5 QUESTIONS

WITH JUDD APATOW

Our bookseller Len got the chance to ask one of his favorite authors five questions. Of course he couldn't stop at just five...
Judd Apatow is the author of Sick in the Head, one of our Best Books of 2015.
 

1. Would you ever want to revisit Freaks and Geeks   or Undeclared ?


In some ways, I feel like I’m constantly revisiting these shows – or at least, I’m constantly revisiting the ideas and themes that animate these shows, because they’re the ideas and themes that I’m inherently interested in. Feeling like an outcast, feeling misunderstood, being the pissed off kid who ends up in right field and doesn’t feel like the world makes any sense – then relying on your friendships and talents to survive. As a fan I always want people to do reunions or make new episodes, but as a writer I usually prefer to not ruin people’s memories by attempting new episodes.
 

2. Jerry Seinfeld seems to be the most opposite of you in his approach to comedy; who do you think is the most similar?


When I was a kid I wanted to be Jerry Seinfeld and when I became a comedian he was one of my biggest influences. I feel similar to him in the way I feel similar to all comedians: We are fascinated by all of the madness of the world, from the big to the small. His sitcom was often described as being about nothing but to me it was about everything. It was just done in a completely original way.
 

3. Have you ever done any improv? Why do you think you like stand-up the most?


I have never done improv. The idea of it scares me so I think I have no choice but to do it soon. I have always loved standup because I like to see people process how weird this life is and turn it into something that makes people happy. As a non religious person I need answers and I prefer to get them from funny people.
 

4. Who besides Will Ferrell and Sascha Cohen would you like to interview for a follow-up book?


We’re going to be adding two or three new interviews for the paperback, which comes out next year, and every time I sit down to decide who those two or three people should be, I become paralyzed: I want to interview everybody! Thirty years after interviewing my first funny person, Steve Allen, I still love doing it, still want to know what drives these people, and what I can learn from them. The sequel is inevitable!
 

5. What do you think The Cable Guy's reputation is now?


When we made the movie a friend said to me, "You never know how you did until ten years later.” It has been almost twenty years and I feel like it has aged well. I love that it is super weird, dark and funny, but it also predicts all of the madness of the merging of the telephone, TV and computer. Everything Jim and Matthew do in it still makes me laugh. It is the kind of movie you only make when you are young and insane.
 

6. What was your favorite interview? (I liked the Harold Ramis one).


I love the Harold Ramis one, too. In terms of profundity per word, that one is hard to beat. Kind, deep, funny as hell. But I also love the first one I did with Jerry Seinfeld in 1983, when I showed up at his apartment, a 15 year old kid with a tape recorder. Part of it is sentimental (it was one of the first interviews I ever did), but part of it is also looking back on it now, 30 years later, and realizing how much of what he said that day had a real influence on me, as a writer, as a worker, and as someone who aspires to do good work.
 

7. What are you working on now?


Girls returns for its final season on HBO in February. I also have new show coming on Netflix in February called Love which I am really proud of, and I produced a movie for Pee Wee Herman that is also going to be on Netflix in the spring. I loved working on the book and am working up the nerve to write another one.
   
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 5:30pm