This week’s 92nd Street Y conversation between Ira Glass and Judd Apatow started off with a fun anecdote. Apatow explained that while taping his Monday night appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he ran into Jeb Bush in the 30 Rock corridors, there to slow jam the news with Jimmy Fallon. “I don’t think I asked the right questions,” the comedy multi-hyphenate confessed. Could be, as one of the things he queried Bush about was the presidential candidate’s workout routine.
Later on, Apatow used the example of The 40-Year-Old Virgin to illustrate his belief that there are only five ways to end a movie. The one he went with for the 2005 comedy was happy-happy.
“Kind of a happy-sad version is, they have sex, he dies of a heart attack,” Apatow told Glass. “A sad-happy version is: they have sex, she’s like, ‘It wasn’t that good, maybe we’ll try tomorrow.’ Then the sad-sad version is, she says, ‘I’ll have sex with you,’ he instantly gets hit by a car.”
The fifth ending option? That, Apatow explained, would have involved going down the David Lynch road and, in the case of Virgin, a lot of Laura Dern-like screaming by Catherine Keener’s character at the penultimate, intimate moment. There’s also a memorable riff by Apatow about the fact that “Jews don’t mind if you draw us and our god. We’re not crybabies about it.”
P.S. About halfway through the Y session, there’s a wonderful musical interlude. Loudon Wainright III jumps up on stage and performs a trio of acoustic numbers including “Daughter.” He performs again at the end of the Q&A.
P.P.S. Apatow also talks about the two very different impacts on his teenage daughters of Glass’s This American Life.