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Viagra for Dick Jokes

By Brian Prisco | Think Pieces | August 31, 2010 | Comments ()


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So Dustin sends me a link to an article on a site I've never heard of about a guy who wrote something angry about Judd Apatow on his site. The guy on the first site I don't care about then contacted Judd Apatow personally and basically said, "You see this shit?" and asked and received a response from him. So Dustin now wants me to write a commentary on the article about the response to a piece that I never read from a guy I never heard of who hates Judd Apatow. And this is why movie blogging is bullshit.

You're nobody until somebody hates you, and nobody knows this better than Apatow. Apatow's response was more respectful than it should have been -- basically along the lines of I've got better things to do and I'm sorry that you don't like it but who cares? His response should have been to video tape himself fucking his wife in a jacuzzi full of hundred dollars bills while Seth Rogen and Jason Segal tell fat and gay jokes about Jonah Hill. Throw in two or three cameos, and he can literally put that in a theatre RIGHT NOW and make at least $25 million. Because that's where he's at right now.

Which I guess was the first guy's point. He's bemoaning the state of the comedy film today, since its typified by Judd Apatow and his cronies or Adam Sandler and his cronies. Then again, that's what we do here on Pajiba every day. That's what everyone does on every blog site. We all cry out for a return to the good old days. Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean.

It's hard for me to get mad at Judd Apatow, because it'd be like teabagging Kevin Smith's daughter. (Sorry for that. Residual Serbian Film imagery.) Apatow has openly admitted that he's gotten his inspiration from Kevin Smith. And it's not like Kevin Smith invented the dick joke or talking dirty about sex in movies. He got that shit from comedians like Kinison and Carlin and Pryor and Hicks and all those cats.

This first guy throws out famous directors and film theory in such a way that makes me want to firebomb his house with a bottle lit from my film degree. But his major point seems to be ... seems to be fucking lost in all the prattle. I can't even tell if he's here to praise Apatow or to bury him. Neither can Apatow. But I think it's particularly funny that Mel Brooks gets brought up.

Mel Brooks was hooking dirty jokes in his films from the get go. "It's good to be the king" is probably one of the earliest dick jokes I can remember hearing. Even the clever, smart comedies like Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs are nothing more than prolonged dick jokes and riffs on that sort of thing. C'mon, the fucking Schwartz?

And then back to Kevin Smiith. Smith has his folks mixing raw sex talk with pop culture references. But beneath all that filth, he's burying some serious intelligence. Yeah, he's got the rant about 37 dicks, but lest we forget, that's what makes Clerks an effective romantic comedy. It's fucked up and inside out, but it's a bromantic comedy, mixed in with some romantic comedy. Sure, instead of the girl marrying someone else, she goes catatonic after anonymously fucking a dead man's corpse on a toilet, but that's practically a parlour comedy!

And Apatow's doing that now. He's taking issues that matter to him and sentimentality, and he's smearing it with his own special brand of comedy to get the effect. I don't always find it funny, but there are plenty of those in the movie watching public who do. And they're the ones voting with their dollar. Has comedy gotten stupider and lazier? I couldn't say. But to point at Apatow as the cause of it is to ignore the legacy that he's come from.

He knows better than anyone that comedy is a fickle wave. He wrote for "The Ben Stiller Show" and "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" before that shit was in vogue. Now that it's the style, he's suddenly super popular. But it's waning. He'll be out in a few years. Just like everyone who's come before him. If I could predict what the next wave in comedy was going to be, I sure as shit wouldn't be preaching it on a fucking movie review website. I'd be fucking writing scripts and cashing checks.

And that's what makes Apatow so chill in his response. He doesn't have to be hungry and angry anymore, like the rest of us scrambling to catch the next wave. You want to read what it's like when you hit him when he's lean, check out the letters he and Mark Brazill (the guy who created "That 70's Show") wrote to each other back in 2001. You want to see some ugly, funny, nasty shit, do a Google search for the Harper's article. It's a thing of beauty.




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