The following is a script from "Judd Apatow" which aired on Dec. 30, 2012. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Tom Anderson, producer.
Judd Apatow has become one of the most successful names in film comedy today. As writer, producer, and director, he's created a new form of comedy that's so popular many of Hollywood's top comedic actors want to work with him. We caught up with Apatow in Los Angeles as he was putting the finishing touches on his latest film called "This Is 40." Like many of his movies, it's about what he knows -- his family, his relationships, and the daily disappointments and dilemmas we all experience, but usually try to hide. Judd Apatow finds humor in all of it.
Anderson Cooper: There are comedians who tell jokes.
Judd Apatow: Yeah.
Anderson Cooper: But you don't tell jokes.
Judd Apatow: I literally cannot remember one joke.
There are not a lot of jokes in Judd Apatow's films. "This Is 40" centers on a man and his wife dealing with career failure and strains in their relationship.
["This Is 40" clip: "Have you ever thought about killing me?" "Oh, yeah?" "Really?" "Sure." "How would you do it?" "Wood chipper." "Wow." "I know."]
Anderson Cooper: What is your comedy? How do you describe it?
Judd Apatow: Just trying to tell the truth about, you know, the struggle of-- being alive is funny, it's just inherently tragic and also hilarious--in a fun way and in a sad way. That seems to connect with people.
The struggle to connect with people is a common theme with Apatow. His brand of comedy revels in awkward or painful situations he mines for revealing, humorous moments.
["This Is 40" clip: "So next time you think about writing something nasty on my daughter's Facebook page, I will come down here and I will..."]
Anderson Cooper: It's funny, but it-- it's also kind of startling.
Judd Apatow: It is, it is. But we all want to scream at that little boy. In life, most of us don't scream at that boy most of the time. I have said to the boy, "Watch it. Watch it. Be nice to my daughter." But I never got into the full scream, like in the movie.
Judd Apatow doesn't just make movies based on his own family, he actually uses his family in his films. That's Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann... and those are his real children Maude and Iris.
["This Is 40" clip: "You can't do this, you can't take away the wifi." "You need to get outside more, do some playing outside. You could build a fort outside." "What?" "Play kick the can. Get a tire and then just take a stick and run down a street with it." "Nobody does that crap it's 2012." "You don't need technology. No technology!"
Maude Apatow: In the movie, they take away--
Anderson Cooper: Right.
Maude Apatow: --the wifi out of the house. And they actually did take the wifi out of our house.
Visiting Apatow's home feels like stepping into an Apatow movie.
Anderson Cooper: Why did you take the wifi out of the house?
Judd Apatow: We think there's electronic waves which do bad things to your brain.