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Sicker in the head : more conversations about life and comedy
2022
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Director, producer, and funnyman Apatow (Sick in the Head) returns to talk shop with comedians and entertainers in his latest collection of scintillating interviews. As he sits with 31 celebrities--among them political-comedy pioneer Mort Sahl, political-comedy mainstay Samantha Bee, late-night patron saint David Letterman, and provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen--timeless themes emerge. There's childhood obsessions (young Mindy Kaling wrote out TV comedy sketches to dissect their machinery); clueless plunges into improv classes and stand-up open mics nights; breakthroughs to SNL and HBO; sit-com or Hollywood glory; and frank conversations about the grind of hosting a nightly talk show. Meanwhile, much musing on the recent politicization of comedy gives rise to a shared wistfulness for simpler times--as Jimmy Kimmel laments, "I long for the days when the big issue that I would rant about night after night was how long the receipts are at CVS." And while the yuks abound, there's some serious existential digging, too ("Success is actually pretty meaningless in the end," observes Margaret Cho. "It affects you inside, it's weird"). Apatow's empathetic questioning and his interlocutors' keen wit make for a fascinating chorus of showbiz lore. (Mar.)
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