“Hollywood is waiting to see if it was a fluke or if Apatow can officially write his own ticket,” I said in my “Nightline” article when I was working for ABC News.
It was not a fluke.
One of the fun biographical details Apatow shared back then was that, as a student, he used his high school radio show to get interviews with successful comedians like Garry Shandling and Jerry Seinfeld. In 2016, Apatow took those cassettes, transcribed the interviews and turned them into his first book, Sick in the Head.
Apatow took advantage of the opportunity that so many people had so much free time to land interviews with legends like David Letterman, Whoopi Goldberg and Will Ferrell, as well as up-and-coming youngsters like Bowen Yang and Amber Ruffin.
In “Sicker,” they talk about everything from mental health to the pressure of acting to the relentless shuffling of Hollywood. This book allows readers to put themselves in the shoes of their favorite comedians as they reveal that they may not be as comfortable with themselves as fans imagine.
The interview was funny, of course, but Apatow was also thoughtful, candid, and even insightful. I hope you like it.
What else is Jake reading?
‘The Nickel Boys’ by Colson Whitehead
Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Nickel Boys” follows the story of two boys sent to a nightmarish reform school in Florida during the Jim Crow era. Caught up in an unfair and cruel system, Elwood and Turner’s friendship ultimately leads to a fateful decision.
‘The Sheriff of Babylon’ by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
King and Gerads team up to create a 12-issue comedic thriller centered on Chris Henry, a Florida cop turned military adviser, who is assigned to train cadets in Baghdad after 9/11. But after his apprentice is found dead, he along with his allies Nassir and Sophia must find out who killed him despite unforeseen strings moving in the background.
Recommended by the ‘Jake Tapper Book Club’
‘Write for Life’ by Anna Quindlen
Quindlen, a journalist and novelist, draws on her personal experience to highlight the power of writing and recording our lives. Using authors like Anne Frank and Toni Morrison, as well as love letters and journal reflections, she argues that writing is essential to building a connection with ourselves and with others.
‘The Impossible City: Memories of Hong Kong’ by Karen Cheung
Born in Hong Kong on the eve of his move to China in 1997, Cheung writes about it with the insight and keen observations of both an expert and a journalist. In a city on the brink of China’s spectacular global rise, among Hong Kong’s cosmopolitan artists, students, protesters and residents, Cheung gives us vivid portraits of the everyday characters and events that make up life in a rapidly changing metropolis.
Independent Bookstore Spotlight
What’s coming up on ‘Jake Tapper’s Book Club’ on CNN+
- April 17th — Jake talks with Elizabeth Alexander, author of a moving new book, “The Trayvon Generation,” in which she considers the impact of the last decade of racial justice uprisings on Black youth through art.
- April 24 — Jake talks with Andrea Yaryura Clark, whose book “On a Night of a Thousand Stars” creates a beautiful but heartbreaking story of life during Argentina’s Dirty War and one daughter’s quest to uncover the truth about her family.
- May 1 — Jake talks with Danyel Smith, former editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine, about the major contributions of black women in pop music, from Billie Holiday to Whitney to Beyoncé and more.