Judd Apatow on ‘The King of Staten Island’ and his unfunny Twitter presence

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In the new dramedy ‘“The King of Staten Island,” Pete Davidson plays Scott — a stoner in his twenties who lives at home with his mom. He’s been stuck in a state of arrested development ever since his firefighter father was killed on the job when Scott was a little boy. 

Scott is not at all happy when his mom starts dating a firefighter but eventually they try to bond and Scott ends up hanging out and doing odd jobs at the station — the same one where his dad once worked. 

‘“The King of Staten Island,” is inspired by Davidson’s real life — his father was one of the more than 300 firefighters who died on September 11th — when Davidson was eight years old. 

Davidson, who’s now a regular on “Saturday Night Live,” co-wrote the script with our guest, Judd Apatow, who directed the film. 

Apatow, of course, is a comedy icon — he directed “40 Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Trainwreck” and has produced dozens of other projects, including “Bridesmaids” and “Girls.”

Apatow talks about working with Davidson, as well as actor Steve Buscemi, who used to be a firefighter and worked to search for survivors after the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York.

Apatow and Universal had planned to release the “The King of Staten Island” in theaters, but then the pandemic hit. Apatow explains why he’s alright with the film going straight to video on demand, and why he believes there’s still a place for comedies on the big screen, once theaters reopen. 

Finally, Apatow discusses his serious presence on Twitter, where he regularly speaks out against Trump, as well as Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, whose news network relentlessly bolsters the administration. Apatow believes Fox News is doing real harm to people and questions why others in the industry don’t say anything. “There are a lot of people who complain about liberal Hollywood and their opinions, but when you really get down to it, almost no one is speaking up.”




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker