What first inspired you to pursue comedy?
Judd Apatow: I was interested in it since I was ten and fell in love with the Marx Brothers. Then, when I was fifteen, I was a dishwasher at the East Side Comedy Club in Long Island. Eddie Murphy was 21 years old and he just became a huge star. He used to come into the club and do stand-up, and I would sneak in from the kitchen to watch. And it was the most exciting thing. The charisma just exploded through.
What counts as a romantic comedy?
Apatow: A romantic comedy is any movie when you hope two people you like will get together. I think there are tons of stealth romantic comedies. It could be a superhero movie, a disaster movie — but there’s often a little mini romantic comedy in there.
Some of the titles on your watchlist involve some heavier topics. What do you think that says about you?
Apatow: In comedy, we all relate to people struggling. And when things go wrong, it’s really funny because we’ve all been there in one way or another. We always root for them to figure it out and we always root for love.
Tell us about your first love.
Apatow: I remember falling in love with a girl in school who I maybe had spoken two sentences to. I heard she was taking a particular SAT class so I joined the class just to get a chance to be around her. And then luckily, I was able to sit next to her and that’s how we started talking.
When you’re watching an iconic romantic comedy scene, do you cry?
Apatow: I like to cry and I’m an easy cry. If you turn to me during most movies, I’m probably crying and I’m proud of it.
What’s one thing we don’t know about you as a director?
Apatow: I love watching kissing scenes. But interestingly, I don’t like directing them. I tend to not do a lot of takes. Sometimes I even look away from the monitor. I just turn to somebody else and ask, “Was that sweet or gross?” And if they like it, we move on.
Check out Judd Apatow’s watchlist on Google TV, rolling out over the next few days, to see his all-time favorite rom coms. Share your own favorites using #WatchWithMe.