NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE A.V. CLUB • Includes new interviews!
From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.
Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.
Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.
Praise for Sick in the Head
“I can’t stop reading it. . . . I don’t want this book to end.”—Jimmy Fallon
“An essential for any comedy geek.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century.”—The Washington Post
“Open this book anywhere, and you’re bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”—The New Yorker
“Fascinating and revelatory.”—Chicago Tribune
“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book.”—Will Ferrell
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Judd Apatow is one of the most important comic minds of his generation. He wrote and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (co-written with Steve Carell), Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, and his producing credits include Superbad, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman. Apatow is the executive producer of HBO’s Girls. He was also the executive producer of Freaks and Geeks, created Undeclared, and co-created the Emmy Award–winning television program The Ben Stiller Show. His latest film is Trainwreck. He was also the editor of the collection I Found This Funny. Judd Apatow lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters, Maude and Iris.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Why Comedy? ix
The Beginning: Jerry Seinfeld, 1983 3
Part 1 A-J
Adam Sandler, 2009 13
Albert Brooks, 2012 27
Amy Schumer, 2014 46
Chris Rock, 2014 61
Eddie Vedder, 2013 72
Freaks and Geeks Oral History, 2013 81
Garry Shandling, 1984 101
Garry Shandling, 2014 109
Harold Ramis, 2005 117
Harry Anderson, 1983 130
James L. Brooks, 2014 139
Jay Leno, 1984 153
Jeff Garlin, 2013 164
Part 2 J-M
Jerry Seinfeld, 2014 185
Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller, 2010 199
Jimmy Fallon, 2015 214
Jon Stewart, 2014 226
Key and Peele, 2014 238
Larry Gelbart and James L. Brooks, 2007 253
Lena Dunham, 2014 265
Leslie Mann, 2012 277
Louis C.K., 2014 285
Marc Maron, 2010 303
Mariin Short, 1984 321
Part 3 M-S
Mel Brooks, 2013 331
Michael Che, 2014 343
Michael O'Donoghue, 1983 352
Mike Nichols, 2012 362
Miranda July, 2013 372
Roseanne Barr, 2014 382
Sandra Bernhard, 1983 401
Sarah Silverman, 2014 409
Seth Rogen, 2009 417
Spike Jonze, 2014 430
Stephen Colbert, 2014 453
Steve Allen, 1983 466
Steve Martin, 2014 477
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've read it twice in a week. Deep, deep, deep, and smart.
How fascinating that Judd Apatow began interviewing professional comedians as a teen and saved every interview. Then he shared this compilation and gave the proceeds to charity. This book was long and I was grateful because I truly enjoyed the anecdontes and insights from hardworking , funny entertainers. I would recommend this book to people who appreciate a good laugh, or a clever joke, and the thought behind it.