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Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy Hardcover – June 16, 2015
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“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
“For fans of stand-up, Sick in the Head is a Bible of sorts.”—Newsweek
“This exploration of what it really means to be funny, day in and day out, is for the comedian in everyone.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Incandescent . . . an irresistible, ultimate-insider’s comedy-interview extravaganza . . . [Judd] Apatow never loses his unabashed fan’s enthusiasm even as he asks canny questions that yield superbly illuminating conversations rich in shop talk and musings on the lure, demands, and resonance of comedy.”—Booklist (starred review)
“If Apatow’s gift for comedy is a sickness, may he never be cured.”—Playboy
“Sprawling and insightful . . . The candidness of the interviews also exposes the peculiar community of comedians with anecdotes and cameos unlikely to be heard elsewhere. A delightful and hilarious read for anyone interested in what makes comedians tick.”—Kirkus Reviews
“These are wonderful, expansive interviews—at times brutal, at times breathtaking—with artists whose wit, intelligence, gaze, and insights are all sharp enough to draw blood. Judd Apatow understands as well as any of them the pain that holds the knife, and the glee that wields it.”—Michael Chabon
“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book. It is hilarious and informative and it contains insightful interviews with the greatest comics, comedians, and comediennes of our time. My representatives assure me I will appear in a future edition.”—Will Ferrell
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.
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I have bought a lot of comic/comedian memoirs/autobiographies over the years, mostly on Amazon, and I can say this is one of the best.
He asked good questions for someone of that age and gained some valuable advice from some yet to be superstar comedians and some already established big names.
These early interviews are supplemented with more current interviews with some of the same comedians. This aspect of the book was not as enjoyable as I expected it to be because Apatow has become somewhat self-absorbed at this point in his career and often stepped on the comedians' stories with his own anecdotes from Freaks and Geeks, Knocked Up, the 40 Year-Old Virgin, etc. While Judd's stories were interesting, it would have been better to have him review the advice and insight that they gave him at 14 and see if they still subscribed to the same philosophies.
Overall, it was an enjoyable book if you can get past the insecurity and self-absorption of Apatow in the later interviews.