A record crowd of nearly 2 million people attend the 2011 Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. A brand new 300-400 seat comedy club opens in Washington, DC. Nine R-rated comedies released this summer. Bridesmaids becomes Judd Apatow's highest-grossing movie. The Hangover and The Hangover Part 2 now rank third and fourth, domestically, as the top-grossing R-rated movies of all-time. Marc Maron's WTF podcast repackaged for public radio distribution. Showtime orders another Green Room/WTF type show for 2011. The CW is shopping for sitcoms. Whitney Cummings signs development deals with CBS and NBC. Peak comedy or sign that we're laughing more than ever as we face end times?
Judd Apatow made a public service announcement for the American Jewish World Service that won't be shown on TV, and not just because it's five minutes long. AJWS is a quiet but powerful force for good in the world. The organization was among the first on the ground and continues to help rebuild in Haiti, post-tsunami India, and many other places around the world. This is its 25th year of philanthropy and humanitarian aid (and its president's 70th birthday).
Judd Apatow's Family Values A look inside the comedic mind that brought us "Freaks and Geeks", "Undeclared", and "The 40 Year Old Virgin". Apatow’s childhood hero was Steve Martin. On a summer trip to L.A., Apatow persuaded his grandparents to drive by Martin’s home until Apatow spied his hero in the driveway. Martin wouldn’t give him an autograph, so Apatow wrote him an angry letter saying it was his patronage of Martin’s projects that allowed him to live the high life. A few weeks later, Martin sent Apatow a copy of his book “Cruel Shoes” with an apology: “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I was speaking to the Judd Apatow.” Also: Judd and Seth Rogen at play.
Freaks and Geeks, arguably the best new show of this lackluster TV season, is being shelved for the remainder of February sweeps. Although it will return next month (and if you've never seen it, check it out), its future is pretty dim. Why does the public constantly complain about the lack of quality shows, but refuse to support the ones that do rock?