Todd Phillips, by his own admission or at least acceptance, is the comedy world's A-list anti-Apatow: where the writer-director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up bathes his characters in sweetness and sentiment, Phillips wrings his dry, leaving only the odd, awkward and undeniable punch of their punch lines. His latest film, The Hangover, follows a group of guys who awaken from an all-night bachelor party in Vegas to discover that the groom is missing, there's a tiger in the bathroom of their suite, and they are now in possession of a baby. No lessons are learned, no constitutions tested and no hearts wrenched, and that's just the way Phillips – and the audience of his films, from Road Trip to Old School to Starsky and Hutch – prefers it.

Cinematical recently sat down with Phillips, in Vegas, no less, to discuss The Hangover. In addition to talking about his particular and preferred brand of comedy, Phillips talked about a few of the films that inspired him as a young man, and mused about the future of both The Hangover and Old School.