From Judd Apatow's MasterClass


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.

Topics include: Closing


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.

Topics include: Closing

Judd Apatow

Teaches Comedy

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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.

I really loved this! I am a huge fan of Judd's work and his humor and way of talking so I really got it. I am inspired and really love that at the end he said that it will require a huge leap into the unknown, which is oddly comforting.

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 class helped me learn how to form a film through comedy and the process of screenwriting. I'm really glad I got this opportunity to learn something new.

I've taken close to 30 Masterclasses and this is definitely one of my favorites--maybe my favorite! Great content and love Apatow's demeanor and attitude.



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

Neal K.

Ahhh...Please Judd...why can't you write some jokes for me? I have a setup but i don't know how to end it: An armadillo rolls into a bar.... But on a semi-serious note: This class was great. Honest, open, a lot of inside information. Thanks a bunch :)

Alfred P.

Thank you for taking the time, Judd. You're very engaging, open, and helpful.

Zsuzsa B.

Thank you Judd, I enjoyed your class and learnt a lot. Your goodbye joke and exit was hilarious, I had the best laugh! This is very much my kind of humour. You are right, good comedy these days is hard to find and good does not equal commercially successful. Your comment on insisting on writing what you find funny as opposed to what is expected is affirming and inspiring. I am finishing Syd Field's Screenwriting and I am determined to write my first script and put all the hard work in! I am tempted to watch your class over again but that would probably be procrastination, even if the best kind.

Jacob G.

Thank you so so much, Judd! I can say, for sure, that your classes were the ones I enjoyed the most and, why not, the ones I learned the most from. Great job!

Pati S.

Love the ending! I'm just loving the insight, just for life. I'm not looking to write jokes and make a career there, but comedy is a deep interest. I'm just loving the dialouge. And that advice is so salient to all those looking to do something - just go do it. Nobody is going to do it for you.