If you don't know about Judd Apatow, or just kind of know, then I have some advice: figure out a way and watch everything he has been involved with as either producer, diretor or writer.
I know I'm late on it, but I just got a chance to see Superbad last night. It was as good as I expected, even with all of the hype and folks telling me that I was retarded for not having seen it yet. This film is just the latest in growing line of Apatow-related projects...
I first heard of Judd through the cult-classic and way to short-lived television series Freaks & Geeks and later its little brother, the also ill fated Undeclared. Both of these series are available in their entirety on DVD box sets. They are like a preview of what was to come from Judd and the crew of actors and writers he continues to work with. But it doesn't stop there...
This man produced Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Taladega Nights: The Story of Ricky Bobby, and the recently released Knocked Up. If you haven't seen these films, please do. They are exceptionally funny and original works. A lot of them involve a lot of the same group of actors that rotate in and out, with new ones popping up every once in a while. This crew includes Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, and the list goes on and on.
Earlier in his producer/writer career, Judd worked on The Cable Guy, The Larry Sanders Show and another cult classic, The Ben Stiller Show. He even worked as a writer and producer on the television cartoon series The Critic starring the voice of Jon Lovitz back in the day (that shit was hilarious). This guy knows how to spot a great property and attach incredible talent to it in the comedy film genre like nobody else at the moment. Its not an easy thing to do- trust me. Anybody who's ever worked in the film industry knows what I mean.
The thing that I like most about the types of TV shows (mainly Undeclared and Freaks) and the films (mainly 40 Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad) that Judd works on is their low-budget, everyman nature. Judd works in a very common and easily relate-able world with low budgets and makes shockingly funny, original and super smart humor out of it. The last producer/writer/director that comes to mind that worked in a similar world and created cultural classic films from a rotating crew of mainly new talent that I can recall was John Hughes (Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off). That's good company to be in.
Next on deck for Judd is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story starring John C. Reilly which looks every bit as good as the recent releases. Consider Judd Apatow like your favorite record label, and go get involved with everything he puts out. Judd did not pay me to write this blog posting. Yet.