The Moment We Found A Kindred Soul In Judd Apatow
This article is from our friends at Trunkworthy
One wordless scene from an episode of Freaks & Geeks sums up the deep empathy and humanity at the core of Judd Apatow’s work.
It’s no surprise that Judd Apatow’s work makes more appearances on Trunkworthy than almost anybody (other than, say, Declan Patrick McManus). The release of the commercially, artistically, and comedically successful Trainwreck gives us another reason to keep him ever-present.
Apatow himself is self-effacing, often saying that creativity to him is “writing a great dick joke,” but the truth is his humor has always been more about heart than fart. Most work bearing the Apatow brand (especially the movies he directs) are funny, gross, and occasionally puerile (a/k/a “funny” again), but always grounded in the emotional life of characters — the best of them being lonely, wounded, isolated souls — all oozing with humanity.
If you want to know why he’s often compared to great ‘40s comedic directors such as Preston Sturges or Ernst Lubitsch, look no further than this opening scene from an episode of the can’t-be-overhyped-because-it was-over-ignored-and-perpetually-under-appreciated Freaks And Geeks. Silicon Valley/Party Down star Martin Starr, as latchkey kid Bill Haverchuck, comes home to find a brief respite from the pain of being awkward, isolated, and alone by bonding with Garry Shandling’s standup comedy on afternoon television.
The wordless scene is set entirely — and magnificently — to the Who’s “I’m One” from Quadrophenia. Pete Townshend originally wrote the song to talk about the isolation of the young mod trying to find his place in his crowd, his peer group, and his world. Instead of riding a tricked-out Vespa into the hearts of his peers, Starr/Haverchuck rides the tide of laughter into a world far more magical and far less cruel than the one he inhabits the 23 other hours in his day.