Stars of Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared Convene at Paley Fest Reunion
Many beloved television series get asked back to the Paley Festival during their runs. Then there are those short-run shows whose brief lives on air have been surpassed by their staying power with audiences so that a retrospective draws passionate fans back for more. Such is the love for Judd Apatow and Paul Feig's Freaks & Geeks and Apatow's Undeclared.
Apatow, the evening's moderator who has since moved on to a massive feature film directing career, is clearly well aware of the fans' reverence for the two shows that first put him on the comedy radar. As such, he pulled out nearly all the stops for Saturday's double-header panel. Virtually every member of each huge ensemble cast showed up for the post-episode Q&A sessions. Charlie Hunnam, formerly of Undeclared and now of Sons of Anarchy, sent a videotaped message from snowy Montreal, as did Loudon Wainwright, who strummed a quick ditty about the show. Original Freak James Franco held up an iPad with a photo of Anne Hathaway in his greeting and joked that he was busy with her rehearsing to host every other award show this year. ("Do you have anything to say, Anne?"... "Yes, Love & Other Drugs is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray!'")
Kevin Parry/Paley Center for Media The Freaks & Geeks panel Kevin Parry / Paley Center for Media Judd Apatow
Following a crowd-pleasing introduction from Apatow's eight year old daughter Iris ("Good evening, nerds. Are you ready to rock?"), fan-favorite Undeclared episode "Eric Visits Again," in which Jason Segel's short-fused boyfriend to Carla Gallo's co-ed turns up on campus to pick a fight with Jay Baruchel's meek Steven (who she slept with), was screened before bringing out the panel. An unannounced Amy Poehler, who played the head resident adviser, drew perhaps the greatest applause, closely followed by Segel's copy shop compadres Kyle Gass and David Krumholtz.