I was lucky enough to be on set when you guys were shooting the “meat-cute” sequence, and everyone was a little unsure of whether that was going to be too “inside” a joke to make it into the cut. Luckily it did, but what was the threshold of jokes that might be too over the audience’s head?
JONAH HILL: That’s a good question. The red herring thing no one understands but it makes me laugh really hard. There’s a joke I don’t think people necessarily pick up on where we’re in a car chase and the whole time we’re talking about how much money is wasted, and we hit an ATM machine and money flies everywhere. That to me is, like, what the movie is, you know? (laughs) Look how stupid sequels are, they’re just wasting money. That’s why Phil and Chris are so good at setting that tone and making that able to happen in the movie. I don’t think it’s something any of the audiences I’ve been with really laugh at or pick up on. The Cate Blanchett/carte blanche joke, those things are really funny but I don’t know who they appeal to.
CHANNING TATUM: I don’t know who’s gonna know the “Annie Hall” joke but the bit still works as an actual scene that proves something storywise. That works on two different levels, that’s a reason why Woody Allen put it in the movie because it actually works, but only cinephiles will know what that scene is with the lobster and everything. It’s great.
HILL: My sense of humor within this film is just based on character. Who these people are, why they do the things they do psychologically. In all their movies Phil and Chris always have three different layers to every joke. That level I usually bring to stuff, like base human behavior, and they do like what the smartest most meta comedian would find funny, and then what a four-year-old would find funny. All within three layers of the same bit. That’s why their movies are so interesting. I don’t know how many people are gonna pick up on the “Benjamin Hill School of Cinema Studies”, that’s a really intricate joke. (laughs) That’s why they’re so great, ’cause they got that sign made! That actually took work to get that for a joke that no one’s gonna understand, pretty much!