Judd Apatow has created and spawned some extensive backstories for the funny people in his upcoming dramedy movie, Funny People, and many of them already have proved worthy of clicking, emailing, Tweeting, and forwarding about the Internets. What makes this newly-released featurette even better than the rest, however, is that it's much more than a promotional tool — here Apatow sincerely engages star Adam Sandler about his return to the stand-up stage after more than a decade away from it. That he's doing it "in character" actually is beside the point, because rust is rust and Sandler is not the first comedian-turned-movie-star who has found the return to the stand-up stage fraught with anxiety.
Performing jokes for strangers is a feat in itself. Doing it after a long time away from it, combined with the massive expectations that audiences normally heap upon their stars, can even keep some greats from making a so-called "comeback" to his or her roots. (Remind me sometime to share my thoughts on Eddie Murphy's absence from the stage and his brother, Charlie Murphy, who has filled that stand-up void in recent years) Anyhow.
In this clip, we not only get to see Sandler return to stand-up stages and comedy clubs to rehearse his routines for Funny People (they're self-aware enough to focus in on the fact that Sandler was so rusty he hit himself in the lip with the microphone trying to work the mic stand!), but we also get to see footage of him performing in his basement as a 15-year-old. Great stuff!