A month after Jerrod Carmichael used the Golden Globes stage to mock Tom Cruise for his involvement in the Church of Scientology, Judd Apatow got in a few similar jabs while emceeing the Directors Guild of America Awards.
The jokes began with the topic of the “Top Gun” star’s height: “The special effects in ‘Maverick’ were so top notch, I couldn’t even see the stack of phone books Tom Cruise sat on to reach the flight controls.”
“Remember when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on the couch and we all thought, ‘What a lunatic!’” Apatow said, referring to the infamous 2005 incident on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “And now he rides a motorcycle off a cliff and BASE jumps and we’re all like, ‘Tom’s fine!’”
“Tom is not fine. Someone needs to explain to him something called CGI. You’re 60. Calm down,” Apatow continued. “But every time he does one of these new stunts, it does feel like an ad for Scientology. I mean, is that in Dianetics? Because there’s nothing about jumping off a cliff in the Torah.”
But Apatow wasn’t done roasting Cruise. Next, he moved onto poking fun at the actor’s family life and his opinions on mental health.
“The only thing he seems to be afraid of is co-parenting and antidepressants,” he said. “I doubled my Prozac today just for this. I doubled it! Do you think if Tom Cruise took antidepressants, he’d be like, ‘I’m not jumping out of a fucking cliff. I’m rich!’”
“Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski appeared unamused at Apatow’s jokes.
Cruise wasn’t Apatow’s only target. At the beginning of his speech, he called out the DGA: “People are complaining this year that all five of the best director nominees are men. But that’s not true. One of the nominees is two men.”
He was referring to Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who co-directed the A24 comedy “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” He continued poking fun at the duo’s movie — and the snub of “Avatar: The Way of Water” — saying, “It must be tough for James Cameron to have made yet another one of the most technically innovative films of all time, and then lose out on a DGA nomination to two guys who made a movie with a dildo punch.”
“Both ‘Avatar’ and “Elvis’ have gotten a lot of praise this award season. Which is unexpected, since they were enjoyed by people and made money,” Apatow added, before inciting gasps from the audience by saying, “I actually watched ‘Elvis’ the same way that he died: asleep and on the toilet.”
About the star of the film, Apatow said, “Austin Butler is still talking like Elvis. Not a bad person to be stuck talking like. Unfortunately, his next project is ‘The Jerry Lewis Story.’”
Turning the punchlines on himself, Apatow said, “There are 500 scripted series, so I took off the entire year and watched every episode of all 500 shows just so I could vote accurately and responsibly. I’ve had no time to direct. I’ve lost my health insurance. Which concerns me, because my right testicle hurts. I’m not joking, and I wonder if anyone has a guy.”
“Steven Spielberg made a deeply personal movie, which just shows you how much you can accomplish once you start smoking pot with Seth Rogen,” Apatow joked about “The Fabelmans” director. And about the star turn of his frequent collaborator, he added: “Spielberg stole Seth Rogen from me, and I’m not cool with it. I’m gonna make a fucking movie with E.T.!”
Apatow also joked about how Todd Field’s “Tár” came 16 years after his last movie, 2006’s “Little Children.”
“Even Terrence Malick is like, ‘What what the fuck is wrong with you?’ That is way too long. How do you keep your health insurance?” he said. “This is how long that is: My daughter went to preschool with Todd’s daughter. Our kids were four when his last movie came out. And since then, my daughter has had three divorces.”
Apatow closed his monologue with a bit more self deprecation, this time about the low viewership of his 2022 Netflix film “The Bubble.”
“Do you know what it’s like to work hard, and then go see the Top 10 on Netflix, and you’re behind ‘Is It Cake?’” he said. “And then you watch ‘Is It Cake?’ and you realize you like it better than your movie?”