“I know it’s hard to believe that your rock band TV idea, which every writer in this town has thought of at one point, was not on my mind half a year after you told it to me. Yes, you thought of breaking the fourth wall. Groucho and George Burns stole it from you.
“Why don’t you sue the guys who have that new show How to Be a Rock Star on the WB? I must have told them your idea. Nobody has ever goofed on rock bands — not Spinal Tap or The Rutles or 800 Saturday Night Live sketches. I should have told everyone on the show, no rock band sketches, that’s Brazill’s area.
“So hold on to your hate and rage, even though it makes no sense. I’ll go back to my life of thievery and leeching. As for the cancer, I’ll wait till you get it and then steal it from you. By the way, that joke was one of my writers’, Rodney Rothman (see, I credited him). See, I have no original thoughts. Sorry I bothered to figure this out.” — a classic, possibly made-up 2002 e-mail argument between producer-director-writer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and producer-writer Mark Brazill, and published that same year in Harper’s.
A guy sent this to me yesterday. The first thing I did was laugh, and then I said to myself, “I’m not running this — you’re not supposed to be publish something that’s five days old these days, much less five years.” Then I figured “funny is funny” and fuck the late-publishing statute of limitations. For me, this thing almost neutralizes my Apatow resentments, which (as I’ve said at least three or four times before) are mainly about the grotesque first half of Apatow’s The 40 Year-Old Virgin (i.e., drunk girl spewing on Carell, nurse ripping off his chest hair, etc.)