Seth Gordon: Helmer makes ‘Horrible’ worldwide hit

Comedy Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Bigshots

After making his name with the documentary “King of Kong,” director Seth Gordon honed his comedy chops helming the $120 million 2008 hit “Four Christmases” and episodes of “Modern Family,” “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” This year sealed his standing among the town’s top comedy directors with his second feature “Horrible Bosses.” Starring Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey as the eponymous employers, the rowdy tale of resentment and revenge resonated with audiences worldwide to the tune of $212 million. It also did for Aniston (playing a sex-mad, foul-mouthed dentist) what a decade of assembly-line romantic comedy leads had failed to do — letting the former “Friends” star be funny again. “She was our first choice and so ready to do something different,” Gordon says.

Meanwhile, the director, who plans to “keep bouncing between movies and TV” and who has an overall TV deal at Sony, has his hands full with the second season of Fox’s “Breaking In,” which he co-created and exec produces after directing the pilot. Plus, there’s another untitled pilot — “a really funny idea of Adam Goldberg’s that turned into a bidding frenzy in fall,” he says.