Apatow gets excited talking about how Marc has started directing his show, IFC’s Maron. He says there’s only one way to become a director, and that’s to direct. Same goes with producing. Produce something, and all of a sudden everyone says you’re a producer. That’s how he became one, at least, and he’s not entirely sure what that word even means.


1. He Admits to Being a Terrible Actor

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Apatow also apologizes for agreeing to be on Maron before backing out. He says it took reading the script for him to remember that he has no idea how to act. Besides, Jeff Garlin got the part, so it all worked out in the end.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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