“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.
This podcast is brought to you by Vimeo Pro, which is the ideal video hosting platform for entrepreneurs. In fact, a bunch of my start-ups are already using Vimeo Pro. WealthFront uses it to explain how WealthFront works. TaskRabbit uses it to tell the company’s story. There are many other names who you would recognize among their customers (AirBnB, Etsy, etc.) Why do they use it? Vimeo Pro provides enterprise level video hosting for a fraction of the usual cost. Features include:
- Gorgeous high-quality playback with no ads
- Up to 20 GB of video storage every week
- Unlimited plays and views
- A fully customizable video player, which can include your company logo, custom outro, and more
You get all this for just $199 per year (that’s only $17 per/mo.). There are no complicated bandwidth calculations or hidden fees. Try it risk-free for 30 days. Just go to Vimeo.com/business to check it out. If you like it, you can use the promo code “Tim” to get 25% off. This is a special discount just for you guys.
This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim.
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]