Josh Klausner: Learned about laughs on the set

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Animation Sensation

Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy to make movies funnier. The key is to make people care,” he says.

Before breaking through as a writer, Klausner learned his comic craft as second unit director on four Farrelly brothers movies, including “Kingpin” and “There’s Something About Mary.” “I became aware of what gets cut out, as funny as it might be. If it’s not propelling the story forward, it goes,” he says. His screenplay for a movie about the brother of a modern-day messiah caught the attention of both DreamWorks Animation and director Shawn Levy, leading to both writing gigs. (That screenplay remains unproduced, but Klausner hopes to direct it himself some day.)

Though “Date Night” earned $152 million worldwide and “Shrek Forever After” (which he co-wrote with Darren Lemke) cumed $747 million, Klausner measures his success in eyeballs reached. “You always want as many people as possible to see your movies,” he says gratefully.

More Film

  • Over 30 TV Projects, 40 Speakers

    Göteborg TV Drama Vision Unveils Program

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • 'Our Time Will Come' Wins Hong

    'Our Time Will Come' Wins Hong Kong Critics Prize

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • Star Wars

    Japan Box Office: ‘Star Wars’ Wins Fifth Weekend

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's

    Florian Munteanu to Play Ivan Drago's Son in 'Creed 2'

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • The cast and crew of "black-ish"

    NAACP Image Awards: The Complete Winners List

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • Virus

    Eliza Dushku's Alleged Assailant Subject of Two More Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

  • 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino

    Tribeca Winner 'Keep the Change' Bought by Kino Lorber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Apart from their box office gold, it’s difficult to imagine a lot in common between comedy hits “Date Night” and “Shrek Forever After,” though writer Josh Klausner (who has credits on both) insists that at their core, the two movies are not just laughfests but “emotional journeys”: “Yes, the jokes will come, but it’s easy […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content