Like with Blazing Saddles. Whenever they show that on the Family Channel or whatever, it's unrecognizable.
That's a great example because here we are almost 35 years after Blazing Saddles first came out and even now you cannot hear a fart on the television version. At the campfire scene, the guys are sitting up and there's no noise. It's insane.
When you watch movies, is it mainly for pleasure or out of a sense of obligation?
Always for pleasure. I never watch out of obligation. I don't feel obligated to anybody to watch their movie. But I do love going to movies. And there have been great comedies in the last few years, like Wedding Crashers, 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad. You know, these are really fun movies. And movies like that really inspire me. Some people get resentful. There's an expression in this town that everybody roots against everybody else. But I'm not like that. Because when an R-rated comedy - or any comedy - hits it big, it's good for me. When a comedy hits, they want more comedies. And when I see a really good comedy, like Superbad or Knocked Up, it just inspires me to do better.
Has Judd Apatow [40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up] ever tipped his hat in your direction?
Because it seems like you laid the groundwork for what he's doing.
Well, I'm not so sure about that, because while we're both doing R-rated comedies, and there are certain similarities, our movies also have certain similarities to John Landis comedies and the Zucker Brother comedies. Also, he's doing something quite different. Our brand of comedy is more physical or gag-related, while his seems to be more about verbal repartee. It's these guys talking and saying silly things, and they do more of that than we do.
Rattle off a few favorite filmmakers.
Apatow. Let me see - I love Quentin Tarantino. I always look forward to his stuff. I like Wes Anderson a lot. I was a huge fan of Magnolia, by the other Anderson.
Let me think . . .
Is there anybody you consider influential? Preston Sturges?
You know, it's funny - our movies are compared to Sturges quite a bit, and I don't understand why. Mary has been compared to that, and they've been called screwball comedies. I guess there's something there, but I had never seen a Preston Sturges movie in my life until people kept comparing me to him. You know, our influences - and I've said this before - are from television, because we didn't go to a lot of movies growing up. We weren't movie nuts. But I remember watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show, and that's the thing we like, where you're laughing or giggling at stuff but also you're feeling something. There's something always a little heartfelt in the Andy Griffith shows that we aspire to get. We try to make you have some laughs, but you've also got to feel something for our movies to work.
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