Long before he became modern comedy's Svengali-cum-talent scout, writer-producer-director Judd Apatow began his career doing stand-up at age 17. And while shooting his upcoming film Trainwreck with Amy Schumer, the 47-year-old filmmaker started returning to the stage, doing surprise sets at The Comedy Cellar in New York. "It's fun to do when you don't have to worry about feeding yourself by doing stand-up," Apatow recently told the podcast Laughspin. "It's just a moment between me and the audience."
The Must-See: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) may have begun the empire, but Funny People (2009) is Apatow's unfairly maligned love letter to stand-up and its discontents, from those on bottom of the bill to the folks alone at the top.