the take

‘Knocked Up’: Judd Apatow Edits the Jokes Out

Judd Apatow with his wife, Knocked Up co-star Leslie Mann.Photo: Getty Images

From last weekend’s Times Magazine profile of Judd Apatow:

By the end of last month, when the final edit was done, I had seen five or six versions of ”Knocked Up.” While the arc of the film remained the same, seemingly every line had been traded in and out as Apatow searched for the right balance of comedy and angst.

Those viewers who, like us, watched the trailers for Knocked Up about a million times before seeing the actual movie, may have been surprised at the number of lines from the trailer that didn’t make it into the final cut. It’s not uncommon, of course, for shots and lines in a trailer to be absent when the film finally arrives in theaters; trailers are often cut early in the marketing process, and final editing can finish just a few weeks before a film’s release. But it strikes us as surprising that three big laugh lines from the red-band R-rated trailer were omitted from the movie:

In this trailer, but not in the movie:

1. Seth Rogen’s bewildered “What are you hitting on me for?” after Katherine Heigl tells him she’s pregnant.

2. Rogen’s comment on shopping for baby clothes: “I’m just pretending I’m shopping for regular clothes, and I’m a giant.”

3. Heigl’s oh-no-you-didn’t! response when neurotic Rogen worries that during sex, his penis will come within an inch of the fetus’ face: “Trust me, you’re not even close!”

Comedies get released every week that are so spectacularly unfunny that audiences spend most of the movie twiddling their thumbs, waiting to get to the good stuff they saw in the trailer. So it’s kind of amazing that Knocked Up has so many laughs that Apatow felt fine about removing several of them just to make the movie flow better.

We’ll forever be sad, though, that Rogen’s enthusiastic rapping of Wu-Tang’s “Shame on a Nigga” — so prominently featured in the first twenty seconds of the trailer — never made it into the final cut.

‘Knocked Up’: Judd Apatow Edits the Jokes Out