Judd Apatow, the modern master of human-scale comedy, sat down with TheWrap to review the Universal Studios archive in honour of the studio’s 100-year anniversary this year.The writer-director of “Knocked Up,” producer of “Bridesmaids” and director of the upcoming “This is 40” imprinted early and often on the comedies produced by the Universal machine, from Abbott and Costello to John Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles.”
Here’s a trip down into the vault with one of our era’s most fearless tasteless unfettered explorers of the human condition.
When I think about Universal movies going back to my childhood, what formed me as a person interested in comedy, the first movie that had an impact was 'Duck Soup.'
I was a fanatical Marx Brothers fan as a 10-year-old kid. It might have been because I loved their rebellion -- it seemed like they were flipping the bird to everyone. As a small non-athletic person, I loved that they were weird guys who were telling all the great-looking people in power to fuck off. They were laughing at the rules and pointing out how ridiculous most of it was. As a nerdy, geeky kid, I must have been mad at the rules in my world.
I remember seeing 'Animal House' with my mum. Sitting there with her, a few scenes in that movie were the most embarrassing moments in my life.
Like the scene where John Belushi is looking in the window at the topless sorority girls. I was 11. And I had an awareness that a lot of these people in the movie were friends -- 'Animal House,' 'Blues Brothers' were connected to 'Saturday Night Live' and 'National Lampoon.' It planted in my mind that it would be fun to work with your friends -- and then work with them over and over.
It's a great John Hughes movie that starred a nerdy guy, Anthony Michael Hall. I was Anthony Michael Hall. I was holding up the panties in the air in the bathroom. It was truthful emotionally, but it had big comedy. John Cusack, Molly Ringwald -- that style of comedy had a big influence on me. It was sweet, but it had a character named Long Duk Dong.
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