Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy, by Judd Apatow

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I think this book can be a perfect read for a traveler: it’s funny, it’s relaxing, you get to learn a lot about comedy, the struggles and the success of people involved with it. It has interviews and hilarious conversations with some of the biggest names in comedy: Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Lena Dunham, Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Albert Brooks, Amy Schumer, Chris Rock, Gary Shandling, Harold Ramis, Jay Leno, Ben Stiller, Jimmy Falon, Marc Maron, Mike Nichols, Sandra Bernhard, Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen, Spike Jonze, Steve Martin etc. I mean how amazing is to go on holiday with these guys!

The author, Judd Apatow, was writer and producer of what I believe to be the best TV comedy series about teenagers ever: “Freaks and Geeks”. Also, producer of TV HBO series “Girls” with Lena Dunham, and the super cute dorky series “Love” on Netflix, that I absolutely loved, and is the producer and/or director and/or writer of some of my favorite comedies: “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, “Knocked Up”, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, “Funny People”, “Trainwreck”.

As I am comedy geek, this book was pure pleasure. You get to see this amazing people from a different point a view and to understand that comedy always comes from a dark place, from our insecurities and even traumatic events. Success is not something you go for, it’s something that might come if you work hard at doing what you like and doing it in the most sincere way possible. Being honest with yourself makes your work much better and when the reward comes you know that is well deserved. Someone interviewed in this book said it perfectly, that comedians are “pure pain people” and all of us need to be “unafraid to be honest in all our messiness”.

Fragments that spoke to me:

  • comedy is about truth and revealing yourself.
  • the human condition is hilariously awful.
  • Whenever you turn to what the organic state of any given character is, the fears and the anger and the struggle, you’re going to get conflict and a lot of hilarious stuff.
  • real comedy is connected to the deep pain and anguish we all feel.
  • I know what it feels like to have those waves of laughter. It’s like being bathed in love. Once you’ve had it, it’s like a drug. It wears off, and then you need something more. I want the audience to feel something more than that. I want them to feel my pain.
  • don’t think I’m smart. But I think I’m beginning to think I’m smart based on how miserable I am.
  • Sometimes I feel like a goofball—I just feel dumb and want to process all my thoughts through humor. Every once in a while, it’s a way to make things less painful. But then you begin to feel like you’re always trying to filter life through funny and you wonder: Is this insincere on some level? Sometimes I feel like I’m making jokes because I’m uncomfortable with my own thoughts and opinions.
  • It’s hard to sell show business as being a reasonable place for human beings to work.
  • if you can’t be funny, be weird. It’s just as good, maybe even better.
  • I’m always assuming things are going to crash and I’m trying to figure out what could go wrong before it happens. It’s helpful for work. But it’s a terrible way to live your life.
  • The thing that ruined your life makes you good at your work. And then you get rewarded at work, so you don’t bother to fix it in your life.

Travel safe and read more! 

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About Author

I like to travel and I wish I could do that even more. I try hard to avoid tourists traps and enjoy every place I go like a local, capturing it’s spirit & atmosphere, getting a real feel of the place and people. Also, I’m an artist and I like to attend artistic events that take place in alternative spaces.

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