One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Museum of Television & Radio's William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Directors Guild of America Theatre Complex, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television's creative community. This evening honors "Freaks and Geeks," a series about two distinct groups of high schoolers in 1980 Michigan -- the Freaks, hoodish outcasts-by-choice who love heavy metal, cars, and defying authority; and the Geeks, physically and socially underdeveloped kids who revel in science fiction and impersonations of their comedy idols. Museum television curator Ron Simon welcomes the audience with some cursory information on the show before introducing the panelists: behind-the-scenes multi-hyphenates Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, and Paul Feig; and cast members Becky Ann Baker, Joe Flaherty, Dave Allen, Seth Rogen, Martin Starr, Busy Philipps, Sam Levine, Jason Segal, John Daley, and Linda Cardellini. After the introductions, Simon announces that, in addition to a complete episode of the series, the Museum will screen a ten-minute highlight reel of the program's most memorable moments, put together by Feig and Apatow. After the screening, Simon welcomes the panelists to the stage again and begins the discussion by asking about the origins of "Freaks and Geeks." Apatow explains that he received the original script from Paul Feig and was fascinated by the fact that it was filled with what Apatow terms entirely true "horrifying things from Paul's life." Feig verifies the story with a defeated nod. "The humiliation runs deep," he confesses. Simon then asks the actors to discuss their relationships with their characters, and several major themes quickly surface in their answers. First, the actors all auditioned for different roles before they ended up as the characters they now play; second, the creative team members knew as soon as they auditioned most of the people that they wanted them on the show in some capacity; and third, the actors agree almost unanimously that these characters are their personal favorites among those they have played. Simon then asks Paul Feig to discuss his earlier projects, particularly an independent film called "Life Sold Separately" that featured two of the most memorable characters of "Freaks and Geeks," guidance counselor Jeff Rosso and grumpy math teacher Mr. Kochowski. Apatow discusses his move from serving as executive producer for "The Larry Sanders Show" to producing and directing "Freaks and Geeks." Before Simon opens the floor to audience questions, he asks about Sam Levine's William Shatner impersonation, which apparently got Levine his job. Audience members ask about the following topics: the role of the ratings system in the production decisions made by Kasdan, Apatow, and Feig; the fate of the "Kim Kelly is My Friend" episode; and the process of licensing music for the program.

Simon continues the questioning by pointing to a very young boy in the audience. "So," shouts the young kid, referring to the character played by an absent cast member, "where's Daniel Desario?" The audience laughs, and Apatow explains that the missing actor is away promoting a new movie. Fellow "freak" Segal then does an impersonation of the actor who portrays Desario, drawing an ovation from the crowd. The members of the creative team conclude the evening by relating anecdotes about their experiences with cross-dressing, after an audience member inquires about the Halloween episode of the program that features Haverchuck dressing up as "The Bionic Woman." (This tape includes the episode "I'm With the Band," which is part of the Museum's collection and may also be viewed separately. See T:59265 for summary.)


  • DATE: March 11, 2000 Saturday 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 2:01:01
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:59846
  • GENRE: Seminars


    • Ron Simon … Moderator
    • Dave Allen … Panelist
    • Judd Apatow … Panelist
    • Becky Ann Baker … Panelist
    • Linda Cardellini … Panelist
    • John Daley … Panelist
    • Paul Feig … Panelist
    • Joe Flaherty … Panelist
    • Jake Kasdan … Panelist
    • Sam Levine … Panelist
    • Busy Philipps … Panelist
    • Seth Rogen … Panelist
    • Jason Segal … Panelist
    • Martin Starr … Panelist