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Judd Apatow is cool with Katherine Heigl, hints at a 'Knocked Up' sequel

The filmmaker talks returning to stand-up comedy, the 10 year anniversary of "Knocked Up" and more.
Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow performs in Boston July 24. Photo by Getty Images

It's hard to believe that it's been 10 years since Judd Apatow first introduced us to Ben and Alison, the one-night stand turned unlikely parents played by Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl in the hit 2007 comedy "Knocked Up."

Although the sort-of spin-off "This Is 40" offered a glimpse at how Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters are dealing with parenthood these days, fans are still wondering about the future of the series' original couple. Well, the wait may be over soon according to Apatow, as the comedian and filmmaker revealed to us that a sequel could happen in the near future.

Before the New England leg of his tour stops in Boston, Providence and Connecticut this weekend, the 49-year-old star opened up about doing another "Knocked Up" movie, returning to stand-up after his hiatus and what it was like to film at the old Boston Garden.

After taking a break from stand-up for so long, is it weird being back on stage?

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It’s just so fun coming back to stand-up. It was all I ever wanted to do. Everything else has been an offshoot. When I was a kid, I was obsessed with [Jerry] Seinfeld and [Jay] Leno and I loved watching comedians on talk shows. I did stand-up from the time I was 17 until I was 24, then I just got busy doing other things. Now that I’m older and have children and a life, I have much more to say today than when I was a kid.

This year is the 10th anniversary of “Knocked Up” hitting theaters. How are Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl’s characters doing as parents these days?

That’s a very good question. I’ve thought about it a lot. There may be another movie in it one day, so I won’t give away any answers. Who knows.

Are you and Heigl cool now after her initial, negative response to the film?

Yeah.

You recently donated to a local arts grant and will give a portion of the tour’s proceeds to Boys & Girls Clubs in New England. What compels you to give back with your comedy work?

One of the best aspects of me doing stand-up at this stage of my life is that I can make a lot of the shows for charity. When I was coming to Boston and we were talking about adding a second show, I said, “Let’s do it for charity.” We talked to a bunch of organizations, and there’s the Greater Boston After School Arts Fund, that helps support art programs at Boston high schools. We need those more than anything. Arts programs change kids lives just as much as sports or anything else. They’re often the first department to get caught.

You’re not afraid to get political on social media. Do you think you could write a movie as comedic or tragic as what’s going on with Donald Trump’s White House?

It’s giving everyone a lot of anxiety. Everyday there’s some new, strange detail. I don’t think most people think we’re in very safe hands. It is satirical, but it’s real and it’s concerning. You don’t want the leaders of your country to be comfortable lying. You don’t want them to do all sorts of meetings and accidentally leave the names of the people they meet with off all of their forms. For Republicans and Democrats, it makes them nervous because you don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know what interests they’re serving. Yes, 20 years from now it will be very comical and someone will make a hilarious miniseries out of it. Right now, it’s troubling.

Does all this Trump talk bleed into your stand-up work at all?

I talk about politics a little bit because I don’t know how you avoid it. There’s too much going on and we’re thinking about it all day. It’s hard not to dip into a little bit of what’s happening.

Do you like visiting Boston? Have any go-to spots in the city?

I haven’t spent an enormous amount of time in Boston. I had a great show there with Amy Schumer, Dave Atell, Colin Quinn and Mike Birbiglia when we did the “Trainwreck” tour at the Wilbur two years ago. Many years ago, I made a movie called “Celtic Pride” with Damon Wayans, Dan Aykroyd and Daniel Stern about a bunch of Boston Celtics fans who kidnap the star of the Utah Jazz. We were able to shoot at Boston Garden right up until they tore it down. We were the last thing that happened at Boston Garden.

What was it like filming one of your first comedies here?

It was exciting! A lot of the legends did cameos in the movie. I remember the day when Bob Cousy was there and I believe Red Auerbach was still around in ’95. It was just really funny. Boston has always been the premiere comedy town in the country. I have so many friends that started in Boston or put in a lot of time in Boston.

If you go:

July 24, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston, $37-$52, thewilbur.com

 
 
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