Director Judd Apatow is known for his comedic movies like "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Knocked Up" and "Superbad." But his knack for making audiences laugh comes from a lifetime of studying what's funny and working hard to understand it.
Apatow adds that he strives to make movies with positive messages about people who struggle to learn how they fit into society. He says that as a kid, he used to watch comics and study why they were funny and how audiences reacted to them. Now, Apatow has written a new book called "I Found This Funny" about comics and writers he admires.
Growing up on Long Island, New York, Apatow was able to pick the brains of comedians appearing at a local club. He learned from such renowned comics as Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, John Candy and Father Guido Sarducci, all at the age of 16, under the guise of producing radio interviews that never aired.
Apatow says his love for comedy got him through the challenges associated with growing up and coming of age, and many of his films and television shows focus on that very challenge. He argues everyone is trying to find his or her place in the world, and "look like they know what they're doing," even as adults.
"To me, what it is really about is trying to figure out how you are going to be a good person and how you are going to fit into society." - Director Judd Apatow
"When I was a kid, I would go home at 3:00 and watch TV straight through to the end of Letterman at 1:30 in the morning. I was obsessed with comics. And I would watch Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno and study them as if it was Tolstoy." - Director Judd Apatow
"A lot of the turning points happen in high school and in college, and it defines a lot of how you see the world and how you decide to defend yourself from the world. Some people, you know, their defense mechanism is, I'm really smart or I'm sexy or I'm the leader. And other people, you know, they hide or they make jokes. And we are all figuring out what our plan is going to be." - Director Judd Apatow
1. What is comedy?
2. What does a movie director do?
3. What are some of your favorite movies? Why do you like them?
1. What do you think Apatow means by "turning points" when you're growing up? What are some examples of "turning points" you've experienced?
2. Based on what you saw in the video, how did Apatow begin to grow and develop his career from a young age? If you have a career path you're striving for, how could you start to gain experience in your chosen field now?
3. What do you think Apatow means when he says "everyone is trying to look like they know what they're doing?" What are examples of this?