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18 Dec 2017

Home Video Review: Netflix's 'Judd Apatow: Left Behind' Shows the Comedy Filmmaker Still Has Standup Chops

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Judd Apatow in Judd Apatow: The Return. Judd Apatow in Judd Apatow: The Return. Mark Seliger/Netflix

Now that we don’t have Louis C.K. anymore, I’m looking for some reliable folks to bring the self-deprecating funny.

Judd Apatow got some consistent laughter out of me with his new standup special, Judd Apatow: The Return. Apatow—producer and director of comedy gold such as Knocked Up and Trainwreck—was a standup comic before he broke into movies. He’s indulged himself now and then over the years with occasional gigs, but this is the first time he’s actually filmed it.

He’s actually quite good—often very good. Memorable bits include his experience on a daughter date; arguments with his wife, Leslie Mann; and throwing out the first pitch at a Mets game. He actually uses photos as part of his presentation, and the one of him letting go of that first pitch is comic gold.

Most memorably, Apatow uses photos to tell the stories of his meetings with President Barack Obama and Paul McCartney. Apatow’s shtick is to tell his stories in ways that makes you feel like he must be exaggerating. Then, he shows the picture … and you realize he was probably being to kind to himself.

Judd Apatow: The Return is currently streaming on Netflix, the place to see comedy these days. HBO has been left behind.

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