Chapter 2 of 32 from Judd Apatow

Judd's Journey


Judd shares stories and lessons from a lifetime in comedy. Hear how he fell in love with comedy, interviewed his childhood idols, and went from washing dishes to making Hollywood hits.

Topics include: Introduction to Comedy • The Fuse Is Lit • Interviewing the Greats • Taking a Different Path • Hang Out With People Who Are Better Than You • Sources of Inspiration

Judd shares stories and lessons from a lifetime in comedy. Hear how he fell in love with comedy, interviewed his childhood idols, and went from washing dishes to making Hollywood hits.

Topics include: Introduction to Comedy • The Fuse Is Lit • Interviewing the Greats • Taking a Different Path • Hang Out With People Who Are Better Than You • Sources of Inspiration

Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow Teaches Comedy

Judd Apatow teaches you how to write, direct, produce, and perform comedy for film and television.

Learn More


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 class, the Emmy Award winner teaches you how to create hilarious storylines, write great stand-up, and direct comedies that leave audiences laughing.

Learn Judd’s creative process through case studies, scene deconstructions, and practical insight in 32 on-demand video lessons.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps, assignments, and supplemental material.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Judd will also answer select student questions.


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

Fantastic course. Now I have to finish the two screenplays I have in the works and get them out into the world. Thanks for the inspiration and information, Judd. This was such a personal, professional and productive course.

I learned that Judd Apatow is an awakened human being and that writing comedy isn't that intimidating to me anymore, even though I don't aim to write comedy, primarily.

I enjoyed his sometimes amazingly brutal honesty. It gave me a better understanding of what it takes for his job. Many tidbits I will be taking with me as I further my career.

Judd gives so much terrific advice in here for the aspiring comedian. Whether you're a stand-up, screenwriter, or director there's something for all in this Masterclass. I really feel like this is going to help improve my screenplays. Thank you Mr. Apatow and thank you Masterclass.


Dom L.

The amount of relation is unaccountable. Although I have nothing to prove over PDF, Word docs. Myspace Etc. I truly wish I had a chance to include my voice towards your own art. For now, I am creating my own. Grassyass!!

James M.

awesome really enjoying this course and really good that the afflication of peeing with a boner or BONK ON in the UK is finally being brought into mainstream media.

Rafi F.

It was great to hear about how you figured out your path to a career in comedy; that is definitely something I have struggled with. What originally was my day job to keep the bills paid until I could work in comedy has become something that has taken most of my time and effort, leaving me almost none to pursue anything creative as I would like to.

Maggie A.

An inspirational and beautiful story about hearing the calling and getting started. It's easy to look at you now and think "I'll never make it to that success level" BUT even just this glimpse into your life as a regular person makes it seem that much more likely. I fell like you're speaking RIGHT to me.

Meghan B.

Great to hear who inspires you and your work. Growing up, I would watch Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristin Wiig and so many others on SNL. They are all so smart, funny and talented in their craft. Would love to collaborate with one of them some day.

Ryan F.

"Find a way to pay your rent, while doing something creative." Check! I'm so hyped for this course :)


What would be a fantastic Marx Brothers Clio to show high school aged theater students to connect with this comedic lesson?

Jack M.

As a YouTuber! These lessons are crucial! Thanks for the info! @yakmotley is the channel!

Julian B.

Love Jerry Sienfeld. I also like Jim Gaffagin, John Mulaney and Trevor Noah

Wayne J.

Just now listened to one of George Carlin's routines, and noticed how he used a variety of vocal inflections so cleverly. At age 11 I had listened to Cosby's Funny Fellow album so many times I could do his act for my cousins. Then I got hooked on Jello Pudding -- and women. Help!


When I was very young I was small. I was a-- a year behind. I was born in December but back then, you didn't know that one of the reasons why you felt smaller and terrible at sports was because you actually were smaller and you were younger. For some reason my mom wanted me to be, I guess not a grade ahead, but I should have been a grade behind. So I graduated from high school when I was 17. And as a result, I just felt smaller and other and insecure. And that got built in me in some way. And I think it-- as I look back, it had a big effect on me. And growing up in a culture of athletics I think I spent a lot of my childhood alone because people were playing sports. I was picked last in gym class and it made me angry. And I think, how that connected to comedy for me was, I thought this system is fucked. And I became obsessed with the Marx brothers because the Marx brothers basically made fun of handsome people and the beautiful people in their gowns and their tuxedos and they were the lunatics cleaning their feet in the lemonade cart. And they said all of these rules that are set up are bullshit. And they mocked, you know, high society. They mocked government. They just said, you should question everything. And for some reason as a kid, that's who I related to. And I didn't know what it meant. But I think in a way people who get involved in comedy are upset about something. I think they have an issue where the world doesn't make sense and they're looking for answers. And comedy is a great way to try to figure out how the world works and how you feel about it. It's a great way to be critical of it. It's a great way to survive it. And for me it started with the Marx brothers. But I was a person searching for answers and I do believe that that's a lot of what comedy is about. That led, for me, to listening to George Carlin albums and Lenny Bruce albums. And then that interest in researching comedy led me to reading the book, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lenny Bruce," when I was in eighth grade. That was the first time I-- I-- I read about someone who was a comic mind and was living a very dangerous lifestyle. And as a little kid I was fascinated by it. This idea that he was standing up for freedom of speech. At the same time, he was a drug addict. He was married to a-- a former, or current, stripper. He was a very complicated, incredible, hilarious person. And that started my fascination with knowing a lot about comedians, how they work, and what their lives are like. So in some ways I always felt like all this reading and watching was programming me for my eventual attempt to create my own comedy. When I was in the end of junior high school my parents got divorced. And it was a very painful divorce. They fought, literally from 8th grade till I was in college. You know, it was one of the situations where it never got settled. It never calmed down. And my mom moved out. And my parents had owned a restaurant. And the owner of ...