Craig Moss Talks The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall

The director behind this spoof of Judd Apatow movies brings the DVD home on June 8th

The 41 Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It is a raunchy, hilarious tribute to all things Judd Apatow. This mish-mash of heart and pathos is a strange trip that follows perpetual nerd Andy, a mid-life virgin who accidentally knocks up his first conquest and then has to immediately deal with the repercussions the very next day. No stone is left unturned as The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad are given the spoof treatment they so richly deserve. Directed by Craig Moss, the 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It [WS] [Unrated] arrives on DVD today, June 8th.

We recently caught up with Craig to find out more about the daunting task of making the Apatow Universe even funnier than the second time around. Here is our conversation:

As most Judd Apatow films are quite funny in their own right, how daunting of a task was it to put a fresh spin on some of these jokes and make them work within their own little world?

Craig Moss: He is brilliant. And a genius. All of his stuff is hysterical. We weren't trying to compete with his stuff. We were just trying to make a parody. To make fun of the characters. To make fun of the situations. We wanted to make it more over the top. Because, with all those films, there are particular through lines. And the same characters do come and go. They run through all of those movies. We were trying to take those general situations and make them a little bit crazier. We just wanted to make it along the lines of parodying what was already there.

Why did you think now was a good time to send up the Apatow universe?

Craig Moss: What happened was, my writing partner Brad Kaaya and I were pitching some comedy ideas around town to different production companies. They told us that unless we were Judd Apatow, no comedies could get made right now. Brad and I looked at each other and we said, "This guy is a genre. Its time to break this genre now. We need to parody this genre." We looked at it as an opportunity and decided to create this. We were lucky enough that we had someone interested in making this with us. We shot it in the summer of last year. Now, it's read to go out.

How frustrating was that for you? To be a comedy writer and be told that, unless you were this one dude, nothing you wrote was every going to get made?

Craig Moss: Its frustrating when someone tells you, "No!" It's frustrating when you think you have a good idea. But there are other people telling you why you can't. They tell you its too crazy. Whatever excuse they may have. It is frustrating. At the same time, I enjoy comedy. First and foremost. When people parody something? I have a love for that. It's not frustrating to me, because I love doing that. That's not to say it's the only thing I want to do! But I do enjoy it. I enjoy interpreting different genres. This was something that seemed like a great opportunity. And we had a lot of fun doing it. It was great. Judd Apatow? His style of comedy is brilliant. He is very funny. And this seemed like the perfect time to make something like this.

How do you think the success and failure of the more recent spoofs by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg have helped in creating what you have here?

Craig Moss: Those guys did a great job, and have their own take on the parody. They know their audience. It works for them, and it works for that particular age group. They have been very successful financially. We looked at the early parodies. We loved all the stuff from Mel Brooks. The stuff from the Zucker brothers. We thought, if we can kind of...This is not that by no means, but if we can take some components of that and put it into what we are parodying? We would feel good about what we are doing. That was our mindset going into it.

Has Judd given you his blessing?

Craig Moss: He haven't. In all honesty, I don't know what his response has been. Nor have I spoken to him. Look, I would love to. The guy has a great sense of humor. I'd hope that he'd be somewhat happy about his films being parodied. But I haven't heard anything. We'll see. Maybe there will be one day when he approaches me and pushes me in a corner. He gets his boys to beat the crap out of me. That's okay. I don't have a problem with that.

I don't think that would happen. Judd has said in the past that he loves spoofs. And that his kids love them. The cast you guys hired is terrific. Can you talk about the process of finding all of these guys?

Craig Moss: We had a casting company that worked with us. As I was telling someone before, the most important thing in doing these parodies, I think, is making sure your characters look like the actually characters from the movies you are spoofing. That was a big deal for us. A couple of the guys we knew from before. Stephen Kramer Glickman, who plays Seth Rogen, is actually related to my wife. He is a brilliant actor. He did a great job of pulling this off. Bryan Callen? My writing partner knew him from his days at MadTV, so we brought him in. He was great, even though he didn't look like Steve Carell. He pulled it off really well. With Jonah Hill, that was obviously very important. Because we would get people coming in that looked like him. But they couldn't act like him. It was frustrating because we needed these components to make it work. Then Steven Sims came in. It was like, "Wow!" He had that short film Destroying Jonah Hill, and the guy looks just like him. We knew at that point we needed to get to this guy. But Steven is more of a writer. He didn't want to get into acting. The whole comparison to Jonah Hill was annoying to him. I mean, he genuinely loves Jonah Hill. But it was too much for him. We sat down one day and talked it over. Luckily, I don't know how, we were able to persuade him. And he did it. He liked it. He had a great time. He enjoyed it. One thing about the film that works very well is that a lot of those characters look like the people from the Judd Apatow films. Especially Steven Sims as Jonah Hill. I'm thrilled that he was a part of it.

You are working on Fully Mooned. Is that a spoof of Twilight?

Craig Moss: Yes. That is a parody of Twilight. I think we are going to shoot it this summer. Which I am really happy about. Because I think that will be a fun movie to parody.

41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It [WS] [Unrated] arrives on DVD June 8th.

B. Alan Orange