Pub. Date:
Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy

by Judd Apatow


$15.99 $18.00 Save 11% Current price is $15.99, Original price is $18. You Save 11%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, October 26



From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Harold Ramis, Seth Rogen, Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).

Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.

Sick in the Head
gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.

Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.

Praise for Sick in the Head

“I can’t stop reading it. . . . I don’t want this book to end.”—Jimmy Fallon

“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

“Open this book anywhere, and you’re bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”The New Yorker

“Fascinating and revelatory.”—Chicago Tribune

“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book.”—Will Ferrell

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812987287
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/31/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 232,803
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Judd Apatow is one of the most important comic minds of his generation. He wrote and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (co-written with Steve Carell), Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, and his producing credits include Superbad, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman. Apatow is the executive producer of HBO’s Girls. He was also the executive producer of Freaks and Geeks, created Undeclared, and co-created the Emmy Award–winning television program The Ben Stiller Show. His latest film is Trainwreck. He was also the editor of the collection I Found This Funny. Judd Apatow lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters, Maude and Iris.

Read an Excerpt

David Sedaris

Excerpted from "Sick in the Head"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Judd Apatow.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Comedy? ix

The Beginning: Jerry Seinfeld, 1983 3

Part 1 A-J

Adam Sandler, 2009 13

Albert Brooks, 2012 27

Amy Schumer, 2014 46

Chris Rock, 2014 61

Eddie Vedder, 2013 72

Freaks and Geeks Oral History, 2013 81

Garry Shandling, 1984 101

Garry Shandling, 2014 109

Harold Ramis, 2005 117

Harry Anderson, 1983 130

James L. Brooks, 2014 139

Jay Leno, 1984 153

Jeff Garlin, 2013 164

Part 2 J-M

Jerry Seinfeld, 2014 185

Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller, 2010 199

Jimmy Fallon, 2015 214

Jon Stewart, 2014 226

Key and Peele, 2014 238

Larry Gelbart and James L. Brooks, 2007 253

Lena Dunham, 2014 265

Leslie Mann, 2012 277

Louis C.K., 2014 285

Marc Maron, 2010 303

Mariin Short, 1984 321

Part 3 M-S

Mel Brooks, 2013 331

Michael Che, 2014 343

Michael O'Donoghue, 1983 352

Mike Nichols, 2012 362

Miranda July, 2013 372

Roseanne Barr, 2014 382

Sandra Bernhard, 1983 401

Sarah Silverman, 2014 409

Seth Rogen, 2009 417

Spike Jonze, 2014 430

Stephen Colbert, 2014 453

Steve Allen, 1983 466

Steve Martin, 2014 477

Acknowledgments 491

Customer Reviews