Actors Who Got Their Start From Judd Apatow
Apart from being credited as the one responsible for the general format of the R-rated comedy in the 21st century thanks to his films The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Judd Apatow is also responsible for discovering some of the most successful voices in comedic acting today. It’s not surprising to find out that Apatow more or less has had his name attached to practically every hit comedy film of the past 15 years, but it is surprising to see how many actors got their start in one of his projects.
Before he was wooing Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, Adam Scott was relatively unknown. He scored a breakout role in Step Brothers around the same time he started on the hit NBC comedy (the former of which happened to be produced by Apatow), but he had actually been acting for years prior. One of his first comedic roles was in Apatow’s Knocked Up, which was released in 2007. He played Samuel the male nurse, a frequent source of frustration for Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl’s characters in the film.
The Cast of Freaks and Geeks
Before they were all starring in or writing and directing today’s hit comedies, almost the entire cast of the short-lived television show Freaks and Geeks was working together on the same set. James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Martin Starr, Samm Levine, Busy Philipps, Lizzy Caplan, Leslie Mann, Shia LaBeouf, and John Francis Daley all appeared on the sitcom before going on to write, direct, and star in some of the funniest films of the decade.
The Cast of Undeclared
In addition to the main cast, Rashida Jones, Ben Schwartzman, and Ben Foster all made guest appearances on Freaks and Geeks. In the follow-up to the series, titled Undeclared, up-and-comers like Charlie Hunnam, Jay Baruchel, Carla Gallo, and even superstars like Amy Poehler and Kevin Hart managed to make appearances. It seems that, while his movies are massively successful, his shows are true star machines.
The Cast of The Ben Stiller Show
Before Freaks and Geeks, Apatow helped launch the careers of Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and Bob Odenkirk, among many other guest stars. The sketch comedy show became something of a cult classic, like many of Apatow’s projects, when it was canceled after only one season (also like many of Apatow’s projects).
The Cast of The Larry Sanders Show
After The Ben Stiller Show and before Freaks and Geeks, Apatow also produced a sitcom called The Larry Sanders Show. Starring Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Jeremy Piven, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and many other guests, the show took a comedic look at the behind-the-scenes happenings of a late night talk show.
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