“If we can write a high school movie, then we can make a high school movie.”
— Seth Rogen
This episode features a dynamic duo. Seth Rogen (@SethRogen) is an actor, writer, producer, and director. Evan Goldberg (@EvanDGoldberg) is a Canadian director, screenwriter, and producer. Together, they get into a lot of mischief and create amazing comedy.
They’ve collaborated on films such as Superbad (which they first conceived as teenagers), Knocked Up, Pineapple Express, The Green Hornet, and Funny People. They have also written for Da Ali G Show and The Simpsons.
In 2013, Evan and Seth released their directorial debut, This Is the End. In 2014, Seth starred in and produced (alongside Evan) Neighbors, which was a worldwide comedy hit and has taken in more than $268 million.
In December 2014, Rogen and Goldberg’s film, The Interview, became the most-talked-about news story around the world. Under extremely difficult circumstances, the film persevered to become Sony Pictures’ #1 digital title of all time.
Neighbors 2 is shooting now and will be released next May. Seth and Evan are also in production on Sausage Party, a raunchy animated movie for adults about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. Seth and Evan are producing the film with Megan Ellison and Conrad Vernon.
In our conversation, we discuss all manner of tactics and silliness, including:
- Kyokushin karate
- Writer’s block and related debates
- Their writing process
- Who are the most underrated comedians and comedy writers?
- How Superbad got made… after they first drafted it around age 13
- The odd book Judd Apatow recommended to them (also Woody Allen’s favorite)
- How The Kids in the Hall influenced them
- The movie they both wish they’d written
- Common pot mistakes
- Recommended newb pot for working versus relaxing
- Will there be a McLovin spinoff?
- And much more…
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Want to hear another podcast related to comedy? — Listen to my conversation with Bryan Callen, who is a world-class comic and prolific actor. Stream this episode below or right-click here to download.
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you could interview any comedian, who would it be and why? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes
- The movie The Mist
- The Freaks and Geeks television series
- The Ski Patrol movie
- Talladega Nights
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin
- The Princess Bride
- The Larry Sanders Show
- Rejected: A Film by Don Hertzfeldt
- The Kids In The Hall
- Fawlty Towers
- Monty Python
- Absolutely Fabulous
- Watchmen by Alan Moore
- Preacher – Book One by Garth Ennis
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Art Of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
- The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
- Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
- The Fast and the Furious
- “How Do People Get New Ideas?”
- Jack Herer
- Connect with Seth Rogen:
- The story of how Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg got into karate and beat the shit out of each other [06:42]
- How their view of competitive violence changed after karate [10:58]
- How Seth and Evan first met and when they first started collaborating [12:08]
- How Seth and Evan decided to write Superbad [16:05]
- The differences between standup comedy and movie writing [19:30]
- How Seth and Evan’s writing process works [25:03]
- How This Is The End came together, and how they created the film [27:01]
- How the Superbad script came to life [33:24]
- Being hired to write for Da Ali G Show and other acting roles [40:06]
- The lessons Seth and Evan learned from Judd Apatow [44:06]
- Thoughts on the concept of writer’s block [48:29]
- Today’s most underrated comedy writers [52:04]
- The first person who comes to mind when Seth and Evan think of the word successful [57:52]
- The habit Evan picked up when working with Snoop Dogg [1:03:01]
- The advice Evan and Seth would give their 25-year-old selves [1:05:07]
- The reason nearly all involved in Freaks and Geeks ended up being so successful [1:11:06]
- Weed and productivity [1:14:20]
- The types of pot for different situations [1:17:30]
- Judd Apatow
- Paul Feig
- Jake Kasdan
- Nicolas Cage
- Hannibal Buress
- Sacha Baron Cohen
- Don Hertzfeldt
- Trey Parker
- Matt Stone
- Woody Allen
- Elon Musk
- Bryan Callen
- Steve Jobs
- Isaac Asimov
Posted on: September 29, 2015.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.