Judd Apatow is a man who has known comedy all his life. Long before he established the creative network that begat Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Superbad (2007), Knocked Up (2007), Trainwreck (2015) and Girls (2012–), Apatow was a committed comedy nerd.
As a teenager, he parlayed a job at his high-school radio station into the chance to interview his idols, including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Garry Shandling. Now, these conversations, and new interviews, have been collected in a new book, Sick in The Head – Conversations About Life and Comedy.
Apatow has worked his showbiz connections — and close friendships — with great comedy figures into candid, unguarded discussion, including Mel Brooks on political correctness, Louis CK on drugs and Amy Schumer on sex. As much about comedy as it is about life, fans of the funny world will find it insightful and essential.
Meanwhile, over on Netflix, Love, with Apatow as co-creator, co-writer and executive producer, is a modern-relationships ten-parter, that, if not quite as brilliant as Aziz Ansari’s Master Of None, is very frank and very funny throughout. Sample dialogue: “This weekend I’m trying something different: every time I want to go smoke weed, I do 15 push-ups. Every time I want to masturbate, I’m gonna do 20 sit-ups. That way, by the end of the weekend I’ll be totally ripped and I’ll get high on self-esteem.”
Love is on Netflix from 19 February. Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy (Random House) is out on 10 March