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

  • Molly's Game

    TV and 'Peppa Pig' Boost eOne's Results, but Film Revenue Slumps

    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 […]

  • Netflix Signs Deal with Producer Kim

    Netflix Signs First-Look Deal With Producer Kim Magnusson for Nordic Movies (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 […]

  • 'Chris The Swiss' Review: Inventive, Dramatic

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chris The Swiss'

    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 State Against Mandela and the

    Cannes Film Review: 'The State Against Mandela and the Others'

    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 […]

  • tom cavanagh the flash

    Film News Roundup: 'The Flash' Star Tom Cavanagh Joins Family Drama 'Be the Light'

    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 […]

  • 'Dear Son' Review: Powerful, Affecting Portrait

    Cannes Film Review: 'Dear Son'

    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 Misandrists Review

    Film Review: 'The Misandrists'

    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