Judd Mann Apatow (/ˈæpətaʊ/; born December 6, 1967) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and comedian. He is the founder of Apatow Productions, through which he wrote (or co-wrote), produced and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Funny People (2009), This Is 40 (2012), Trainwreck (2015), and The King of Staten Island (2020).
Additionally through Apatow Productions, he produced and developed the television series Freaks and Geeks (1999–2000), Undeclared (2001–2002), Funny or Die Presents (2010–2011), Girls (2012–2017), Love (2016–2018), and Crashing (2017–2019).
Apatow also produced the films The Cable Guy (1996), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Superbad (2007), Pineapple Express (2008), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Get Him to the Greek (2010), Bridesmaids (2011), Begin Again (2013), Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), and The Big Sick (2017).
Throughout his career, Apatow received nominations for eleven Primetime Emmy Awards (two wins), five Writers Guild of America Awards (one win), two Producers Guild of America Awards, one Golden Globe Award, and one Grammy Award.
Early life and education
One of three children of Maury Apatow, a real-estate developer, and Tamara Shad, who ran the music label Mainstream Records founded by her father, Bob Shad, Judd Apatow was born in the Flushing neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, and raised in Syosset, New York, on Long Island. His family is Jewish, but nonreligious. Apatow has an older brother, Robert, and a younger sister, Mia. Their mother died in 2008. His maternal grandmother, Molly, co-starred in his film This Is 40 (playing the grandmother of Paul Rudd’s character).
When Apatow was 12 years old, his parents divorced. Robert went to live with his maternal grandparents, and Mia went to live with her mother. As a child, Apatow lived mainly with his father, and visited his mother on weekends. Apatow’s mother spent a summer working at a comedy club, which is where Judd was first exposed to live stand-up comedy.
Apatow was obsessed with comedy as a child; his childhood heroes were Steve Martin, Bill Cosby and the Marx Brothers. Apatow got his comic start washing dishes at the Long Island East Side Comedy Club, and while attending Syosset High School, he played jazz and hosted a program called Comedy Club on the school’s 125-watt radio station WKWZ which he created as a way to meet and learn from the comedians he looked up to. He cold-called comedians he admired during this time, managing to interview Steve Allen, Howard Stern, Harold Ramis and John Candy, along with emerging comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Wright and Garry Shandling.
1985–2003: Stand-up, early film and television work
Apatow began performing stand-up comedy at age seventeen, during his senior year of high school. In the September 1985 issue of Laugh Factory Magazine, he is listed as an Associate Editor. After graduating from high school in 1985, he moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in the screenwriting program at University of Southern California. While at USC, he organized and hosted a number of on-campus “Comedy Night” events, featuring headliners such as Saturday Night Live performer Kevin Nealon. Apatow introduced the acts at these events with short standup routines of his own. He also began volunteering at (and later producing) benefit concerts for HBO’s Comic Relief and performing and seeing standup at the Improv in Hollywood. He dropped out of college during his second year and later moved into an apartment with comedian Adam Sandler, whom he met at the Improv. He competed in the Johnnie Walker Comedy Search in 1989 directed by Saturday Night Live short film producer Neal Marshad.
Shortly thereafter, Apatow was introduced by manager Jimmy Miller to Garry Shandling which resulted in Apatow being hired as a writer for the 1991 Grammy Awards that year, which Shandling hosted. He went on to co-produce comedy specials by Roseanne Arnold, Tom Arnold, and Jim Carrey. In 1992, Apatow appeared on HBO’s 15th Annual Young Comedians Special and shortly afterwards went on to co-create and executive produce The Ben Stiller Show for Fox. Apatow had met Stiller outside of an Elvis Costello concert in 1990, and they became friends. Despite critical acclaim and an Emmy Award for Apatow and the rest of the writing staff, Fox canceled the show in 1993.
Apatow went on to join HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show in 1993 as a writer and consulting producer, and he later served as a co-executive producer and director of an episode during the show’s final season in 1998. He credits Shandling as his mentor for influencing him to write comedy that is more character-driven. Apatow earned six Emmy nominations for his work on Larry Sanders. During this same time, he worked as a consulting producer and staff writer for the animated show The Critic, starring Jon Lovitz.
In 1995, Apatow co-wrote (with Steve Brill) the feature film Heavyweights. Around the same time, Apatow was hired to produce and do an uncredited re-write of the script for the movie The Cable Guy, which was released in 1996 to mixed reviews. It was during the pre-production of the film that Apatow met his future wife, actress Leslie Mann. Apatow did uncredited re-writes on two other Jim Carrey films: Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty. His next script was titled Making Amends, which had Owen Wilson attached to star as a man in Alcoholics Anonymous who decides to apologize to everyone he has ever hurt. However, the film was never made. Apatow did uncredited rewrites of the Adam Sandler films Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer. He was also featured in four tracks on Sandler’s 1996 comedy album “What the Hell Happened to Me?”
In 1999, Apatow created Sick in the Head, a multi-camera sitcom pilot starring David Krumholtz as a psychiatrist on his first day on the job, Amy Poehler as a suicidal patient, and Kevin Corrigan as Krumholtz’s slacker roommate. The show was not picked up by Fox, which freed up Apatow to serve as an executive producer of the award-winning series Freaks and Geeks, which debuted in 1999. He also wrote and directed several episodes of the series. After its cancellation, Apatow was the executive producer and creator of the series Undeclared, which reused Seth Rogen in the main cast and other Freaks and Geeks cast members in recurring roles. Although both shows were quickly canceled, USA Today media critic Susan Wloszczyna called the shows “two of the most acclaimed TV series to ever last only one season.”
In 2001, Apatow created North Hollywood, a pilot that featured Jason Segel, Kevin Hart, Seth Rogen, Phil Hendrie, and Judge Reinhold (playing himself). The pilot was not picked up by ABC. In 2002, he co-wrote (with Brent Forrester) a Fox pilot titled Life on Parole, starring David Herman as a dissatisfied parole officer whose roommate happens to be one of his parolees; it was not picked up. Apatow has screened and introduced them at “The Other Network”, a festival of un-aired TV pilots produced by Un-Cabaret.
2004–2008: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and producing
In 2004, Apatow produced the feature film comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, starring Will Ferrell and directed by Adam McKay. The film was a box office success. Apatow co-produced the 2013 sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. He made his feature directorial debut in 2005 with the comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which he also co-wrote with the film’s star, Steve Carell, for Universal Pictures. The film opened at number one at the box office and grossed more than $175 million globally. The comedy garnered numerous awards and nominations, including being named one of AFI’s Top Movies of the Year, as well as taking home Best Comedy Movie at the 11th annual Critics’ Choice Awards. The 40-Year-Old Virgin also earned Apatow a nomination for Best Original Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America and received four MTV Movie Award nominations, including a win for Carell for Best Comedic Performance. In 2005, Apatow co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller the feature film comedy Fun with Dick and Jane starring Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni. The film went on to gross $202 million worldwide.
His second film, the romantic comedy Knocked Up, was released in June 2007 to wide critical acclaim. Apatow wrote the initial draft of the film on the set of Talladega Nights. The story concerns a slacker and a media personality (Rogen and Heigl, respectively) whose one-night stand results in an unintended pregnancy. In addition to being a critical success, the film was also a commercial hit, continuing Apatow’s newfound mainstream success.
In August 2007, Apatow produced the film Superbad, which was written by Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg. A concept Rogen and Goldberg had created as teens, Apatow convinced Rogen to write the film as a vehicle for himself in 2000. Rogen and Goldberg finished writing the film, but were unable to find a studio interested in producing it. Apatow then enlisted Rogen and Goldberg to write Pineapple Express, a stoner action movie that he felt would be more commercial. After the success of Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow was still unable to sell both Superbad and Pineapple Express; it was only after he produced the commercial hit Talladega Nights that Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to produce both.
At this point, Rogen was unable to play the lead for Superbad, as he had grown too old to play the part of Seth. Subsequently, he was cast in a supporting role as a police officer and friend Jonah Hill took his role as the high school student. Apatow credits Rogen for influencing him to make his work more “outrageously dirty.”
In August 2007, Superbad opened at No. 1 in the box office to critical acclaim, taking in $33 million in its opening weekend. Industry insiders claimed Apatow was now a brand unto himself, creating movies geared toward older audiences, who would watch his movies even when the films delved into the teen genre.
Apatow served as producer and co-writer along with director Jake Kasdan for the biopic spoof Walk Hard starring John C. Reilly, Kristen Wiig and Jenna Fischer, which was released in December 2007. While the film received positive reviews, it did poorly commercially. In 2008, he served as producer for Drillbit Taylor starring Owen Wilson and Leslie Mann and written by Seth Rogen, which opened in March and earned negative reviews.
For the rest of 2008, Apatow produced the comedy films Forgetting Sarah Marshall starring Jason Segel and Kristen Bell; Step Brothers, which reunites Talladega Nights co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly; and Pineapple Express starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, both of whom originally starred on Freaks and Geeks. In addition, he served as co-writer for the Adam Sandler comedy film You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, which Sandler and Robert Smigel also co-wrote and went on to gross $199 million at the worldwide box office.
He tries to keep a low budget on his projects and usually makes his movies about the work itself rather than using big stars. After his success in film, he hired the entire writing staff from Undeclared to write movies for Apatow Productions. He never fires writers and he keeps them on projects through all stages of productions, known colloquially as “the comedy wheel.” Apatow is not committed to any specific studio, but his projects are typically set up at Universal and Sony, and in 2009 Variety reported that Universal had signed him to a 3 picture directing deal. Apatow once vowed to include a penis in every one of his movies. He explained his position as, “I like movies that are, you know, uplifting and hopeful…and I like filth!”
2009–2015: Funny People,This is 40, Girls, and Trainwreck
In 2009, Apatow served as producer for the biblical comedy film Year One; the film was not well received. He also released his third directorial feature on July 31 that same year, titled Funny People. Apatow wrote the film, which starred Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen as a pair of standup comedians, one of whom has a terminal illness. Other co-stars included his wife Leslie Mann and Eric Bana, who was a comedic actor in Australia before appearing in American films. The film contained more dramatic elements than Apatow’s previous directorial efforts. Although the film was not financially successful (grossing $54 million domestically), the critical reception was primarily positive, with David Denby of The New Yorker magazine including the film on his top ten films of 2009, calling Funny People “a serious comedy about a funny man’s brush with death” and stating that the film “is Apatow’s richest, most complicated movie yet—a summing up of his feelings about comedy and its relation to the rest of existence.” New York Times critic A.O. Scott, reflecting on summer films of 2009, opined that Funny People was “a movie about growing up, feeling sad, facing death—a long, serious film whose subject is the challenge of maturity. Which may be why, in the face of a softish opening weekend, various interpreters of box office data were quick to declare Funny People a flop. The summer is no time for grown-ups.”
In 2010, Apatow served as producer on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall spin-off Get Him to the Greek with Russell Brand reprising his role and Jonah Hill returning from the original film, albeit as a different character. Released by Universal, the film did well at the box office, grossing more than 60 million dollars. In 2011, Apatow produced the most successful R-rated female comedy of all time, Bridesmaids, which received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Melissa McCarthy) and Best Original Screenplay (Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig), as well as two Golden Globe Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Bridesmaids also won a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Comedy Movie, a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Movie and was named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year. That same year, he produced Girls after seeing Lena Dunham’s 2010 film Tiny Furniture. In a January 2013 interview in Fast Company, Apatow and Dunham discussed the creative process of working on the show, saying that “this type of show is an auteur’s vision. It isn’t collaborative in the same way as other shows. We are probably closer to Curb Your Enthusiasm than we are to something like Friends.”
Apatow produced Wanderlust (2012), starring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd as a married couple who leave New York City and live in a hippie commune. He also produced The Five-Year Engagement (2012), featuring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple who have a rocky five-year engagement.
Apatow’s fourth directorial effort, the Knocked Up spin-off This Is 40, was released by Universal Pictures on December 21, 2012, starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as the characters Pete and Debbie (reprising their roles from Knocked Up) and had original music by Graham Parker and The Rumour (who play themselves). The film received mostly positive reactions from critics, with The New Yorker’s Richard Brody writing that This Is 40 is “the stuff of life, and it flows like life, and, like life, it would be good for it to last longer.”
In 2012, Entertainment Weekly reported that 22 years after writing an episode of The Simpsons, Apatow’s script (“Bart’s New Friend”) was being developed into an episode that would air in 2015. Apatow co-produced Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, which was released December 18, 2013, with the plot focusing on “Ron Burgundy’s struggle to find his place in the rise of new media and the 24-hour news cycle.” Apatow produced Begin Again (2013), starring Keira Knightley who plays a singer-songwriter who is discovered by a struggling record label executive (played by Mark Ruffalo) and collaborates with him to produce an album recorded in public locations all over New York City. Writer-director John Carney first pitched the film in 2010 to Apatow, who produced the film alongside Tobin Armbrust and Anthony Bregman whose production company Exclusive Media financed the film’s US$8 million budget.
Apatow’s fifth directorial feature was the 2015 romantic comedy entitled Trainwreck. Amy Schumer wrote and starred in the film as “a basket case who tries to rebuild her life” by attempting to commit to a serious relationship with a sports doctor (Bill Hader), after a string of one-night stands with different men. The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr opined that “this is a film that belongs not to its director but to its star, who, if there is any justice in the world, is about to ascend from cult icon to mass phenomenon.” The film received an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. Produced on a budget of $35 million, Trainwreck grossed $140.8 million worldwide.
In November 2017, Apatow returned to stand-up after a long hiatus to headline a show in New York City’s Carnegie Hall called Judd Apatow and Friends. He announced over Twitter that the show would benefit Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit organization founded by Michael Bloomberg which advocates for gun control and against gun violence.
2016–present: Love, Crashing, The King of Staten Island
In 2016, he created the Netflix television comedy series Love, on which he also serves as a writer and executive producer. The series followed a young couple navigating the thrills and agonies of modern relationships, and ran on Netflix for three seasons. Later that year, HBO picked up Crashing a semi-autobiographical television series which follows Pete Holmes as he tries to become a stand-up comedian after his wife cheats on him. It’s only with the help of other famous comedians (playing fictional versions of themselves) that Pete is able to learn the ropes of the stand-up comedy world. The series was created by and stars comedian Pete Holmes, and executive produced by Apatow. It was first reported in 2010 that Apatow would be producing a new Pee-Wee Herman film starring Paul Reubens that would be written by Rebuens and Paul Rust. The film, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, was released by Netflix in March 2016.
Apatow made his first documentary piece in 2016, Doc and Darryl, which documents the career and relationship of New York Mets players Dwight “Doc” Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. It aired as part of ESPN’s series of sports documentaries 30 for 30 in July 2016.
In 2017, he produced the romantic comedy The Big Sick. The film stars Kumail Nanjiani as himself, a stand-up comedian who comes from a Muslim Pakistani background and falls in love with an American woman, based on Nanjiani’s real-life wife Emily V. Gordon. Produced on a budget of $5 million, it grossed $52.3 million worldwide. A New York Times review described the movie as “a joyous, generous-hearted romantic comedy that, even as it veers into difficult terrain, insists that we just need to keep on laughing” while revitalizing “the often moribund romantic comedy subgenre with a true story of love, death and the everyday comedy of being a 21st-century American”. In 2018, the film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category of best Original Screenplay. Additionally it won Best Comedy at the Critics’ Choice Awards and received an AFI Movies of the Year Award from the American Film Institute. The film also received two Screen Actors Guild nominations and a NAACP Image Award nomination. Apatow was nominated for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures award by the Producers Guild of America, alongside producing partner Barry Mendel.
Earlier that year, Apatow produced Chris Gethard’s HBO comedy special Career Suicide, an hour and a half long monologue about Gethard’s experience with depression, therapy and search for fulfillment. The program was described as being able to “articulate intense and often ineffable emotion” while still remaining “brazenly candid…and packed with great jokes.” In a review for The A.V. Club, Erik Adams wrote “There is a feeling that somewhere, somehow, someone is going to stumble-upon Career Suicide, and it’s going to make them feel less alone.”
Apatow also starred in his first stand-up special, Judd Apatow: The Return, in December 2017. The special was recorded during the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, Canada the previous July and released through Netflix. Apatow also had a cameo role in The Disaster Artist (2017), which chronicles the making of the film The Room. The New Yorker critic Richard Brody felt the role was a “reminder” that Apatow should play a lead in one of his own films. Along with documentarian Michael Bonfiglio, Apatow co-directed the documentary May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers, which chronicles the making of the titular band’s album True Sadness. It aired on HBO in January 2018 and later won the SXSW Audience Award at the SXSW film festival.
Later in 2018, he directed another HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, exploring the life and legacy of comedian Garry Shandling, one of Apatow’s idols and a close friend. After editing together video packages for Garry Shandling’s memorial service, Apatow realized that the material was worthy of a full documentary. NPR’s David Bianculi called the documentary, “a deeply affecting TV show about the meaning of life – right up there with the final TV interviews by mythologist Joseph Campbell and British TV writer Dennis Potter. In his comedy, Garry Shandling always was in pursuit of the truth and contemplating real life. With this two-part HBO special, he and Judd Apatow achieved that very beautifully one last time.” In September 2018, Apatow took home the outstanding documentary or nonfiction special award at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for his work on the documentary.
In June 2020, Apatow’s 12th film The King of Staten Island, co-written with and starring Pete Davidson, was to be released in theatres but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it was instead released to video on demand on the 12th of June to positive reviews from critics.
Treatment of LGBTQ people and women
In 2007 New York magazine noted that former Apatow associate Mike White was “disenchanted” by Apatow’s later films, “objecting to the treatment of women and gay men in Apatow’s recent movies”, saying of Knocked Up: “At some point it starts feeling like comedy of the bullies, rather than the bullied.” In Apatow’s comedies, characters frequently use demeaning words against the LGBTQ community, words such as “tranny”, and “faggot”.
Accusation of sexism
Actress Katherine Heigl said in 2007 that though she enjoyed working with Apatow on Knocked Up, she found the film itself “a little sexist” and felt it “paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.” Apatow responded, “I’m just shocked she [Heigl] used the word shrew. I mean, what is this, the 1600s?” Apatow said the characters in the film “are sexist at times… but it’s really about immature people who are afraid of women and relationships and learn to grow up.”
In 2012, Alyssa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress quoted Apatow as saying, “I got bored of penises. I said, ‘enough of that.’ No, I just like immaturity, I like to show people struggle and try to figure out who they are. I’m a guy and so it leaned guy for a while. But one of the projects I’m most proud of is Freaks and Geeks, which is about a woman in high school struggling to figure out which group she wants to belong to, so for me, it goes back and forth.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rejected his first application for membership, even though he was sponsored by Academy Award-winning screenwriters Akiva Goldsman and Stephen Gaghan. Seth Rogen claimed Apatow “just wanted the free DVDs”. He became a member in 2008.
Marriage and children
Apatow met actress Leslie Mann on the set of the 1996 comedy film, The Cable Guy, where he served as producer and she was cast as the girlfriend of Matthew Broderick’s character. They were married on June 9, 1997 in Los Angeles, and have two daughters, Maude and Iris. Mann has appeared in Freaks and Geeks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Drillbit Taylor, Funny People, and This Is 40. Both daughters appeared in Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, as Leslie Mann’s character’s daughters, and Maude was nominated at the 34th Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress for This Is 40.
Apatow and his family live in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles.
Apatow’s philanthropic work includes supporting the literacy organization 826LA, the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program, and Children’s Cancer Research Center at Children’s hospital. He edited the book I Found This Funny published by McSweeneys to benefit 826LA. Additionally, Apatow’s book, “Sick in the Head”, in which he interviews comedy icons such as Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, benefitted the 826LA organization.
Judd has also received several high-profile awards for his advocacy and support of women in Hollywood, as well as victims of sexual assault. In 2015, he was honored by the Rape Treatment Foundation, who later released a statement on Apatow’s contributions, describing him as “a powerful voice for the truths about rape and an advocate for respectful treatment of victims.” Apatow has positioned himself at the forefront of the #MeToo and #TimesUp online movements, encouraging alleged victims to come forward while also criticizing people accused. Apatow had strong words for people like Bill Cosby and those who gave Cosby a platform to continue to perform and speak. He has been criticized for staying quiet about people accused within his own circles, such as James Franco, Garry Shandling and Lena Dunham.
In 2017, Apatow was awarded the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, for being “an outspoken and tireless advocate on behalf of women in the arts”.
Apatow regularly performs stand-up at the Largo at the Coronet, a comedy venue in Los Angeles, as part of his Judd Apatow and Friends series. Guests have included Adam Sandler, Zach Galifianakis, Ryan Adams, Beck, David Spade, Garry Shandling and Jackson Browne. Each show benefits a charity of Apatow’s choosing and past charities have included St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 826LA and Alzheimer’s Association.
In 1993, he was one of the writers awarded an Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program” for his work on The Ben Stiller Show at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards.
During his work on the Larry Sanders Show, Apatow was nominated for five Emmys, as well as a Critics’ Choice Television Award. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy for co-writing the song “Walk Hard” (nominated for Best Song Written for Motion Picture). Apatow’s work was also nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series at the 2012 and 2013 Primetime Emmys for Girls and was also nominated at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Girls. In 2012, Apatow received the Hollywood Comedy Award at the 16th annual Hollywood Film Awards presented by the Hollywood Film Festival. Additionally in 2012, Apatow was presented with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence from the Writers Guild East.
In the 2013 Critics Choice Award Nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Apatow’s film This Is 40 was nominated for Best Comedy as were Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd for their performances in the film. On January 10, 2013, the Broadcast Film Critics Association awarded Apatow the Critics’ Choice Louis XIII Genius Award named after a cognac. On October 3, 2013, The San Diego Film Festival awarded Apatow the esteemed Visionary Filmmaker Award. On May 12, 2013, the television show Girls won a BAFTA for Best International Program.
Apatow was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay for his work on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, a nomination also shared with Carell, and Knocked Up.
In 2015, Apatow’s film Trainwreck was nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards, including a nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, the first film directed by Apatow to achieve this feat. The film was also nominated for 3 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, including Best Comedy.
In 2016, Apatow was awarded the Generation Award at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal for his contributions to comedy.
In 2018, Apatow was nominated for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award at the Producers Guild Film Awards, alongside producing partner Barry Mendel. Later that year, May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers, which Apatow co-directed along with documentarian Michael Bonfiglio, won the SXSW Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.
|2005||The 40-Year-Old Virgin||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fun with Dick and Jane||No||No||Yes|
|Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story||No||Yes||Yes|
|2008||You Don’t Mess with the Zohan||No||No||Yes|
|2012||This Is 40||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2017||May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers||Yes||Yes||No||Documentary|
|2018||The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling||Yes||Yes||No|
|2020||The King of Staten Island||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As executive producer
|1991||Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth||No||Co-producer||Yes||No||Stand-up special|
|1992||Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth 2||No||Co-producer||Yes||No|
|1992–1993||The Ben Stiller Show||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||13 episodes|
|1993||Tom Arnold: The Naked Truth 3||No||Co-producer||Yes||No||Stand-up special|
|1993–1998||The Larry Sanders Show||Yes||Consulting
|1994–1995||The Critic||No||Consulting||Yes||No||21 episodes|
|1999–2000||Freaks and Geeks||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||18 episodes|
|2010–2011||Funny or Die Presents||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||36 episodes|
|2015||The Simpsons||No||No||Yes||No||Episode: “Bart’s New Friend”|
|2016||30 for 30||Yes||Yes||No||No||Episode: “Doc & Darryl”|
Executive producer only
|2016||Hannibal Buress: Hannibal Takes Edinburgh||Documentary|
|Pete Holmes: Faces And Sounds||Stand-up special|
|2017||Chris Gethard: Career Suicide|
|Jerry Before Seinfeld|
|2018||Loudon Wainwright III: Surviving Twin||Music special|
|Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean||Stand-up special|
|2019||Gary Gulman: The Great Depresh|
|1991||Jim Carrey: Unnatural Act||Stand-up special|
|1992||The Ben Stiller Show||Foxy The Fox, Jay Leno||3 episodes|
|1994||The Critic||Jay Leno (voice)||Episode: “L.A. Jay”|
|NewsRadio||Goofy Ball (voice)||Episode: “Goofy Ball”|
|2004||Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy||News Station Employee|
|2006||Help Me Help You||Judd||2 episodes|
|2011||Zookeeper||Barry The Elephant (voice)|
|2014||The Simpsons||Himself (voice)||Episode: “Steal This Episode”|
|2016–2017||Lady Dynamite||Himself||2 episodes|
|The Disaster Artist||Hollywood Producer||Uncredited cameo|
|Judd Apatow: The Return||Himself||Stand-up special|
Apatow has worked with a group of actors on an ongoing basis, including Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Jason Segel, and also tends to work with his close friends. He has frequently worked with producers Shauna Robertson and Barry Mendel. To date, Seth Rogen has been involved with eight of Apatow’s projects, as an actor, writer, and/or producer. Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann has starred in five, Will Ferrell has starred in five, Paul Rudd has starred in nine, Jonah Hill has starred in seven, and Jason Segel has starred in four (as well as written two). Apatow has produced four projects written by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig has appeared in five Apatow movies and, alongside Mann, is Apatow’s main female collaborator.
Kristen Wiig, in a speech presenting Apatow with the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence in February 2012 said that he was an “incredible collaborator and supporter” In a 2011 interview with Elle, television actress and writer Lena Dunham, who has collaborated often with Apatow said of his work, “Knocked Up is really about love. … His movies are about people trying to get closer to themselves. He’s the perfect match for a story about being 25, because that’s all 25-year-olds are interested in. The other problems they encounter—money issues, conflicts at work—don’t matter.”