LOS ANGELES — His hilarious “You know how I know you’re gay” riffs made him a household name in “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin,” then broke him into Hollywood’s upper-echelon with “Knocked Up.” And while we’re not here to question Seth Rogen’s sexuality, we do know one thing: The guy is hilarious.
On July 31, Rogen returns for his third Judd Apatow collaboration, titled “Funny People.” Over the weekend, we sat down with him for a hilarious conversation about farting on airplanes, whether he’s still amusing now that he’s lost weight for “The Green Hornet,” and the greatest joke he’s ever heard.
MTV: Hey, Seth, how are ya?
Seth Rogen: Good, how are you doing?
MTV: In the movie, we see your character, Ira, doing a lot of stand-up comedy. Did you write that material yourself?
Rogen: Well, we largely wrote our own material. We did invite other stand-up comics to jam with us, and we’d all sit around together and write jokes. Our co-producers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O’Brien would also help us write the jokes.
MTV: Can you give us an example of one you wrote?
Rogen: I’m trying to remember which jokes actually made it into the movie. [Laughs.] I came up with the “farting on the airplane” joke. I have to take credit for that.
MTV: In that joke, you talk about how an airplane is the only place where it’s OK to fart, because no one knows who did it. You travel all the time — so, are you guilty of farting on a plane in real life?
Rogen: Oh, definitely. [Laughs.] I just go for it. Farting on a plane is an unrivaled act; it’s primal almost.
MTV: You know, after “Funny People” comes out, no one is going to want to sit near you on a plane.
Rogen: Exactly, yeah. That’ll be weird.
MTV: One of the pivotal moments in the movie has you screwing over Jonah’s character by taking a job away from him. Do you think that makes your character harder to like?
Rogen: Well, I’ve got to say that was one of the biggest discussions we had while making the movie — people would literally take different people’s sides. Some people would think what I did wasn’t that bad. [Jonah's character] is rich and doing well — and Ira is clearly at a disadvantage. But I personally think it’s terrible. I would never do something like that to my friend.
MTV: Jonah Hill’s character, Leo, also has a theory that overweight people aren’t funny when they lose weight. We all know you’re in fighting shape these days for “The Green Hornet.” So, do you feel less amusing now that you’re skinny?
Rogen: Honestly, I think it’s a hilarious joke in the movie — and it was great how the movie called attention to [my weight loss], but I personally don’t feel that. I’m actually way more funny now, because I’m hungry. And if comedy comes from pain, then I should be way funnier now than I ever was. [Laughs.]
MTV: You’ve been around funny people your entire life. What is the single greatest joke you’ve ever heard?
Rogen: If I could fart on cue, I would do that right now — and that would be my answer.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Funny People.”
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