Judd Apatow explains how Kelly Clarkson became a swear word in 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Kelly Clarkson's name was yelled in 'The 40-Year-Old-Virgin' during the infamous waxing scene. (Credit: Universal/Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Kelly Clarkson's name was yelled in 'The 40-Year-Old-Virgin' during the infamous waxing scene. (Credit: Universal/Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Judd Apatow has revealed how Kelly Clarkson’s name became immortalised as a yell of pain in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Clarkson’s name is infamously shouted by Steve Carell in the 2005 comedy during a scene in which his character has his chest waxed in order to make him more attractive to women.

Read more: Carell says studio almost shut down 40-Year-Old Virgin

The filmmaker appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show to promote his new movie The King of Staten Island and the host grilled him about how the memorable line came about.

“I’m gonna blame Seth Rogen,” Apatow said.

“There’s a picture of a piece of paper with all the curses we gave Steve to scream when he gets waxed and in the middle, on the column that says ‘clean words’, right in the middle it says ‘Kelly Clarkson’ in Seth’s handwriting.”

Judd Apatow revealed a list of potential curses for Steve Carell to shout during 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'. (Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube)
Judd Apatow revealed a list of potential curses for Steve Carell to shout during 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin'. (Credit: The Kelly Clarkson Show/YouTube)

“I love that I made it between ‘burger panties’ and ‘throbbing monkey tail’,” Clarkson responded.

The singer added: “It doesn’t matter what I do in my life, no one remembers me for anything other than that. I have sung for presidents, a pope, it doesn’t matter what I do.”

Read more: Apatow reveals why he makes long comedy movies

The 40-Year-Old Virgin was Apatow’s first movie as director and introduced his now trademark, semi-improvised comedy style.

As well as Carell and Rogen, the movie also starred Paul Rudd, Catherine Keener, Romany Malco, Elizabeth Banks and Jane Lynch.

It received strong reviews and was a financial hit, earning $177m (£142m) at the worldwide box office.

Judd Apatow speaks onstage during the 72nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards on January 25, 2020. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Judd Apatow speaks onstage during the 72nd Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards on January 25, 2020. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The King of Staten Island is Apatow’s first fiction feature comedy as director since Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer, in 2015.

Read more: Steve Buscemi on playing firefighter in The King of Staten Island

It stars Saturday Night Live alum Pete Davidson as 20-something stoner Scott, who is struggling to piece his life together years after the death of his firefighter father.

The movie is intensely personal for Davidson, who also co-wrote the script based on his own experiences of losing his father on 9/11.

The King of Staten Island is available to rent at home now.