From Judd Apatow's MasterClass

The Evolution of a Scene: Knocked Up

A lot can change between the script and the screen. In this lesson, Judd takes a detailed look at a scene fromKnocked Upand shows how he and his actors brought his words to life. (Bonus: You also get his Seth Rogen impression.)

Topics include:

Play

A lot can change between the script and the screen. In this lesson, Judd takes a detailed look at a scene fromKnocked Upand shows how he and his actors brought his words to life. (Bonus: You also get his Seth Rogen impression.)

Topics include:

Judd Apatow

Teaches Comedy

Learn More

Preview

What we're going to do now is look at an example of how a scene changes from a draft to its final version. So this is a scene in Knocked Up, and it's the scene where Seth and Katherine are having dinner and she tells him that she's pregnant. So I'm going to read to you what the script is and then what it became. So in this earlier draft, it says, Ben, I brought you here to tell you something. I think I'm pregnant. And Ben says, sweet. I guess congratulations are in order. And she says, it's yours. And he says, what? And she says, you are the father. And he says, what the fuck? How did this happen? I don't know. Are you sure it's mine? Yes. I don't do it that often. Well, you did it with me after like five fucking seconds and I'm not even that good looking. How could this happen? I don't know. I thought you wore a condom. I was going to but you told me not to. That's not true. Yes, I was putting the condom on and then you kept pushing me to hurry up and then you said, just do it already. I didn't mean just do it without a condom. I just meant hurry up. Well, you didn't stop me. I was so drunk I couldn't tell that you didn't have one on. What you just thought it was the thinnest condom on earth? What, did you think I was wearing a condom made out of penis skin? So that's the draft from April 14th, the table read drafts. Now, I'm going to read you, with my acting skill, what that became. So I have something I really need to tell you. It's kind of why I called you here. Here it goes, I'm pregnant. Fuck off. What? What? I'm pregnant. With emotion? With a baby. You're the father. I'm the father? Yes. How the fuck could this happen? I don't know. I thought you wearing a condom. No. What? I wasn't. Why not? Because you told me not to. What are you talking about? What am I talking about? You told me not to. I did not tell you not to wear a condom. Here's what happened, OK? I'll give you a play by play of my memory. I almost had the condom on my dick. It was on the cusp. Then you said, just do it already. I didn't mean do it without a condom ALISON: I meant do it like, hurry up! Like, get fucking going! BEN: Well I assumed you were wearing a patch or a dental dam or one of those fucking butterfly-- - What the hell is a dental dam? - It's like Saran wrap. It's disgusting, OK? But I thought you had one. Why the fuck didn't you stop me once we started? - I don't know. I couldn't tell that you didn't have one on. Obviously, I was drunk. - Was your vagina drunk? Did you think it was the thinnest condom on earth I have on, I'm a fucking inventor? I mean, a dick skin condom. He hollowed out a penis and put it on. What the fuck? - And scene. He also got to see a little half Seth impression there. So what is the difference, I guess, is the question. So hopefully what you could tell from that pretty impressive stage reading ...

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.

Reviews

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

Amazing Master Class. Mr. Apatow generously shared heartfelt anecdotes from his comedic life-journey and abundant sage wisdom on creating funny.

I hope you read this, honestly i take this class because i hope to have an opportunity here for me to act on American TV show/Movie together with you

It was thought provoking. I learned a bit about writing movies, which makes me feel more comfortable in working out my own scripts.

Loved the course. The personal stories were great. Made me want to watch the shows he referenced. I learned so much. I really wish I took notes.

Comments

Xan

What I like about this scene from ‘Knocked Up’, which I thought I had seen(I saw Juno) but have not! Along with ‘This is 40’! what I liked was how the couple discusses whether Seth’s character lied, without saying “lie” or “lying”, so that’s helpful and instructive as a life lesson. Multiple cameras, too.

Negin K.

Can someone please explain Seth's line: "With emotion" I really don't get it! haha

Ralph F.

The scene in This is 40 where the little girl is losing her shit is really funny. Learning about this process of scene development is fascinating.

Jack M.

This improv approach is why Judd's films are so funny. He let's the actors run with the script!

Adonaldo A.

A nice lesson. Interesting improvising work. I think that is the whole crew goes in the same direction, goog results are achieved, like in the scene shown.

Cara

It was really interesting how Judd Apatow describes how he and the other writers combine several lines or stage the jokes for maximum effect. He clearly chooses actors that are very skilled in working in a flexible manner that bring a lot of creativity to the table. Definitely all emphasizes the power of continual revision.

Amy J.

I have my first Improv performance in a few weeks. Being that we have class in a church and been asked to keep naughty thoughts and foul language to a minimum, I am learning angles of punchlines and storytelling on another level. It is a challenge, I've been throwing illegal F bombs since I destroyed that punk that hit my brother on the playground back in elementary school. I say fuck too much in real life to ever pretend I could live without it.

Christopher S.

I always wondered how improvising works on a set. Judd's Seth Rogen impression is nearly spot on. All he needs is that grunty laugh.

Cynthia V.

Knowing that Improvisation should be part of the process is a relief to me as a writer. I don't have to write precisely or get stuck on a scene; just keep going forward and trust that actors will be partners in creativity and natural dialog.

Mary S.

Interesting to see the difference between the original script and the final product. Also, in a previous lesson, Mr. Apatow mentioned the book, The Art of Dramatic Writing. Maybe the best book on creative writing ever. I'm half way through and when I finish, I'm going to start at the beginning and read it again slowly.