NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An all-new collection of honest, hilarious, and enlightening conversations with some of the most exciting names in comedy—from lifelong comedy nerd Judd Apatow.
“When I need to read an interview with a comedian while in the bathroom, I always turn to Judd Apatow for deeply personal insights into the comedic mind. Place one on your toilet today.”—Amy Schumer
No one knows comedy like Judd Apatow. From interviewing the biggest comics of the day for his high school radio show to performing stand-up in L.A. dive bars with his roommate Adam Sandler, to writing and directing Knocked Up and producing Freaks and Geeks, Apatow has always lived, breathed, and dreamed comedy.
In this all-new collection of interviews, the follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Sick in the Head, Apatow sits down with comedy legends such as David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Will Ferrell, as well as the writers and performers who are pushing comedy to the limits, and defining a new era of laughter: John Mulaney, Hannah Gadsby, Bowen Yang, Amber Ruffin, Pete Davidson, and others. In intimate and hilariously honest conversations, they discuss what got them into comedy, and what—despite personal and national traumas—keeps them going.
Together, they talk about staying up too late to watch late-night comedy, what kind of nerds they were high school, and the right amount of delusional self-confidence one needs to “make it” in the industry. Like eavesdropping on lifelong friends, these pages expose the existential questions that plague even the funniest and most talented among us: Why make people laugh while the world is in crisis? What ugly, uncomfortable truths about our society—and ourselves—can comedy reveal? Along the way, these comics reminisce about those who helped them on their journey—from early success through failure and rejection, and back again—even as they look ahead to the future of comedy and Hollywood in a hyper-connected, overstimulated world.
With his trademark insight, curiosity, and irrepressible sense of humor, Apatow explores the nature of creativity, professional ambition, and vulnerability in an ever-evolving cultural landscape, and how our favorite comics are able to keep us laughing along the way.
About the Author
Judd Apatow is one of the most sought-after comedic minds today—having directed, produced, and written many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows of the last two decades. Apatow’s most recent films include the Netflix comedy The Bubble, which he directed and co-wrote, the HBO Documentary Films two-part George Carlin documentary, which he co-directed, and Universal’s romantic comedy Bros, which he produced. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters, Maude and Iris.
Praise for Sicker in the Head
“The conversations in this book are not only laugh-out-loud funny. They are also remarkably candid about the emotions—fear, hurt, anger, loneliness, alienation—that fuel this art, and the perils and imperatives of working in today’s political landscape. Sicker in the Head gives us an entry pass to ‘the tribe of comedians’ that have provided a sense of belonging to Apatow and the other funny people who became his friends and colleagues in the art of laughter.”—Michiko Kakutani
“Judd Apatow has written his first sequel, and as sequels go, this second collection of interviews with creative artists, featuring a diverse lineup and wide-ranging conversations about life and comedy, is more The Godfather Part II than Jaws: The Revenge. . . . The interviews . . . go well beyond origin stories to fruitful discussions about the mysterious creative process.”—The Washington Post
Praise for Sick in the Head
“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
“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”—The New Yorker