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January 27, 2011

This is a heart felt letter of emotion to the dear Judd Apatow from the great Michael Goodpaster. Hopefully this is read with an open heart, and a guilty conscience.

The 2011 Golden Globes keeps dishing up the goods. The two time host Ricky Gervais made some jokes toward celebrities during his monologue and throughout the night. A lot of people, mainly thin-skinned celebs and holier-than-thou PR people, thought things he said were mean and too far over the preverbal line. If you watch the Golden Globes closely and listen you can hear some laughter after every joke. Not all of them had a thunderous giggle, but not a single joke made the room silent. You can say it was piped in or from someone getting paid, but that’s ridiculous to even attempt to consider. The celebrities, the peers of those getting mocked, shared in on the fun. Were some jokes too far? That’s subjective. Were they jokes though? For sure. Gervais may have came off mean and catty, but if for one second you think this was exclusive to this particular show then you’re pretty dumb. That’s Ricky Gervais’s shtick. He’s a dark humorist who says some off the wall shit. It’s what the Globes paid him to do. It’s the same thing he did last time he hosted and he was then asked to return? Why? Because the Globes were pleased. So he gave them the same thing again, just with different jokes and different celebrities in the punch lines. Apparently he picked the wrong punchlines.

Writer/Director/Producer mastermind Judd Apatow took time out of his life to chime in on it. During the Producer’s Guild Award show, which Apatow hosted, he went out of his way to use his own monologue time to go after Gervais. Then afterwards he was asked what he thought and he responded “I didn’t like him. I thought he was mean.” He was upset about Gervais making a “fat joke” (sadly, not p-h-a-t) about Hurly from LOST. His thoughts on this was “He said he ate everybody else. Let’s be honest, Ricky Gervais just lost weight. Even now he’s four pounds away from not being allowed to do a joke like that. Did he lose weight just to make fat jokes? You think that’s how mean he is?” Apatow was cool with Gervais’s joke about Charlie Sheen but was quick to point out that Jay Leno did it the week before. Then he took time to stick up for the movie “The Tourist”. Gervais basically said the movie sucked and the acting was bland. He quipped “I can’t do a joke about The Invention of Lying because I haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen it. None of us have seen it. So the joke would not work.” Okay. And then he also took time to stick up for Cher, Hugh Hefner, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Cruise, and especially Tim Allen. “Tim Allen did 200 episodes of Home Improvement. He was in three of the highest grossing movies of all time. And his latest just crossed the one billion mark. Whereas The Invention of Lying made $18 million dollars worldwide… Leave Time Allen alone.” And that’s about it. That’s what an article from hollywoodreporter.com reports. Wow. Let’s see how this goes…

Dear Judd Apatow,
I’ve been a huge fan of your work now for years. Your back story and career progression is very impressive. You’ve came up through some of the best television shows of all time, you then put out some of your own despite them not lasting lost, and then you put out some of the funniest comedies of this era. I’m not a casual fan who saw “Knocked Up” and barely know your name. I’ve seen “The Ben Stiller Show”, “Larry Sanders”, “Freaks and Geeks”, and “Undeclared”. I think “Celtic Pride” and “The Cable Guy” are two very underrated movies and I’ve seen at least 80 to 85% of what imdb credits you. I’m obviously a fan. You make movies with your friends and continue to build on that. That’s obviously what I’m personally working towards and doing on a much smaller level right now. You’re an inspiration and you’ve been part of providing me many hours of laughter and good memories.

This is why it’s so weird think you’d be a little girl about Ricky Gervais. What did Ricky Gervais do to you or one of your close loved ones? He made jokes that everyone already thinks. He said out loud the same dark-stoner humor the characters from your movies would say. He made “fat jokes” (again, not p-h-a-t) when he was fat. Watch his older stand up stuff, he was self depreciating and didn’t even spare himself in his humor. It’s a “fat joke”, so what? I’m a fat guy who makes fat jokes. We aren’t rare. It’s like a Jewish guy making Jewish jokes. You’re responsible for the movie “Heavyweights”. If I recall correctly, it was an hour and half long Disney-fied fat joke. It wasn’t “mean spirited”, but it’s not without hurtful intentions. Sure the fat kids win at the end, but it’s not like it rallied fat kids across the world to do anything. It’s a movie for people to laugh at the kids and smile when they overcome at the end. I was 12 when it came out and being a fat kid, it made me uncomfortable. I’m just going to say it, “Heavyweights” is like a minstrel show for fat kids. The Hurly dude from Lost seems like an awesome guy. He lights up a room and I hope to see him in a new project soon, but he’s fat. Nothing wrong with that at all and I’m sure he knows by now.

You’re okay with the Charlie Sheen though? The dude does mad drugs, drinks, and goes crazy. I’m pretty sure a fucked up person behind a wheel kills more people than a fat guy behind the wheel. A fucked up fat guy? Watch out! I don’t care about Charlie Sheen though. You think its okay to take jabs at him for whatever your twisted logic is, but not anyone else? Whatever. My issue here is that you had to point out that Gervais’ joke was “on Leno a week before”. YOU WATCH LENO? Gross! My near 60 year old father dives for the remote and the channel button the SECOND he sees Jay Leno on his screen. Why? Because Jay Leno sucks. He’s horrible, unfunny, and lame. Is that what you’re watching at night? I’m “Team CoCo” all the way, sir and for some reason I thought you would have been too.

I didn’t see the movie, but I saw the trailer and promos for “The Tourist”. Nothing about it says depth or inspired. It looks bland, boring, and run of the mill. I can make this conclusion with ease because I’ve seen both leads act before, I’ve seen movies of this genre, and I’ve seen these actors in this genre. The trailer sells the movie. I, like many, was not buying. Am I not allowed to publically say anything about the movie without having seen it from credits to credits? Bullshit. I was actually really enjoying this part of the show. No one EVER takes jabs at Johnny Depp. I enjoy Depp, but dude… don’t hate on him for going after the pretty people. You’re in the comedy business. Comedy comes from, in part, pain and insecurity. Does anyone really think Depp or Angelina are going to lose sleep, fans, or a single cent because Ricky Gervais said something that we’re all thinking? Nope.

Then you try to claim status by box office success and money making. You shit talked “The Invention of Lying” and said no one saw it. I did and I can easily think of three or four friends who have as well. It’s a good movie and is very enjoyable. It didn’t make an assload of money, but it’s still better than at least half of your movies, which I mainly enjoy as well. Putting a price tag on status and quality really bothers me. Are you saying that for a movie to be a success it has to rake in a ton of dough? Does art not mean anything? Does Tim Allen automatically get “props” just because ABC let his show on the air for 200 episodes before ending it? I’m not hating on Tim Allen at all, but why can’t we point at him and laugh? His pockets may be full, but that doesn’t make Santa Clause 3 any better.

I say the more money someone has the more we should be able to make fun of them. The more awards they have, the bigger the target. If you were on a hit TV show, you’re fair game. If you made billions of dollars being a pirate for Disney then I sure as hell have all the rights in the world to poke fun. Celebrities, large (“p-h-a-t”) and small, are fair game on any level. At the end of the day, they are public figures. And really, that should go for anyone. The whole world should be fair game. There is enough horror in the world that if you’re taking what a snarky Englishman says to heart then you’re priorities are way off. I think we should be able to laugh at anything and anyone. He wasn’t being a bully at all. It’s not like he was stealing Tom Cruise’s lunch money or giving Hurly a swirly. He made jokes about things TMZ has already covered, stuff that we all already gossip about, and even if things weren’t true or not… it was just a freakin’ joke. I don’t think Gervais was trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. Maybe you could say he was going for shock-laughs, but again, that’s who he is. You’re a fan of a comedy too, you have to be familiar with Gervais’s style. He’s like an English Kathy Griffin, except with a vagina. Then again, you watch Leno so you’re probably a little behind.

I don’t know, man. I don’t want to give up on you yet. Like I said, I’m a huge fan and was just about to that point of blindly following your career regardless. I was okay with being interested and excited about anything and everything attached to your name, but I just don’t know. This is almost like finding out that the prettiest girl at the party has a dick. You get to the party and look around until you spot her. At that point... it’s on. You’re looking for her all night. You over hear her private jokes and laugh to yourself. You see her dance, so you start dancing. Before you know it, you’re dancing with her, you’re drunk, and you’re ready to go at it. She’s so beautiful and then… what’s that? A dick! So please Judd, don’t be a dick.

You Know How I Know You’re Gay?...

Mike Goodpaster
No Budget Filmmaker/Movie Fan