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Roseanne Barr

Judd Apatow on the Well-Masked Anxieties of 'Funny People'

Judd Apatow is no stranger to labels.

Roger Ebert, Variety and ABC’s Nightline have independently declared him Hollywood’s new King of Comedy. The editors of Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Times downgraded him to Mayor, though their praise was otherwise no less effusive. And Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton, never one to withhold a compliment, recently branded Apatow a “genius.”

But believe it or not, there was a time when the Syosset, New York, native, then in his early 20s, struggled to sustain a career as a stand-up comedian. Although he conceded that battle, choosing instead to write for fellow stand-ups like Roseanne Barr, his passion for the craft remained undiminished.

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