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Funny People (2009) Poster

(2009)

Trivia

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The opening video with the prank calls is a real video shot by Judd Apatow when he and Adam Sandler were younger. The two other people appearing in this video are Janeane Garofalo and Ben Stiller.
Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler were old roommates. The footage seen in the opening sequence was recorded back then. Sandler would regularly make prank phone calls and one day Apatow decided to start filming them.
Adam Sandler turned down the role of Donny in Inglourious Basterds (2009) to play George Simmons in Funny People (2009). Eli Roth took over the Donny role.
The plot of the film and its characters are loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby", including a character named Daisy.
Eric Bana made his character Australian to allow him to improvise easier.
The scene where George Simmons asks to see Ira's penis is based on real life. Adam Sandler and director Judd Apatow used to be room mates in college. According to Apatow, Sandler actually asked Apatow: "Let me see your penis". (Apatow actually told this story to David Letterman on The Late Show with David Letterman (1993) in 2007.)
Adam Sandler said he felt guilty about saying such filthy jokes in the film about women because of his two young daughters at home.
When Ira is playing the mix he made for George, George objects to the first song because Bob Marley died of cancer, which reminds George of his own medical condition. Actually, all three of the songs that Ira plays have a strong connection to a famous man who died of cancer: in addition to the Bob Marley song, he plays "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", which is most famous for its prominent inclusion in the movie Dirty Dancing (1987) (that movie's star, Patrick Swayze, was undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer while this movie was being filmed, and he died in September 2009), and next, he plays "Keep Me In Your Heart" by Warren Zevon, who died of lung cancer in 2003.
Judd Apatow has said that if Adam Sandler had not been able to take the role as George Simmons, he would have most likely cast either Paul Rudd or Jason Bateman.
DIRECTOR_TRADEMARK(Judd Apatow): [family]: Leslie Mann plays mother to her real-life daughters with Apatow: Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow, just as she did in Knocked Up (2007). They played her daughters in This is 40, also.
The film's soundtrack features songs from each of The Beatles' solo careers. Adam Sandler performs a cover of John Lennon's song "Real Love" at about the halfway point of the movie during his paid jam session.
Aziz Ansari's character, Randy, proved to be so popular on the set with the cast and crew that Judd Apatow shot a Randy "documentary" and is developing a Randy feature film. Ansari also incorporated Randy into his regular stand-up act. Ansari has said that he based Randy on Soulja Boy. He imagined what if Soulja Boy was a stand-up comedian and wrote jokes based on that idea.
The characters of George and Ira were written specifically for Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen.
Judd Apatow had Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Aubrey Plaza and Jonah Hill write their own material for their stand-up routines. Apatow then filmed them perform that material.
According to the audio commentary, Paul Thomas Anderson did an uncredited edit of the film. He did get a thank you in the credits, however.
In the film, Eric Bana jokes about how Cameron Diaz is hotter than Leslie Mann's character - Leslie Mann would go on to co-star with Cameron Diaz in The Other Woman where her husband cheated with Cameron Diaz.
George (Simmons) and Ira (Wright) are named after the composer/lyricist brothers George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin.
When Seth Rogen's character talks about his camp experience at a camp called "Mahaneh Miriam", this is a reference (by its Hebrew name) to the camp that Rogen went to growing up. This camp is a Jewish camp located in British Columbia affiliated to the youth movement Habonim Dror.
This features Eminem's first acting performance in a film since 8 Mile (2002).
The cameo by 'James Taylor' at (I) the MySpace show at which George and Ira performs was originally intended for Bruce Springsteen.
Seth Rogen actually first started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 13.
Judd Apatow considered Bill Hader for the role of Mark but decided to give it to Jason Schwartzman instead.
The scene in which Ira (Seth Rogen) is waiting for George to pick him up for the MySpace gig, he is talking to Leo and Mark on the balcony. During the shot of Ira speaking you can see a Green Hornet poster on the dresser in the back. Seth Rogen starred in the remake of The Green Hornet (2011).
Jason Schwartzman based his character on people that he knew, saying "There's a couple of people who I've seen rise to fame too quickly before my own eyes."
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In Knocked Up (2007), there is a scene where the guys are sitting around talking about that, if they "got laid", it was because of Eric Bana in Munich (2005). Bana also stars in this film, and coincidentally (or perhaps not) the director of photography on both Munich (2005) and this film is Janusz Kaminski. Barry Mendel, one of the producers of Munich (2005), is also a producer on this film as well.
As he doesn't consider himself as a very visual director, Judd Apatow hired cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to bring some visual panache to the film.
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Though billed prominently as a star of Funny People (2009), Eric Bana appears only in the last third of the film.
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All featured footage of a younger George Simmons is real footage of a younger Adam Sandler, although all of the movies of George Simmons are fake.
Seth Rogen's character makes a joke about Robin Williams Slitting his wrists while on stage. Williams took his own life 6 years after the movie came out.
The film features Warren Zevon songs "Keep Me in Your Heart" and "Numb as a Statue" from the 2003 Album "The Wind". Zevon began recording the album shortly after he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and it was released just two weeks before his death.
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Judd Apatow wrote this film specifically for his friend, Adam Sandler.
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The reoccurring mention of Ira Wright's weight loss is a reference to Seth Rogen's own weight loss for the film, The Green Hornet (2011).
RZA appears in this film. The opening scene of Knocked Up (2007), Judd Apatow's previous directorial film, is set to the song "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by 'Ol Dirty Bastard', which was co-written and produced by the RZA.
Adam Sandler had previously worked with Leslie Mann in the 1999 film Big Daddy.
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Jonah Hill's character wore a De La Soul T shirt. Their producer Prince Paul was in another group Gravediggaz with the RZA who starred in Funny People (2009).
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The apartment that Ira, Leo, and Mark live in are the Larchmont Lofts on the corner of Melrose Ave., and N. Larchmont Blvd., in Hollywood, California.
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Eric Bana's character is, like Bana himself, a St Kilda supporter, which is a team in the Australian Football League (AFL). Bana attended the 2009 AFL Grand Final in which St Kilda was playing. (They unfortunately lost by 12 points to Geelong.) In 2010, St Kilda again made the Grand Final, this time against Collingwood - the very same opponents that Bana's character despises. A rare replay was scheduled for Saturday 2 October 2010 after the first Grand Final ended in a draw at 68 points each.
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When Ira is on stage, he makes a joke about Robin Williams slitting his wrist on stage attempting suicide. Five years after the movie was made, Robin Williams committed suicide.
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Clarke thinks Cameron Diaz is hot. She appeared in Charlie's Angels with Drew Barrymore, who did some movies with Adam Sandler.
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Director Trademark 

Judd Apatow: [Raymond] Everybody Loves Raymond (1996) is mentioned in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), and Funny People (2009). Ray Romano appears as himself and the object of Eminem's disdain in "Funny People."

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Adam Sandler said, in interviews shown in the credits of Australian pay TV viewings, that casting Eric Bana made the fight sequence more realistic, especially because the Australian would be seen as the stronger combatant.
When George Simmons goes to talk to Ira Wright at the deli, Ira is standing behind of a dark red menu. When he walks away you clearly see that one of the dishes listed is "Chopped Liver".

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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