Judd Apatow has a gift. He has a true eye for talent. Apatow can spot up-and-coming stars and underutilized talent better than anyone in the film industry. Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Steve Carrell, Linda Cardellini, and Amy Schumer are a few names that come to mind. Now, it’s time to add Pete Davidson to the list with The King of Staten Island.
Between writing, producing, and directing, Apatow’s filmography is beyond impressive because it includes some of the most important comedies of the 21st century. Apatow helped shaped influential films such as The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Anchorman, Knocked Up, Superbad, Step Brothers, and Bridesmaids. That’s a hall of fame run for just one man.
With his return to directing non-documentaries, I broke down my favorite moments from Apatow’s films. This was an impossible task so I only went with what popped into my head right away. I know I missed a lot of important scenes so (please) forgive me. I also only used scenes from movies so that disqualified television shows like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.
Judd Apatow: Five Best Moments From His Legendary Filmography
“Josh Birnbaum, Step On The Scale, Son!” – Heavyweights
Imagine having Heavyweights as your first screenwriting credit for a feature film? Apatow came out swinging with Heavyweights, the story of a fat camp that’s taken over by a fitness junkie, Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller). There’s a real argument to be made that Heavyweights is my favorite Ben Stiller performance. It’s without a doubt his most underrated, but Tony Perkis is one of the greatest villains in a family movie ever. He’s so evil and conniving and expertly parodies the larger than life fitness guru. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s has a score of 29% on the Tomatometer, but 77% with audiences. In this round of critics vs. the audience, the audience clearly wins. There are so many one-liners from this film, but I’ll go with Josh Birnbaum stepping on the scale. And remember, muscle weighs more than fat!
Family Health Clinic – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
It’s hard to believe that Apatow’s first trip to the director’s chair in a feature film was for The 40-Year-Old-Virgin. Do I think it’s the funniest Apatow movie? No, but it’s pretty damn hilarious. However, in 2004-2005, Apatow helped turn Steve Carell into a household name. Between Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, Apatow showcased Carrell’s leading-man potential. Between those two movies, Carell debuted as Michael Scott on The Office, and the rest is history. Carrell’s awkward, confused, and somewhat charming portrayal of Andy helped The 40-Year-Old-Virgin become a comedic classic. I wanted to put the egg salad sandwich scene, but I couldn’t have people think I’m the 40-year-old-virgin in real life so I’ll go with sex-ed for a 40-year-old.
These Eyes Are Crying/Blood Brothers – Superbad
This is my pick for the reigning, defending, and undisputed champion of the world. Superbad is not only my favorite Apatow film but my favorite comedy of all time. The entire sequence from Seth getting hit by the car to leaving the party after the brawl is absolutely perfect. Superbad is probably the most quotable comedy of all time. Go to any party and if someone is singing, drop “you’re Jimmy’s brother, the singer” and you’ll get a reaction. Always remember that these eyes are crying.
First Dinner Scene, Step Brothers
Your honor, objection to “Superbad is probably the most quotable comedy of all time. The real answer is Step Brothers.” Step Brothers is not as good as Superbad, but it’s so ridiculousness in nature that it’s hilarious to watch Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in their element. Most people will point to the nutsack on the drumset or the final song as their favorite scene, but this four-minute dinner makes me laugh the hardest. It’s so passive-aggressive and cringeworthy. I say, “I like it,” the way Dale does all the time. My brother and I hug like Brendan and Robert whenever we see each other. I remember my first beer.
Red’s House, Pineapple Express
If you’re looking to play a comedic asshole down the road, study Danny McBride’s character, Red. From his physical comedy to his sarcastic tone, McBride rules in this scene. Pineapple Express had no business becoming this funny. A weed movie combined with an action movie should not work on paper, but Apatow, Rogen, and Evan Goldberg turned it into a cult classic. I mean James Franco received a best acting nomination at the Golden Globes for this performance, which is almost unfathomable. Here’s to the cross joint.
What is your favorite moment from a Judd Apatow movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.