Judd Apatow on Fame, Netflix, and Working on Yourself

From The Bill Simmons Podcast:

Judd Apatow was a featured guest on Bill Simmons’s podcast earlier this summer. He has been a central figure in the world of comedy for over twenty years. His comments in this interview were insightful on a number of subjects. My notes are below:

Men in power are terrified of confident, brilliant, creative women.

When someone flips out online, it says more about that person than the subject they are attacking.

When he is deciding on who to partner with next, it is almost like the universe keeps putting that person in front of him.

Doing stand-up is nice because you are around so many creative people. Making movies leaves you alone in a room a lot. Stand-up makes you want to work harder because you see how hard other really funny people are working. Bill Simmons: Aziz Ansari said it is inspiring to see older comics who have hit every career checkpoint that are still grinding that hard.

It is such a great feeling to have a joke work regardless of the audience. It could be 4 people or 400 people, you’re so happy.

The TV show business has all changed because there used to be no financial incentive to make good television.

Most people today consume 2 TV episodes in a sitting, 3 max.

The great thing Netflix does: they pick people they want to work with and then let them go create what they want. Network TV on the other hand is like having a gun to your head the whole time because they threaten to cancel your show at any time.

The best guys in their field like LeBron or Jay-Z somehow are relaxed for hours with company. They aren’t stressed. They are smart, funny, and amiable. They are taking calls, waiting for the next photo shoot or practice they have to start in a few minutes or hours. And yet nothing fazes them. They can hang out with someone they just met and be charming right up until it’s time to move on.

Jim Carrey on becoming famous: in a moment you go from you watching the world to the world watching you. Apatow: you need the mental foundation to hold up over the long haul.

Garry Shandling asked himself after having success and being able to express himself, what is he doing all this for? How much does he have to do? Who am I beneath all this? This is common for creative people: how much can you give?

When you have a good moment where something works out, you discover the limits of your ability to be happy. If in a moment where you know everything is good and you still feel anxious or tense, it bums you out to know this is as good as it will be for you. Then you realize it comes down to you and you need to work on yourself.