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Episode 283: Nerdist Podcast
Max Landis
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Max Landis

Screenwriter Max Landis sits down with Chris, Matt and Jonah to talk about the realms of sanity and the different stages of writing and pitching scripts, and they discuss how falling in love and having to use the bathroom can feel similar!


  1. Danny Myers says:


  2. Angelina says:

    i skipped this and upon attempting to listen now I remember why, I couldn’t get through ten minutes.

  3. Jackson says:

    Just for the record, I’m in my 3 year in med school, and I we just learned that herpes CAN be transferred from mouth to genitals or genitals to mouth, and if you have Type 1 (or Simplex A; oral herpes) it will still be essentially the same as having genital herpes.

  4. Heysum Ali says:

    Just recently started discovered, listening and catching up to the Nerdist podcast. And well, I absolutely loved this episode it ended with a lot of self refection and Max has won me over as well, love the guy.

  5. Drakeo says:

    He’s talented and I’m sure he dosen’t give a fuck what anybody says about him but he does come off as a pompus,arrogant,maximum grade A,power hungry Douche! at least to me

    I also deal with mental illness everyday,but he uses his as an excuse for everything and that’s really not cool,Max!

    I loved the idea of Chronicle but HATED the movie,I saw it and didn’t like the movie,Loved Death & Return of Superman but there were plenty of mistakes in that short,I’m not gonna go into details so we’ll leave it like that.

    to sum it up:

    -Loved this podcast
    -Wanted to like Max but can’t stand his huge inflated douchebaggery,talented but he needs to be more humble and not go like “FUCK YOU I’M MAX FUCKING LANDIS AND EVERYONE RIDES ON MY DICK,I AM A SCREENPLAY GOD!”
    -Jonah and Matt should have not held back.

    I’m outta here.

  6. Rob V says:

    This was an amazing episode. Thank you Max Landis for sharing your insight on pitching.

  7. crystal says:

    Only halfway through this podcast, but I wanted to say that the information Chris gave about herpes was incorrect according to the NIH: (you can get both types of herpes in any of your mucousy areas).

    Also, according to my doctor, when you get a routine STI screening they typically don’t test for herpes unless you ask for it. If you think you might have a herpes sore, then you should go to the doctor and get it tested right away, because it’s most easily diagnosed when you have an outbreak. It’s much harder to diagnose one way or the other if you are asymptomatic (blood tests for it aren’t that great apparently)…

    OK, I’m done blathering about herpes.

  8. matthew says:

    I have to say, this is one of the few episodes I couldn’t make it through. I don’t dispute his talent, what little I’ve seen of his work has been exceptionaly good but I’m far from an expert but look forward to getting to know it better. What I did find though was Max was just so brutally hyped up and behaving like a condescending jerk I just couldn’t make it through. Is this a reflection of him in real life? Not necessarily, often how people come off in interview is very different from their real life personality and his rant at nerds being losers was just blind to the fact words have power and a true ignornace of what Chris was trying to do.

    Obviously they (Chris and Mark) are cool with one another or he’d not be on the show and everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s just I’m entitled to not have to listen to it, which is why we have the power to skip over things. People complaining and calling him names should let it slide, I’m actually curious how I’d get along with this person in real life. Maybe it’s a dynamic that simply doesn’t translate well to the medium of “podcasting”. As Chris has said time and time again this is free. We can’t whine and moan and this is Chris’ friend who despite his personality is VERY knowledagble and VERY talented, lots of taletned artists are flawed human beings (there’s an argument to be made that to be a successful artist you NEED to be flawed). If you can’t take it just move on.

  9. CallingBull says:

    re: Nepotism in the film industry. I call bull. The argument from Chris and Max against there being nepotism in the film/entertainment industry was a straw man. Of course it’s not true that studios or producers just hand out films or contracts to somebody because they know the right person.

    BUT, knowing someone (and especially being related to someone), will get you into the room with people you wouldn’t be able to meet just by writing one good screenplay. Or, would be much less likely to be able to just by writing a good screenplay.

    Being related to someone does not mean money gets thrown at you, but it definitely means you have a leg up in the process of “getting discovered.” How could it not?

  10. Oblivion Ocean says:

    I have listened to just about every episode of the podcast, and honestly this is the first one I have ever stopped early because I found the guest so dislikable. It was not about whether I agreed or disagreed with his opinions (there have been plenty of guests who I did not necessarily agree with). It was the narcism and the almost sociopathic awareness and revelry in his obnoxious behavior. In other words being aware that he acted in a obnoxious way, but not really caring how that impacts the world around him. I think the last straw was when he started to refer to himself in the third person.

  11. semi-droll seminole says:

    I was not familiar with Max Landis or his work before listening to this episode. However, I was engaged by this episode in a different way that your average Nerdist interview and I found it refreshing.

    I love the show but the average guest is generally a performer and Max Landis is not. All but a handful of performers, and especially stand-ups, are able to work a strange sort-of alchemy: they are aware of the context of an interview, know that what they say will be heard by the public at large, and despite this they are able to project an appealing public face. Nearly everyone navigates the strange terrains of their social environment by adjusting their personality to the needs of different contexts. Most performers are just really good at responding to the demands of public contexts.

    The way Max Landis understands the social demands of a movie pitch seems in direct contrast with how he came across as an interview subject. But more of who Max Landis seems to be is as a person came through my headphones than the average Nerdist interview subject. I have no dog in the fight of whether Max Landis is a good or bad person or his definition of nerd. I just thought that his creative energy that cannot help but put stuff out into the world is a great representation of the “ist” in Nerdist.

    Directing our nerd-focus towards productive ends involves confronting uncertainty. The anarchic energy of the “ist” part is what breaks through the hermetic comfort that can be the downside of being a nerd. While certain things that Max Landis said made me laugh and other things made me cringe, everything he said was colored by his style of creativity. So I hope Nerdist continues to deliver changes of pace like this.

    OH, and sorry, I know long comments are the worst.

  12. Daniel H-T says:

    Hey Max,

    if you you do succumb and start reading these comments again, I hope you read this one. You know very well what you are like, and your awful struggle is that more than anything you want to be liked, as you so eloquently explained on this episode. An arrogant obnoxious attitude driven by an ego that isn’t unmerited is rarely charismatic, yet I feel you pull it off. You are a right in that you are polarizing, but you know what Max? I do like you.

    Yes, you are a handful, but besides being clearly crazy talented, I know you and I could be friends. Now, granted, I would make fun of you a lot, but we are kindred spirits and if anything, you genuinely inspired me. I have been struggling with WHAT to write, I have ideas, plenty of them, and I find it hard to focus on a single one and just simply complete it. Hearing your self inflicted pressure and level of output actually drove me to break through significantly on my own screenplay. I got that rush! You know the one, that rush of where you start seeing the movie play in your head. It’s not all there yet, but I am getting closer, I can see the the scenes, the moments, the bits people will talk about once they leave the theater.

    You’re an arrogant prick, with a severe mental issue, but goddamnit, you’re endearing and I just want to make sure nobody is mean to you but me. You genuinely inspired me Max. I wish you all the best


  13. Jared says:

    One of the best episodes of The Nerdist, and an interview that anyone remotely interested in the craft of film should pay attention to; truly one for the permanent archives. An inspiration to any parent of children with “issues”, to boot. Well done on all fronts.

    That being said, I don’t know that I would last 5 minutes at a Max Landis party.

  14. Max read the comments here. I hope he doesn’t think badly of us.

    At the end of the day he is a human being. He has issues that he’s dealing with. We all have issues. We are not always the best versions of ourselves. Please remember that and give people breaks once in a while.

  15. RG says:

    @Jetpack… When he first said that, he actually meant Jonah Hill; he heard that “Jonah” was talking about him on the podcast, and he specifically mistook it for Jonah Hill. Outside that anecdote, I didn’t notice him call Jonah (Ray) Jonah Hill…

  16. Joe Fowler says:

    I’m envious of Max’s success and am disappointed that I can’t write the way he can, but I’m also endlessly thankful that I’m not like him in every other way.

  17. Jamie says:

    Cool podcast but he is wrong about James Bond movie. I feel like trying to mash this up to other bond movies feels incredibly corny. And there is a lot of other stuff they would have to explain if suddenly all of these universes where the same.

  18. JetpackBlues says:

    All these comments, and considering one of the main reasons Max got on the podcast was because of the story Jonah told about the fit Max pitched outside a party, NO ONE caught that he kept calling Jonah “Jonah Hill.”

    Of course, who could get a word in edgewise?