Judd Apatow’s problems began with the words: “Go talk to Kanye. There’s an issue with his outfit.”
Kanye West — genius rapper, militant fashion designer, mad-hatter creative and pop culture lightning rod — wanted to talk with Apatow on the set of 2013’s “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” the Will Ferrell franchise that Apatow produced.
Apatow reflected on his experience with West on Saturday during a charity stand-up performance that also promoted his new Pete Holmes HBO series “Crashing.”
“We love Kanye, but we’re worried about him, right? He gives us these gifts but we’re scared,” Apatow told a packed house at Downtown Los Angeles’ Regent Theater.
“He was in ‘Anchorman 2,’ he played an MTV VJ. He shows up to shoot and he’s supposed to wear a red Michael Jackson jacket,” Apatow continued.
The producer was summoned to Kanye’s trailer (yes, Kim Kardashian was with him) to discuss an issue with the wardrobe.
“Kanye says there’s a problem with his costume: ‘Not good! The problem is this red jacket is like a first-instinct idea. Like the first thing you thought of, then you went on Google Images, and the first thing that came up, that’s why you went with!'”
Apatow admitted: “Which is what we did.”
West came up with his own plan, saying he would “‘go on Google Images, and I’m going to look at one thousand images!’ The whole time Kim Kardashian never looks up from her phone. Two hours later, he walks out of his trailer wearing the red jacket we picked and goes, ‘I guess this is fine.'”
Apatow did not consider West unreasonable, saying the business needs “crazy people to be creative and groundbreaking. You’ve got to be crazy, and little bit of an a–h—, to be like that.”
Things ran smoothly form there, and Apatow and director Adam McKay even got a sneak preview of West’s critically acclaimed album “Yezzus.”
“Me and Adam are talking to him, and he’s trying to explain his new album. He goes, ‘I don’t know if I want to call it ‘I Am God’ or ‘I Am Jesus.’ He’s not joking. He doesn’t know if he’s more like God or Jesus. He’s trying to explain the concept … and he goes, let me just rap some of it for you so you understand,” Apatow said.
“He’s rapping like he’s at Madison Square Garden, eight inches from my face. I’m so nervous I start laughing hysterically in his face.”
The “Love” creator maintains it was still the most unique musical experience of his life, one he was thrilled no one else would ever witness in such unusual circumstances. Almost.
“Five minutes later he was doing it for the makeup artists,” Apatow concluded.
“Crashing” airs Sundays on HBO.