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Watch: Conan O'Brien and Judd Apatow's Serious Talk About Careers, the Unhappiness of Comedy & Obama

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 21, 2012 at 1:00PM

Conan O'Brien sits down for some "Serious Jibber-Jabber" with Judd Apatow, and the two discuss what comedy means to them, their experiences breaking into showbiz, the alien people who enjoyed high school, whether Obama is a "naturally funny" president and much more.
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Judd Apatow and Conan O'Brien on "Serious Jibber-Jabber"
Judd Apatow and Conan O'Brien on "Serious Jibber-Jabber"

Conan O'Brien sits down for some "Serious Jibber-Jabber" with Judd Apatow, and the two discuss what comedy means to them, their experiences breaking into showbiz, the alien people who enjoyed high school, whether Obama is a "naturally funny" president and much more. Highlights and full video below.

On relying on comedy:

Judd Apatow: "I try not to think about each [film] too much in the context of my career. I think about, at the end of my career, walking through that 'hallway' and being proud of all these things that I've made."

Conan O'Brien: "The only way you can survive doing this -- because I think comedy's too hard, I really do. I hang my self esteem on each moment sometimes and I think that I can't do that. [It makes me] too unhappy for too long."

On the people who loved high school:

Conan O'Brien: "When someone else comes along and they're pretty funny, and they're also a great athlete, and [they seem like someone] who had a pretty good time in school. For me, I hated school when I was a kid, I just hated it. And when I hear about kids who loved going to school--"

Judd Apatow: "They loved school, they got laid a lot, and they're funny. And good at sports. I hate those people."

Conan O'Brien: "They need to die."

Conan on Obama's comedic chops:

"Is Obama really funny? Let's really talk about this because is he really funny or has he learned the rhythm because he needed to and he's a very smart guy? I have not been able to get a handle on how naturally funny Obama is because I don't think we've had very many naturally funny presidents. I think often it's a liability. I think John F. Kennedy was our last genuinely funny president."

This article is related to: Video, Judd Apatow, Conan O'Brien


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.