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Everything You Need To Know About Parenting In 12 Judd Apatow Quotes

Before Judd Apatow became a Hollywood hit-making machine who defined funny for an entire generation, he was a dyed-in-the-wool stand up comedy nerd — or did you not read his new best seller, Sick In The Head: Conversations About Life And Comedy? As his latest blockbuster, the Amy Schumer flick Trainwreck, sinks its funny into audiences, Apatow is hard at work reconnecting with that former passion, which is great news for you. Because, as Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, and Louis CK have proven, stand ups have a way of making even the most mundane elements of parenting hilarious. To say Apatow’s not afraid to mine his relationship with his 17- and 10-year-old daughters for laughs is an understatement — not that they would agree that any of it is funny.

On Being The (Only) Man Of The House
“I live with 3 women, and I’m like the weird guy in the house because they have so many things in common they can talk about and I’m just like the weird guy going, ‘Can you pop a zit on a testicle?'”

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On Which Boys You Want Your Teenage Daughter To Date
“Now my daughter is 17 years old, there’s some boys coming around, and every time a boy comes around I genetically just want to strike them. I want to hit them. Then every once in a while a boy will show up who’s a strange, weird kid and I’ll think, ‘That’s me! That’s me in high school.’ And I’ll say to my daughter, ‘Why didn’t you date that kid?’ And she’ll go, ‘Because he’s a nerd.’ I’m like, ‘You don’t understand him! He’s gonna show people one day!'”

On Golden (If Oversimplified) Rules
“Don’t be a jerk. Try to love everyone. Give more than you take. And do it despite the fact that you only really like about seven out of 500 people.”

On Your Hilarious Dad Jokes
“Everybody thinks their dad’s jokes are corny. I don’t get a free pass on that. In fact, Iris said to me once, ‘Most of your stuff isn’t funny at all. But I’m always surprised you make it work.’ I thought that was a pretty sophisticated way of attacking me.”

On Homework


On Putting Off The Tough Questions
“My kids do hold all the cursing against me. But I tell them the characters talk like that because it’s ridiculous, and that’s what makes it funny. Cursing makes you sound stupid! As for sex, writing The 40-Year-Old Virgin brought up all sorts of questions including ‘What’s a virgin?’ It’s very difficult to go years without answering that question, but Leslie and I found a way to do it.”

On What Dads Fantasize About
“Is there something I can do to myself where I get injured enough to be left alone for a period of time? Like, if I threw myself off a balcony and just broke my leg, everyone would have to take care of me for six months … Sometimes I’ll see a celebrity go to rehab for ‘exhaustion’ and I’ll think, ‘What do I need to do to be allowed to do that?’ Do I need to just pull a gun on the street corner somewhere? What would get me the exhaustion vacation?”

On How Childhood Shapes Adulthood
“I always feel like a f—king nerd. I have a beautiful wife, I’m successful, but I still feel like the kid who’s picked last in gym class. And that shaped my idea of comedy, being about outsiders. It was a way for me to attack all of these systems that I thought were unfair to me.”

On Your Kids Seeing “Dad,” No Matter Who You Are
“I think every kid thinks their dad is goofy. Even Johnny Depp’s kid must be like, ‘Oh god, my dad with those freakin scarves. This isn’t a pirate ship, it’s Costco, dad.'”

On Staying True To Yourself
“You should never change yourself under any circumstances because you know what? You’ll always be you, but you’ll be you acting crazy if you try and act like somebody else.”

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On Innocence Vs. The Internet
“This idea that we’re shielding kids with an R rating is just the funniest lie. They watch everything on YouTube. It becomes more about talking about it with them and having a relationship where they’ll ask you questions — or maybe even listening to you if you tell them not to watch it. Sometimes, I’ll say, ‘Maybe you don’t need to see the Chucky movies. Wait until you’re older. That’s a nightmare machine for you.’ And if you have that relationship, they’ll censor themselves. Our movies are adult-themed, but they’re smart kids and I cover their eyes during the two or three bad parts, and they can handle it.”

On Kids Seeing Things That Can’t Be Unseen
“I said to my daughter, ‘What have you seen that really freaked you out — that you shouldn’t have seen — way too early?’ She said ‘Once I accidentally saw a giant penis go in Santa.’ I was like, ‘What are you searching for?’ How do you stumble on that?”

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