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Welcome to an all new sorry, John, I just felt like no, I just feel like you're taking yourself way too seriously. It's not like you have to do that. It's not the first time ever. But I just thought, like, wouldn't that be great if our podcast started?


Like, welcome to an all new know that sound. Sure. Heavyhanded. Sure. OK, can I. Do you mind if I just want to try something more upbeat because you're always so serious anyway. I want to do a b I want to be like, you know, smile. This is a podcast that John Hayes, Jason Bateman and I do where we each bring on a guest and the other two don't know who it is. And then, you know, fun ensues about of blood.


That's it. That's all I can say. I could do that or I could do. Welcome to an all new episode of We Got It Smart Lewis Sharp.


Smart. So when I was 21, I was in a gas station and a guy comes up and I'm not making this up.


The guy comes up and he says, Oh, by the way, it should be I don't want to interrupt, but I do I do want to say usually when people say I'm not making this up, I swear to God, if this is true, then maybe I'm not I'm not making it up because this is how stupid I was 20 years old.


Guy comes up and says, hey, you want some speakers? And I'm like, what kind of speakers?


And I'm not kidding there in the back way when I get to interrupt again, this time to say in the guy said and he held up the work order and he's like, we were supposed to deliver, but the person there.


What is that? Is that what happened? No, that's not what happened. The guy says here, look at come look at that. I was a little apprehensive, but it was only like a couple of cars away. So go and look in the back. And they're huge, right? These huge speakers. And he's like, they're only 200 bucks. And that has tons of money. But I was like, God, these brandnew speakers for 200 bucks, I should just do it.


And so I go, would you take a check? I don't have that cash. You sure? So run the check. I took these two huge speakers in my car. I get home and my brother's like, what are you, a fucking moron? And I go, Why? What? And he goes out of the back of a van like this is the point when I learned that this is like not for real.


And I was like, why? I wrote him at Chicago's will cancel it.


So I canceled the check to the bank and I got to keep the speakers.


Were they real speakers?


They were completely makeshift plywood speakers and they work. But they were like, you know, tiny, you know, two dollar speakers.


Well, they used to be a scam. Guys who drive around the city in New York, you mean the village. And they were going to go, hey, man, you know, we're you know, we're sort of street is and you're like, you're on it. They're like going away.


We're trying to we had these speakers are supposed to deliver, but they're getting what I mean, like, holds out the order and he opens the back of the van. He has these huge you know, I mean, I don't know if you want him. I mean, I, I guess I could give you for 100 bucks.


You're like, what, 100 bucks? Are you telling the exact same story I just told her? Yeah. Basically, I'm just better, like, imagine it's punching it up, like, more fun. This is like auditions go.


Oh, same dialogue. Different dude. Sure.


Yeah. Like less like sitting in a therapist's office and more like just having fun, you know. OK, so. All right. Our guests today are surprise guest.


I don't even know how to introduce him because he's super funny. But be he has been part of creating or has created some of the greatest things, movies and TV shows that certainly that I've ever loved and that you have to.


And Norman Lear, it's not Norman Lear. So now you're going to be feeling bad. And I can't wait for him to lay into you for that. But he's he's our Norman Lear. Let's think about it that way. He's a super, super funny guy. I first got to meet him years ago, and he was working with my ex at the time. And it was really exciting for me to to hang out with him and got to know him a little bit over the years.


And he has just created I don't know, it's like you could just look down his his resume and pick out what are the things that you like that he produced? Do you like him producing the highest grossing sort of r rated female driven comedy, Bridesmaids? Do you. Oh my gosh. Do you like Anchorman. Do you like Larry Sanders show that he thought that Judd Apatow that you like. Oh my my Judd Apatow because he's just doing some light reading.


Mary Mary Trump's book.


Hello, Judd. That was that was a long wait. I read the 30 pages of Barry Trump's book, apologize, but it was worth it. Yeah.


Do you think that was a long time? You could probably watch the movie based on Mary Trump's book during one of Jason's questions, because he's not known for his brevity.


But it just made me think like what is going to happen? What is going to happen with the the theater experience? Yeah. Or Sean and Jason. I'm going to be able to get back into the movie theaters to watch one of your funny movies again. Desperately, please. Yes. Yeah. Is that happening?


I think we all don't want to get sick, so we don't go to the movie theaters. And then one day someone will say it's good now and then everyone will go to the movie theaters. I mean, Russell Crowe had a movie this weekend, which I don't think I'm out of line saying it's probably a terrible movie and it made for a million dollars. Right now, a terrible Russell Crowe movie, not in a pandemic, might have made eight million dollars.


Right. Like a really bad, you know, not delivering on your revenge wrage action movie. Now, I could be wrong and maybe it's fantastic.


Nobody is going to the theaters right now. So that's four million dollars that they've squeezed out of nothing in six months from now. I think you're right. But I think six months from now, once once somebody goes, you know, blows the whistle all clear, it's not like we all of a sudden we've, like, changed who we are as a whole.


I would also let you guys know that pre pandemic walk hard made three point nine million opening weekend. No way. So anyway, you just have to understand.


Is that true? That is true. And it's an American classic. That's crazy.


Just how important is box office to you? I mean, Staten Island was awesome. That was that was I think that was just a streaming release. Right. Because it was right in the teeth of the pandemic that was Video-On-Demand. And you got a great response for that. But you have no idea, you know, how the component of of a box office success. There's no metrics yet. How important is that to you? It's obviously important for the people that are writing the checks.


Is it nice to just make the movie, get it out there and help the people that are interested in seeing it can find it?


Well, for me, I make most of my money on my lip balm. That's where the real cash comes. It's on back order, rootbeer. He has a lock on rupia lip balm. Not a lot of people know that.


I remember my daughter was home one night and she's like, the generals are putting out a lit bomb. There's only 20000 of them and they're going to release them at 1:00 in the morning. And I have to stay up and I'm like, I think there's more. I think that you'll be able to get it at a later date.


So, I mean, for me, I felt like I wanted King in Staten Island to come out because I thought, oh, this is about firemen and nurses and sudden loss. And it felt like it related to what we were going through in some way. And luckily, I'm in a position where I can, you know, roll the dice and hope that that makes sense. I certainly was happy that people got to see it. And the alternative would have been to say, why don't you wait a year to put it out?


And just as somebody who wants to get it out of my system, I also felt like it would be weird to have something like that sitting on the shelf for a year that might make people happy in some way to hold back your your joy machines.


I know you're all suffering, but I'd like to wait a year to max out my ray like it really felt like a terrible choice.


But the success was predicated on its reception and on the merits and the sort of validation of box office receipts is eliminated from this equation. And so your work is just left to be judged for what it is. There's no other sort of nuanced thing in there or or some hurricane going up the East Coast that screws everything up for your box office that like. Do you like that? That part of it is taken out if you just do a streaming play.


Well, it wasn't like a Netflix type, or at least there was a gross, you know, people, you know, rented it. And so there was a moment of like, I wonder if anyone will pay to watch it right now. So so we did have some of that stress, but it's a lower budgeted movie. It's not the new Chris Nolan movie. So the bar isn't that high.


I can't wait for that Chris Nolan movie. It looks so good. It's coming out last year. I'm so excited and I can't wait. I can't wait.


I've watched the three of my other lives, so no one has ever been more confident that their movie kicks ass than Christopher Nolan. Right. Like, everything that he's doing is just saying, like, I got the motherfucking goods people know and he's got like he's got like that for all his movies.


He's very comfortable. I don't know the guy at all, but he makes great movies and it's always that, like, yeah, you guys have great technology. But if you really want to watch my movie, you have to watch it on a 70 million. Like you can watch it whether you're like, OK, Jesus, man, let me just watch the movie like, no, you're going to watch it like this. You're going to be knee deep in muck and cheese is to watch it.


But he is he does have the goods. Do you have any desire to play in that sort of that scope and scale, or are you happy with the character driven stuff that you do so well and. Well, this is how I do action.


OK, there's a sequence in the king of Staten Island where Davidson is in a car and he's driving with his eyes closed. Yeah. And it's, you know, showing you that he's somewhat suicidal as a character. And then there's a car accident and it's very complicated. While we were shooting it, I was in the follow van watching the Federer and Nadal Wimbledon final. And let me say, I don't think I missed the points all day.


You know, I've got Bob Elsworth, the guy who shot there will be blood. So I'm not really like going.


Bob, I think you got it wrong here. Yeah, right. Good mission impossible.


So I'm always proud when they come out. Well, you know, scenes with any type of action. But I remember, like, you know, one of my friends was doing this, you know, this movie with tons of CGI shots. And he's just like, I'm just in a dark room with a laser pointer for six straight months looking for weird stakes and CGI spots. And I don't know if I have that in me. I assume at some point I will have to do one of these.


Like, it'll just adjust because you've been offered one. Let me be honest with you.


I was offered nothing my whole career. You know, you would think at some point, like, you know how like someone makes a great indie movie and then they offer them Jurassic Park and they're like, yeah, his movie costs a million dollars, but he seems fantastic, which I'm all for. I've given people jobs like that. I've made all sorts of movies. I have never gotten a call to direct any movie. Now, not just like Marvel movies, like movies like no one ever thinks I would accept a movie.


No, they don't think because they know you're good. They're like. They're like Judd's got his own thing going, like we're not going to bother him. We got this thing that, like, prettiest girl at the prom. Yeah, exactly. They're going to be like, but I will say so sort of true that one of the things that you do, I think maybe better than anybody would stack up against anybody. You really have a knack for finding new voices and new talent.


And it's pretty remarkable how consistently you've done that for a long time.


I'm not just new voices who, like, fit into what you do, but you actually find new people and you're very sort of flexible and you allow those voices to kind of grow on their own, which is really super awesome. Whether it's I mean, I can name a million. I mean, you know, the entire cast of Freaks and Geeks to, you know, all the guys in whether it's Superbad or for you, like all these consistently over the years, is that something that you actively do or is that just something that you just kind of do and it just happens like, you know, I was such a nerd growing up, you know, I just thought certain people were really funny and I would get very excited.


And I could only compare it to, like, if you're a sports fan and you just go, I love, you know, Steve Garvey and you just can't get enough of him. I would watch like Jason Bateman in that show where he's mean to his the guy dating his mom. What was that show, Jason?


Yeah, it's your move. I mean. I mean, I would watch it. You move. I'm not joking. And I would just go and fucking kid is so funny. So I don't know what's happening on this show, but whatever that kid is doing.


And so then I would just like in my head track them like you would track Dwight.




You know, and you know, like with with Amy Poehler, I watched her play Andy Richter's sister on Conan and I didn't know who she was. I just thought I think that's the funniest person. And then I did a pilot. I did all sorts of things. I was like, I think it's Amy. Everything I did, I must have fucked up because nothing went, no pilot went. But like, that's how how it works. And it doesn't matter what they're doing.


I just haven't got nerd's feeling like I want to see more of that person.


Like I remember. I remember. So we first met was with Amy and you guys were doing North Hollywood, this pilot with Judge Reinhold and Amy and Kevin Hart and Kevin Hart and Jason Segel and Jason Segel.


So that was the cast. So we're hanging out. And then it's like January Jones was hanging out at the time and they were just like she was in iTunes and she was in it, too.


And we talked about it was when Seth was on here, we're talking about Brett Forrester was working with you on it or something. Or he will remember we went over to his house one night in Malibu anyway. Crazy.


I have photos of this, by the way. I know those photos of like all of us together.


This is in 2002, I think 2000.


This is January 2001. Is there anyway. And it's all of us together. There are the largest joints you've ever seen, like comical, like like Cheech and Chong. Someone must have done it as a joke. Joints in the shots. I'd put them online. But there's so many like, you know, Bob Marley join. But it's all legal now, though. It's all legal now.


But it is a funny group of people, too, because it's like, you know, Jan Jones and Amy and Kevin Hart and you and it's like it's so crazy.


But and Seth, I mean, one of those a couple of those pictures and I was like and I said to him, but I said it like, there's a show that you had that you wrote that you were producing and you had all this incredible talent on there.


And like if you went in today and said, I want to do a show with Seth and Amy and Jason and Kevin Hart, and every network would be like, is a billion dollars enough? Can we give you too much? You know, I mean, like you had this ability and I guess I guess like you say, it is that thing. But even still, like even guys like Seth, like Seth talked about how when, you know, for Freaks and Geeks that you basically found him off a tape, right?


Yeah. Vancouver. Yeah.


He was just on the tape. So crazy. We wrote up a generic freak scene and a generic geek scene. And then we did open call auditions because I had this thought that anyone who would be right to starting the show would never think they could get a job as an actor or actress. It would have to be someone that is like no one is going to let me be in show business. Yeah, right. And so Seth, who I guess, you know, was a little standup, but he was like 14 years old, but he hadn't done anything.


And we're just watching the tape. And then suddenly there's Seth Wright and Seth is reading a scene that's all about how his dream is to grow pot underground and have an encore and above it.


And then there's a hole to the pot. And so the cops come.


You could just say I'm just a corn farmer. And it was just him explaining his marijuana business. And and it made us laugh so hard.


We were just like, who is this person?


And so we put him on the show. And then he turned out to be very sweet and emotional.


And the more work we did with him, the more we realized, oh, this. Gruff, funny guy is just the tip of the iceberg. This is very fascinating kind of person.


Isn't it amazing when you know what you want to do at that young of an age? It's almost like you are then, no matter what, destined to succeed.


You already had a draft of Superbad in his back pocket. Yeah, he was 16 years old at the time. So, yeah, that's that's really all it is. And there was a moment where I was trying to cast big stars in an early movie. I was trying to get my first directing going and every time I would try to do it, they would either say no or we're not available for two and a half years. And at some point I thought, oh, I just have to find someone who's not working.


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So this sort of your affinity for scouting and finding these young upstarts, is that how Leslie came onto your radar and then you were like, well, I'll go one better. I'm going to try to put a ring on this.


You know, when we were doing the cable guy, that was like very early in my career, such a good show.


So I was I was totally in, like, Ben Worlds. You know, Ben hired me on The Ben Stiller Show, not really knowing I didn't know how to do anything, you know? So I met Ben online and Elvis Costello Unplugged.


Right. And wow, HBO had been asking him to do a sketch show and he just had an MTV show that was really kind of brilliant. But not many people watched and we met and started chatting about what would a modern sketch show be like. And then two weeks later, we sold this show and we were the executive producers and HBO sold it to Fox.


So now we've got a Fox show and neither of us have ever really made a professional show. We were in over our head.


HBO was just operating as the as the studio at that point.


Then they said they were going to put it on HBO. And then one day they called us up and said we sold it to Fox because they wanted to get in the producing game in some way. And so then the show, we did 13 episodes and it was so much work and we got canceled so mean. We were on at seven thirty on Sundays, up against 60 Minutes. It was a really weird place to put it, edgy, innovative sketch show.


But I was in over my head. Ben knew exactly what he wanted to do and I learned everything from Ben. He really had a vision. And if you look at a lot of modern comedy and cinematic comedy and what Saturday Night Live has turned into, a lot of it is what Ben wanted to do back in nineteen ninety two. He loved the idea of high production values, cinematic comedy films. Yeah. And obviously he was inspired by the Albert Brooks movies from Saturday Night Live and Saturday Night Live parodies.


And so then when we did the movie, it was a very similar situation, which was I was producing the movie. I had never been the full producer of a movie. Jim Carrey's in it. And we really didn't quite know what we were doing, which gave us the courage to make something super weird because we didn't know that they expect something more down the middle. And Jim was really excited to blow up the perception of him as just a silly guy.


So he wanted to go dark. And so we just tried to do it without watering it down and in any way. And then we just worked with all the people that we loved the most. Jack Black, who was one of his first movies, was Owen Wilson's second movie. You know, there were a lot of people populated.


And was Leslie a piece of casting or did you guys know her before?


Leslie had just come off a great show called Birdland that Walter Parks created with Scott Frank. And, you know, she she was doing like really well at that time. And then we also read everybody in town, every single person in town.


But you're also skipping a big piece in there, which was you had done Larry Sanders. Right. That was kind of in between Ben Stiller Show and Cable Guy, is that right? Yeah.


And after and after a cable guy. Yeah. Yeah, right. Right.


And so, I mean, that was a huge again, like that was one of those like something like that really changed the whole sort of definition of what was funny.


Yeah. I mean, it was almost like Gary saw like network or something and decided to do a satire of egomania. I think Gary was just fascinated by his own need to be successful and famous and have everyone like him. So it's almost like he created a character that had his worst qualities and then he tried to humiliate it. But there was no winking on that show.


You know, it was incredibly dry and there was broadness at times, but no one was trying to help the audience know that this line is funny. This moment is funny. It was there was a darkness to it in the same way the cable guy was as well, that I just think that that just changed things a little bit in the industry and a great way that that things became a little bit less obvious in the comedic space.


You almost could say it was more inspired by Hill Street Blues and that world of where television was going than what was happening in comedy. Obviously, we were all fans of everything Norman Lear did and James Brooks and and people like that, Larry Gelbart. But, you know, Gary also must have been was a great movie called The Hospital. You ever see the hospital, this Paddy Chayefsky movie starring George C. Scott. And it was all about how a hospital really worked and that it was kind of terrifying and scary.


And it was like the network of hospitals. But it was before Chayefsky wrote Network.


I think it came out before network. And I always thought St. elsewhere must have been inspired a little bit by it. Right. And I think that's the space he was in.


It was a little bit more of that Bruce Paltrow and and that generation of the MOTM, our long people who did all those great shows.


Was Gary is hard on you guys when you were making that show on everyone entering Hart in particular, but just was he demanding as Larry Sanders was in the show?


Because I know there were a lot of things, like you said, I love that. It's such an interesting idea that he was kind of highlighting his worst attributes and then punishing himself for it was there that I think it was way worse.


Like we really like because like we all loved him and knew he was a genius.


But we also knew that the show was set up in the worst way to bury him because no one had ever done.


You know, there wasn't a lot of single camera comedy at that time other than the wonder years. I've got one year that started, but there really wasn't much of it. So people didn't know how to do it. And you guys almost did a hybrid. There was there was almost the sort of the proscenium kind of multicamera elements, at least on the show. And you're doing the show. And then when you went backstage, then it's all single camera and kind of verité.


And it was really, really cool. It was too many elements like to do a sitcom.


You know, you read it on Monday and then you rehearse for, like, you know, a few days and then you tape in front of an audience on Friday, maybe pretaped some of it. And so there's a logical structure with this show.


We would read it on Monday, usually toss a ton of it out Monday night. We'd rehearse Tuesday and Wednesday and then Thursday and Friday like a movie. They would shoot at 17 pages a day. I didn't feel like a TV sitcom taping. It felt like a movie. If instead of shooting four pages a day, you'd shot.


Wow, no way.


But the week was basically treated in the same schedule like a sitcom. Yeah. Wow, that's crazy. I never knew that. I didn't know. Yeah. It made no sense. And then the other two things was that they would have to shoot an actual talk show Friday night. So you'd finish at like midnight with the show. And then suddenly for the next two hours you'd have a Sugar Ray Leonard and Ellen DeGeneres talk show segments for all these episodes.


And then, you know, we're writing his monologues and we're doing pre interviews with Carol Burnett. And so for Gary, it he just didn't have enough hours in the day to act it, write it and edit it. And as a result, I'm sure you guys have been there. You know, when you go, you know, this script isn't good. I have nothing in the tank. You don't know how to fix it without me. So I want to kill you.




Right. I heard a great story when we were Jeffrey Tambor who played Ah, Dad, as you know, unarrest development.


He told me this great story that in the last season of Larry Sanders, he was trying to get everybody together to buy to get a thank you gift for Gary. And so he just he had decided to sell me to decide that they're going to get him a car. And he says, so we go, I'm going to tell everybody. And he says he goes to rip twins dressing room and he knocks on a dressing room that I had for two years when we were over there on the red for love was ribs, restroom room upstairs, or any company knocks on the door and answered the door.




And Jeffrey said, Hey, guys, so we're thinking about getting Gary a present for the end of the series. He goes, Yeah, because and we're thinking and getting in a car and replacing him in a car. And he goes and he goes, fuck you and slams the door. Is that kind of thing would happen all the time at the show.


You know, the show was also very hair trigger because you had all of these personalities who were brilliant but also would snap a little bit.




And so but else was there was one day where Jeffrey Rip have a scene together at the table and in the scene reports character. Artie, you know, calls Hank a fucking idiot.


Right. And then afterwards, Jeffrey's very upset and he's just like, rip. I really I really don't think you should call my character a fucking idiot. My character is not a fucking idiot. Is is disingenuous.


So this is Jeffrey talking to Rip. Yeah. Not Hank talking to Artie.


Yeah. No, it's Jerry talking to him. He's like Dripps here, know he's not a fucking idiot. And Ripsaw said Jeff, he goes, well my character thinks your character is a fucking idiot.


And so they get into this, you know, fight about it and then rip storms off. And one of the producers follows after him and he's like, you know, fuck this place, fuck this. I don't work anymore. It's bullshit. And then he goes into his dressing room, he goes, I'm getting the fuck out of here. And then he picks up the phone and he goes, like, Yes, can I speak to my agent, Bob Gurche, please?


OK, can you tell him return calls and he just walk back to the set.


But I left word I left for. Well, you and I both have production companies, we hire people and we're always looking for great people to fill positions that we create at our companies, and finding great candidates to hire for those positions can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Needle in a haystack. Yeah, I just came. I love that imagery. That's incredible. Thanks. I mean, you know, it's true, though.


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The documentary about Carrie was one of the best documentaries I've ever seen in my entire life. Incredible. I wrote an email and I meant every word of it. It was just incredible. I, I never knew that side of Carrie.


I knew he was brilliant and he was funny and and sweet and but I never knew all of that. Yeah.


He was such a complicated person.


I mean, and I did understand him even by the end when I was making the documentary, I would find out aspects about his life that I didn't understand before.


How do you decide where to point your time? There's so many things that you're great at, so many things you're asked to do, so many things I'm sure you're curious about doing, you know, and then you got this incredible family to how do you what's the trick?


Usually something kind of bubbles up and then you have to decide if you have the passion and the energy to hang with it for years. And so, you know, for instance, I had talked to Davidson about a movie for a long time. I gave him an idea for a movie that wasn't very good. And I sent him down a blind alley for a couple of years with a very silly idea. And then we started talking about doing something more serious about his family.


And and then we started writing it together. I had a sense like I think I should be in the writing of this. It's very complicated. And he's so honest, he'll give me everything. And his best friend, Dave Sirus, wrote on it, too. But I felt like my experience had helped shape it and find the tone. And then there was just a day where I just thought, I think I have to direct this. I don't think anyone else would know how to follow through.


And and that's kind of it because it had a specific resonance for you and you're in your own life, I think, on some level.


And this is so strange. You know, for years I've been trying to figure out what what can I make a movie about that would be fresh for me and that people wouldn't expect me to write about. And I kept thinking of the word sacrifice. I was trying to think, what do I not write about? I write about immature people and selfish people. What's the opposite of that? Oh, it's people who sacrifice to help other people. So that might be an interesting area.


And I tried to write two or three things on the subject, didn't pull it off. And then when I was talking to Pete one day and he was talking about his dad and what it feels like to have a parent be willing to die for other people to save other people, I realize, oh, I must have been mentally preparing for this for the last five years, just on some unconscious level. I knew this was what I was going to write.


And I'm not spiritual generally, but I do sometimes get a sense of, oh, everything that happened brought me to the moment to meet Pete, to try to help figure this out with him and with everything. I feel that I think.


But you do kind of have that sacrificial, somewhat philanthropic instinct with what it is that you do in that you find these these young voices, these these people that wouldn't otherwise have access and and extend that to them. So you've kind of been doing it, but you haven't been making stories about it. So I'll bet that's what clicked for you.


I think it's I have my own sense of and this is how I relate to Gary, is that, you know, life is really painful for most people or at least a fair amount of the time. And Gary was very interested in Buddhism in the first idea of Buddhism. His life is suffering.


And then you soldier on and try to make the best of it and try to be a kind person and evolve.


Yeah, I remember, Sean, you told me you one time you went you went to the rolling store and it was closed and they were like, come back in an hour and you waited.


I wrote a poem about suffering. Yeah. Yeah.


And he went back and said, it's an hour. All you need are you guys want to take some more time at lunch? Because I can come back maybe tomorrow.


Yeah. And I came back and it was closed. They lied.


You know, the heroes come in all shapes.


And so I want to ask something, really, because almost everything you do or everything you do is so real and human and grounded.


And I think the most important thing when it comes to comedy relatable.


And so does that mean that you're not as big of a fan of, like, big silly physical comedy or or you are, but you just don't focus your work on that, but you enjoy it? Or do you just like. Yeah, it's not for me because so many sitcoms are not real or grounded.


They're all kind of in a fantasy world that a lot of times doesn't exist. But what about those big physical comedy actors and actresses that we know?


You know, for me, I love that. Also, I think it's a lot of ways harder to do. You know, me and Adam Sandler, we talk about this all the time that, you know, when we were making funny people, Adam was like, you know, everyone's going to want me to do more things like this, but they don't understand how hard it is to just make people piss their pants. Laughing Yeah. And, you know, we all know that, you know, when you look at something like airplane, you realize it is a fucking miracle.


You know, when there's a movie like Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles or something, there's nothing harder to do.


A joke for joke. Ripped down the house, no weak sections, comedy, and I worked on, you know, a few, you know, I co-wrote You Don't Mess With The Zohan with Smiggle and Sandler and, you know, Walk Hard. And I produced some movies like that, like Pop Star and I. I love them, but usually I'm trying to find the emotion.


You know, I think in my head, I always think, can you tear down the house? And at some point in the movie, make someone cry and it's the same movie and it's all organic. Incredible. And you get there and it's not bullshit. You didn't, you know, jump over some logic that it's organic and connect with it.


Yeah, yeah. That's my favorite thing to do. But also, I'll tell you, there's nothing funnier than Sandler, you know, pouring champagne on all of the older woman's ladies hairdos, you know, or just the.


Yeah, the big broad laughs that you get from a Farrell or a Sasha or, you know, Melissa or I mean, it is a real high wire act and it takes an enormous amount of acting talent to take those big swings and still not leave Earth, you know. Oh, I'm so wacky that it's like I'm getting a headache. And, you know, when it works, it's your favorite thing in the world. Yeah. And how rare is it that someone makes you laugh to the point where you're screaming?


I remember that was like a scene in Extras where it was so simple.


It's just Ricky Gervais is giving a homeless guy, maybe gave a guy like twenty pounds or something and he just didn't think the guy appreciated it enough and then slowly started talking to him about it.


And by the end he takes it back to him and it just for some reason made me laugh like really hard just how old was written or improvised.


And I started laughing really hard, like losing it in bed and fleabag. There was a moment where they all punched each other in the face in the opening episode of the second season. But it was real and it was emotional. But they found a way to suddenly snap on each other. And one by one, every person punched another person in the table, in the face. And I thought that is the most difficult moment I've ever seen in a TV show.


You're right. I think that that was one of the great things about that show is a great example, because that show accomplished something.


And I think one of the reasons, apart from it just being hysterically funny consistently, but for people who do this as your job, you understand what a high wire act it was that she did.


Like what? How many narrow targets she hit one after the other after the other on that show.


It was pretty remarkable for my at least from where I was sitting, I was like, fuck, this is high quality, you know, gamesmanship happening nonstop. It was it was I was blown away by it, frankly. Yeah.


No, I mean, I and I go back and forth, you know, sometimes you make something that's like heavier and then you think, I just want to do like boner jokes for a year or two.


For a while I was producing things for Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. And so I would direct a movie and then work with him as a producer on their movies. And it was just such a wonderful rhythm to watch them do something like Stepbrother's just as a fan to to watch how they worked. And and it was you know, it was like getting to watch the Marx Brothers, you know, just just sit at the monitor and watch, you know, Rudd and Will and Carol and Technodrome and Christina do a scene.


And I felt like no one even gets to see this. Like, this does not make it in the movie is the best thing I've ever seen in my life.


You know, there was a scene where where Will gets punched by Paul Rudd in Anchorman two. And the joke was, what is the reaction going to be to him getting hit this hard and take after take? Adam and Wellwood would come up with new reactions and so had one reaction.


He got hit so hard, he started speaking another language, another one, you know, and another one. He gets hit so hard that he regresses and he's like four years old.


He's like and he's just like acting like a little kid.


And I was watching them run through, like, every way you could react to a hard punch.


And I thought, this is my dream. Like, I feel like I only make movies so that I'm allowed to witness this as a fan.


Yeah. Just watching somebody like will be able to pull off each of those enormously different choices so believably. And then beyond that, actually making you laugh. He's just he's just a remarkable actor.


Wil and Adam have that thing of like in wheels, kind of like there's like a danger there. Like you don't know what's coming next. And I remember him telling me a story that he and McKay, when they were working on SNL, would call from the seventeenth for like on a Tuesday would call or Lorne's office and say, hey, you've got Joe Terry on the line here.


They just had to go slow because it goes to Tourie here for Lorne. And so they get through the Lords office. From Lauren's perspective, he's like a territory. So it's McCay basically doing like a listen, I didn't like the way you had to her on the show on the last week and it didn't make us look good.


And of course it doesn't sound like, but in Lauren's defense, he's like, I can't hang up in case it is. And so they go through it.


So he and we'll give him shit right. And then they hang up. But this is what makes those guys so kind of what you're describing.


They're like now let's call them back and they call back.


And that's, you know, and it's like, yeah, when you have people like that who are willing to and when you get to work with stuff like that, it's pretty remarkable.


I have to admit you something that so years ago we were doing we're just maybe just finishing Arrested Development and and we had met before a couple of times.


And then I was like, we were going to have a lunch together. Remember this? We went to the Daily Grill. You probably don't remember. But in Santa Monica years. Yeah, years ago.


And we went and you're like, hey, we're doing all this great stuff. You should come and hang out. And I was such a young I'm not that much different, but it was such an idiot. I'm still kind of an idiot. And I was like, I'm kind of busy. And you're like, come on over and hang out. I was like, I don't know. I'm kind of busy. And I sort of was like that.


Right. So I go and you're like, I think you're everything OK, man?


Or don't you know shit if you come over and hang with me and s and so, so I didn't. And then I walked out and I was like it also just made like a little bit of money and I had like my first expensive car and I was embarrassed because I thought you were cool and I was like, fuck this. And so I went into the bathroom and I waited as long as I thought you would valet to get your car so that you wouldn't see me car.


What kind of car was it?


It was a Mercedes. It was the first time I ever bought a Mercedes. And I was like, you know, whatever I was. And I wasn't young. I was like 36 at the time. Like, it wasn't like a twenty one year old. Oh, no. I did this after a four year old virgin.


I leased a porch, you know, because I thought, well, this is what you do. You get the 9/11. This is why we've been working. And it was a stick and I was not good at driving it and it only seemed to drive well and be fun if you were going 90 miles an hour on the freeway. And so every time I drove it on the freeway, I was terrified that I was going to die. And I thought, well, this really isn't any fun at all.


And I left it in my driveway for two years.


The police have to call those guys. Johnny got to show every time you see somebody the lot. So you go look at Johnny. Got to show with his car.


Judd, I want to switch gears to to family. How are you liking being able to share everything that you know and you've learned to to your girls? Well, I don't know. Is Iris getting into a mod? Certainly isn't. She was fantastic in in the film. Is she listening to the helpful advice you can give? She's really fun for me to to work with Lord. I mean, she's very similar to Leslie. She's super honest and real and fierce and funny at the same time.


And then Iris was on that TV show we did for Netflix called Love, and she played a spoiled child star and was really funny. So, yeah, sometimes I wonder, you know, am I ruining them by never mentioning any other possible occupation other than this?


You know, it's not like we talk about dentistry at the house or the legal profession. Like I mean, if she ever walked up to me and said, like, you know, that I'd really like to get into accounting, I'd be like, what the fuck that come from? You know, it's fun. I think we all have fun and you do it.


And I always encourage them to write and learn how to direct.


And hopefully they'll do that. I mean, it's you know, it's enjoyable.


Are they listening, though? Can they admit the fact that you've been crushing this for a long time and you might have something smart to say?


They never will to my face. Right. But then, you know, like Maude had to do press or the king of Staten Island so I could read interviews with her where she'll reluctantly say nice things about me.


So that's that's the only way I you know, I guess she does love me because she she told the vulture at New York magazine.


But we had the chance to commingle when you and Leslie were doing a change up, when my kids were little and we were pulling them around the hotel. And that was like super fun just to get to watch you guys work together. And you guys are so funny. I had so much fun with Leslie. Oh, my gosh.


Well, you know, listen, I you know, whenever I and this is the truth, whenever I you know, I'm a comedy nerd like you are.


I know I've done the documentaries over and I thank you for that, by the way.


And I you know, when I get giddy whenever I see your name on something, because I know it's going to be great and I get super excited like it's fucking Christmas. I'm like, oh my God, I can't wait, says Judd Apatow on it. I'm so excited. What are you excited about? That's coming up next that you can talk about.


Well, we're we're producing a movie for Billy Eichner Stoler.


Oh, yeah. You turned me on to him first, Billy. Yeah. So we. Right, about to shoot that when everything shut down. We were all headed to Buffalo. OK, so that'll get going when they allow us to get going. And then I'm starting a George Carlin documentary right now. And I thought, like, well, with everything that's happening in the world, he's only been proven correct about every day. It's fucking crazy.


Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Mike Judge two with Idiocracy. Yeah. He had it pretty much mapped out both those guys and.


But Carlin, stand up. There are so many bits that you listen to now and you're like, was he like looking through a fucking portal like kids?


He had a pretty clear point of view, which is you're getting screwed. Yeah. And and that was his thing. He's like, if you don't think you're getting screwed, you're not paying attention. And it really was a philosophy that the masses are being sedated so rich people can steal all your money.


And there was a great routine that goes around when he says, like, you have new rights, you only have the rights that they want you to think you have.


And it's pretty incredible because at the time, people thought he had lost it a little bit. People were like, wow, he's a crank and he's really dark and there's not even laughs anymore. This is too rough. And now we look at it and go, oh, it may not even be dark enough.


By the way, he lived a long time and he lived hard. Yeah. Did he was he a heart? Liver?


You know, I think he certainly had his his drug period. And I think he had a fair amount of heart problems in his life. The thing that's come up already, which is kind of amazing, is how many people have contacted me to say that he was really cool to them. And so I'll just get emails out of the blue from a comedian who'll say, I bumped into him when I was an open mic or he took my number. He would call me to check how I was doing.


No one would give me advice. Multiple people saying out of the blue my phone would ring and George Carlin would go, how's this going? Wow. Just like a real giver to the comedy community. And people keep telling me, oh, I interviewed him for this. How many people have said they interviewed him for their school paper or whatever? So many people have said, I have a tape. You know, Paul Reiser emailed me the other day, he's like in nineteen seventy two.


My sister interviewed him for a school paper. He's like, I got the tape. I mean, it's a lot of the way. Yeah. So I'm excited.


So you just starting that now. What's that. That's like a year away. Yeah. Cause I'm dying to see that.


I want to learn about how easy easier. You're really cool. Really cool. Jesus Judd.


I can't, I can't thank you enough for coming on here today. Me, I'm very nice.


I'm a giant fan of all of you. I hope we get to do it together. I hope we get to make some comedy together. Incredible. Let's do it. It's about fucking time.


It is about Pete Davidson already. Right enough. Pete Davidson. He had his minute with you and Pete on pitons too many, Pete.


So let's move. And Pete Holmes. That's right. Anyway, just thank you. We've taken up way too much your time, dude. It's such a pleasure. You're a you're a giant in a in a really great dude and super funny. And we thank you for your time.


And it was an honor. Yeah. Thank you very. Say hi to your ladies. I will be. Well, thanks, Jack. Thank you, everybody. You guys. That was that was fun, huh? And one of you guys we were talking about just recently and and I was like, he he's going to be on the show.


Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You had him cookin. Because when I do my life inside, I go keep to myself my entire life, huh? Yeah. Masculinities your voice. Thank you, Sean. If you mean.


Yeah, I really look up to that fella. He he's doing he's doing a lot of what I would have been trying to do. It's amazing how prolific he is. I mean, it's incredible the length of his career, the quality of his stuff, the philanthropy. As I said, you know, with way he goes about his work, it's really it's really impressive. There's not a lot of people that work like him in that he kind of gathers a troupe.


But then it's not sort of like a closed door that people come in, people people leave. But there's always sort of this caretaking thing. You get the sense that that he covers it all with in a nurturing way.


That's pretty radical, I think. Yeah. So you're saying you like the length and you also like the girth, like the width. How much of his career. So you like the length and the groove.


Sometimes the length is the best part and then other times just the width of what you can do. Sure. It's thick. Yeah.


He's exploding with talent. Yeah. Because you've been really. Well yeah sure.


You know, metaphorically speaking those are all compliments of course dude. Of course these are compliments. All right. All right.


I love you guys.


I love you. Love you guys too. By. It's smart. Smart bombs.