Sick in the Head

Judd Apatow. Random, $27 (512p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9757-6
In this hilarious, insightful, and deeply personal look into what makes comedians tick, writer-director-producer Apatow (Freaks and Geeks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, etc.) gives his fellow comedy nerds a generations-spanning backstage peek at some of America's greatest humorists. Apatow includes his interviews with a veritable Who's Who of the comedy world, from old-school stalwarts Mel Brooks and Steve Martin to Apatow's contemporaries, including Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Amy Schumer, and Lena Dunham. Each talk is quirky and personable in its own way; what makes them resonate even more is the fact that Apatow undertook several of them while still in high school and working for the student radio station, lugging a tape recorder around to interview comedians and asking them "How do you write a joke?" One of the best interviews, which he did in 1983 at age 15, is with Jerry Seinfeld, a scenario the two repeated in 2014. Apatow's undeniable respect for his comedy idol is clear, and so is Seinfeld's genuine interest in discussing his craft, even with a teenager. Apatow's breadth of experience is not nearly as impressive as the sheer pleasure he so obviously derives from talking about the craft he loves with people who love it too. This exploration of what it really means to be funny, day in and day out, is for the comedian in everyone. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/29/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-85798-593-4
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