Film & TV


Judd Apatow

Lesson time 4:22 min

Judd ends his class with some parting advice: Take a risk, find the courage to express yourself, and start writing jokes—because he’s not going to write them for you.

Judd Apatow
Teaches Comedy
Judd Apatow teaches you how to write, direct, produce, and perform comedy for film and television.
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In this day and age, in this internet era, there really is no reason to not make things, because you can afford to make things. There's also a way for people to see things. And it used to be that if you had a short you made, there wasn't really a way to get it in front of people, or it was a huge pain in the ass to get people to watch it. So, for instance, when Ben Stiller was young, he did a Broadway show. And he was working with John Mahoney. And he made a funny comedy short with his own money, and it was a parody of Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, and instead of being about pool it was about bowling hustlers. Now, nobody knew who Ben was at the time, so he had no way to really get it to people. So what he did is he waited in the lobby at NBC for anyone who worked Saturday Night Live to walk by. And then one day, Jon Lovitz was walking by. And he walked up to Jon Lovitz, and he said, hey, I made this short film. Would you show this to Lorne? And he said, OK. You know what I would have said? No. I don't want to get sued. I don't know who you are. There could be anthrax on this. But Jon Levitz, he did. He brought it upstairs, and showed people, and it got to Lorne. And they called Ben, and they said, OK, we're going to air it this Saturday. You need to come here and trim a little time out of it. And Ben trimmed some time out. They aired it on Saturday Night Live. And at some point later, they asked him to join the cast. And-- and that's how he got his foot in that particular door. These days, you could make a short, put it on Funny or Die, who I work with, or on YouTube, or Vimeo, and send somebody a link. So now it's much easier. You don't have to get them to open the mail, and look at the tape, and you know, it's all very simple. And making a short doesn't cost that much money. You can find a way to make it cost money, but it doesn't have to cost money. And all you really need do get someone to do is click on a link to see it. There's a few things I've done that I think have been helpful. You know, one is, I worked very hard, and I cared a lot, and I-- I love comedy more than anything, and-- and so I have a great passion for it. And I think that is one of the reasons why my career has gone reasonably well, is because I want to challenge myself. I want to grow. I'd like to figure out what else I can do that I haven't done before. So I certainly encourage people to take that risk, and find the courage to sit down and express yourself fully, and believe in your ability to pull something like that off. Because if you don't have the courage to do it, you're never going to just make Swingers with your friends, or Clerks, or Tiny Furniture. It does require a massive leap into the unknown. And there will never be a logical reason to do it, other than madness. All right. You've done it. You've finished my MasterClass. Now go sit your ass down and write a goddamn joke. Nothing happens if you don't write that ...

Get serious about comedy

No joke: at age 15, Judd Apatow took a dishwashing job at a comedy club to watch the acts. Today, he’s the comedic genius behind hits including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Bridesmaids, and Freaks and Geeks. In his first-ever online comedy class, the Emmy Award winner teaches you how to create hilarious storylines, write great stand-up, and direct movies that leave audiences laughing.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Judd, You've successfully made a daunting proposition much more palatable ! I've ordered Syd Fields book and Lajos Egri's book (I don't know how to say his name either!) which I plan to read carefully. Bravo! This was the most accessible MasterClass yet!

What an incredible class. Judd is so very thorough and generous with his insights and "inside" information. I'm a screenwriter, mostly drama/thriller, but am inspired to try my hand at comedy now. Thank you, Judd!

A week after finishing this hilarious and honest class, I have finished my first script. He helped me find a switch that opened a creative floodgate.

This has given me confidence that I'm on the right track. I no longer fear to try -- anything.



Thank you Mr. Apatow for your course. I am a huge fan of yours and now I have a deep respect for your process of being a comedic great!

Tracy S.

Thank you Judd Apatow for a fantastic class, and thank you Master Class, I just received this email: “Your script is advancing to the Quarterfinals round of the HollyShorts Screenwriting Competition (2019) and is an official selection. Congratulations!” Apparently my little comedy short script is creating a few ripples in the big ocean, thanks for that, seriously, I really appreciate your help and advice, it’s huge, and means so much, thank you!

Carlos Cettillbjoern S.

Thank you very much Judd. I´ve learnt a lot, specially about myself!. Thanks! Cettillbjoern Sandskaer, Sweden

sensitive W.

that's it. thank you, Masterclass and Judd Apatow. This was amazing. I am going to back and check out a the class on structure again because that is so helpful but man... I am pumped. i am so ready to make my first feature now!

Bobby H.

Great. Best Masterclass I have seen. Judd is a treasure for sure. Very inspiring. On the nose. Insightful. I am now officially a huge member of the Apatow fan club. No fucking joke!


Thanks for the words on making it in the business... and all the other good stuff.

Erik P.

I loved this series. Probably because I loved basically everything Mr. Apatow has worked on and basically everyone he has worked with. This was a fantastic journey through all facets of his creative life. I think many of the lessons apply to many other businesses and other creative work.

J J.

So worthwhile. Thank you so much for sharing your genuine wisdom and insights. I've been blown away several times while watching this and I know I'll be changed by it for the better. Thank you!!

Jason M.

Great masterclass. Huh, me. Write a joke? Shit, I was hoping you would give out a few at the end. You know, so I can get started... How is anyone going to recognize my genius now? Great, Now I have to go have a life so I can write about it. Thanks.

Marcy S.

I cant believe how long i have stared at judds face and how its still haunting me