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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE A.V. CLUB • Includes new interviews!

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
From Judd Apatow, an intimate portrait of his mentor, the legendary stand-up comic and star of The Larry Sanders Show with never-before-seen journal entries and photos as well as new contributions by fellow comedians and writers.

Garry Shandling was a singular trailblazer in the comedy world. His two hit shows, It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show, broke new ground and influenced future sitcoms like 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and his stand-up laid the foundation for a whole generation of comics. There's no one better to tell Garry's story than Judd Apatow--Garry gave Judd one of his first jobs on The Larry Sanders Show and remained Apatow's mentor for the rest of his life--and the book expands on his brilliant HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, which won the 2018 Emmy Award for Best Documentary.

Here, Apatow has gathered up journal entries, photographs, and essays for a close-up look at the artist who turned his gaze back onto the world of show business to create a new language of comedy writing. Beyond his success, though, Shandling struggled with fame, the industry of art, and the childhood loss of his brother, which forever affected his personal and professional life. A heartwrenching letter to his brother, written in his journal as an adult, is the emotional center of this book that runs the gamut from hilarious observations to deep spiritual inquest. His diaries show Shandling to be very self-aware and insightful, revealing a lesser known philosophical and spiritual side. Contributions by comedians and other leading lights of the industry, including people who grew up with Shandling and many who owe their careers to him, along with never-before-seen pieces of scripts that never made it to production and bits of stand-up from Shandling's writing that he never performed, shed new light on every facet of his life and work. This book is a testament to the lasting impact of Garry Shandling.
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