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December 6: Judd Apatow

December 6, 2013

Film Title: This Is 40Comedy writer, producer, and director Judd Apatow, whose witty and raunchy movies include Superbad, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Walk Hard, Bridesmaids, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, was born in Flushing, New York on this date in 1967. Apatow was devoted to comedy at a young age and managed while in high school to interview Steve Allen, Howard Stern, John Candy, and Jerry Seinfeld, among others. He was a college drop-out and broke into comedy as a writer for Gary Shandling on The Larry Sanders Show, and earned six Emmy nominations for his work there. His films have often featured pathetic, weird, or immature men and the women who somehow respond to them with love and affection. (Although “critics argued,” writes Rachael Combe in Elle, “about whether Knocked Up was ‘a little sexist,’ as Katherine Heigl [its star] said in Vanity Fair, the case could also be made that it was a breakthrough in that it offered fully developed female characters alongside the standard-issue bong-sucking dudes of comedy.”) His frequent collaborators include Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Will Ferrell, and his wife, Leslie Mann. Apatow was key in the development of the television shows Freaks and Geeks and Girls. To see him giving advice to young people in a homey format, look below (you can skip the ad in five seconds).

“The moment you think of a joke is the best moment.” —Judd Apatow