In The King Of Staten Island, Pete Davidson plays Scott, a guy who’s still coming to terms with the death of his firefighter father, almost 20 years after it happened. It’s a take on Davidson’s own story—his father died working for the NYFD on 9/11—but it’s also a part of a larger universal story about learning to laugh at tragedy in a way that’s actually constructive. It’s something Staten Island director Judd Apatow is familiar with, having recently dealt very publicly with the shocking death of his good friend Garry Shandling, as well as with the death of his own mother a few years back. As you’ll see, The A.V. Club talked to Apatow about that process for the video above. We also touch on Davidson’s Gen-Z comedy, Apatow’s documentary viewing preferences, and whether he thinks comedy can change minds.