Sick in the Head: 5 lessons we learned from Judd Apatow's famous friends

By Nicole Carrington

After 30-plus years of studying (and subsequently dominating) the world of comedy, Hollywood’s modern-rom-com MVP Judd Apatow is honouring his mentors and paying homage to his craft with his new book, Sick in the Head.

The master of laughs began his lifelong study at age fifteen, when he started interviewing his comedic heroes under the guise of reporting for a high school radio show. “I’d never had a kid come to interview me with a tape recorder before,” recalled Jerry Seinfeld thirty-something years after their first encounter. Since that moment in 1983, Judd has not only amassed an impressive series of Q&As with industry icons spanning from Mel Brooks to Chris Rock, but has carefully carved his own path among them.

Beginning initially as a standup comic, the 47-year-old filmmaker has come a long way from his days as a dishwasher at his local comedy club, going on to create television’s cult classic Freaks and Geeks, some of this generation's biggest film hits (think: Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and This is 40) and easily becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought-after producers in the process (GIRLS, anyone?).


Judd Apatow compiled conversations with comedians in his new book. Photo: © Getty Images

“My whole life, I’d wanted friends who had similar interests… people I could talk with about Monty Python and SCTV,” says the self-proclaimed “comedy freak.” With Sick in the Head, he bares a candid series of conversations recorded from the 1980s onwards, with topics ranging from the art of bombing on stage to the influence of personal tragedy and the joys of parenthood. From Lena Dunham to Louis CK, we round up our five favourite stories from stars in Judd's book — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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