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Judd Apatow on Comedy in the Trump Era: ‘It’s Hard to Do Comedy When What’s Happening Is So Weird’

Judd Apatow has been a vocal opponent of Donald Trump since well before the election. But now that Trump is days away from taking the Oath of Office, Apatow is feeling pensive about the state of comedy and what it can be used for.

“We would hope the brilliant satire that people like John Oliver and Sam Bee and Bill Maher and Seth Meyers have woken people up to things they should be concerned about,” Apatow said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Saturday morning. “But I’m not sure if it did. I don’t know if they’re preaching to the converted or they’re helping a new younger generation decide what they believe. It’s hard to know the impact of comedy in this regard.”

But that’s not to say Apatow thinks it has no impact.

“I think everyone has to keep it up and pay attention to how people find out about hypocrisy,” he continued. “It’ll be very important but I don’t know if it’ll be the linchpin thing that will alter anything. It might just be getting a laugh at the end of a very stressful day.”

Apatow was in Pasadena helping comedian Pete Holmes sell their new HBO comedy “Crashing” to critics. Holmes said his own comedic philosophy runs more along the lines of creating an atmosphere of respite: “I like to give people a 15-minute break. First of all, I need that. It’s a mutually beneficial thing. Some people go at it hard and I think that’s wonderful, that they’ll speak truth to power. I’m excited to see that. And then there’s room for silliness.”

Crashing” premieres Feb. 19 on HBO.

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