For his second film, Judd Apatow chose locations that gave him a chance at making it home to Pacific Palisades in time for dinner. That meant much of Knocked Up, Apatow’s follow-up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin, was shot in the summer cauldron of suburban Los Angeles. While the set had a cozy family feel to it—the cast consisted of Apatow regulars, including his wife, Leslie Mann—12-hour days in Northridge began dragging interminably. The curious appearance one day of Joey Buttafuoco (of Amy Fisher fame) manning a craft-services ice-cream truck only momentarily lifted the torpor.
Fortunately, an oasis loomed. Apatow’s one out-of-town extravagance was two days of filming at a Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. The concept of “Vegas” quickly took on a spring-break-like aura for the young cast. Toward the end of another 100-degree day, Seth Rogen, the 25-year-old star of Knocked Up and Apatow’s on-screen alter ego, gurgled with excitement about the coming trip. “Now Vegas, that is going to be a good time,” Rogen said, unleashing an illicit laugh that was half dirty old man, half the Muttley character from Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
Apatow overheard and momentarily broke away from a Red Bull drinking contest he was having with Evan Goldberg, Rogen’s best friend and an executive producer of Knocked Up. “You have a girlfriend—what are you going to do in Vegas?” Apatow said to Rogen. “I can’t wait until she breaks up with you. It’ll suck, but you’ll be so much funnier.”
Both of the fil...