The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth

Jul 17, 2013
Originally published on June 18, 2015 10:02 pm

For those who came of age in the 90s, or went to high school in the 80s, Freaks and Geeks is a cultural touchstone. Not only because it so perfectly captured the pains and joys of adolescence, but also because its young cast would go on to do amazing things. We quiz the show's creator, Paul Feig, about what everyone in the cast has been up to since their roles in Freaks and Geeks.

Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" (also the Freaks and Geeks theme song) his own nerd-rock treatment.

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Let's welcome back our VIP director of "The Heat" and "Bridesmaids"and creator of the cult television series "Freaks and Geeks," Paul Feig.


PAUL FEIG: Thank you.


FEIG: Oh, boy.

EISENBERG: "Freaks and Geeks" is a cultural touchstone for people who came of age in the '90s, not only because it captured the pain and joys of adolescence but also the brilliant cast would go on to do so many amazing things. How many people are you still in touch with from that cast?

FEIG: Honestly, all of them. Oh, I have to name the number?



EISENBERG: But all of them. OK.

FEIG: No, I get to see all of them. I love them. They're like my children.

EISENBERG: OK. So this is going to be easy.

FEIG: Yes. I know. Thanks.

EISENBERG: So this quiz is about the actors who got their big break from the show, not just the huge stars like James Franco and Seth Rogen, but almost everyone in the cast.

FEIG: Oh, my. Oh, this is going to be a train wreck.

EISENBERG: You have to tell us what they've done since "Freaks and Geeks."

FEIG: Oh, boy.

EISENBERG: And if you get enough right...

FEIG: Yes?

EISENBERG: Michael Garvey of Royal Oak, Michigan...


EISENBERG: ...which I think is not too far from where you...

FEIG: I was born in that 'burb.

EISENBERG: You were born in that 'burb?

FEIG: Yes.

EISENBERG: Well, he's going to win a special ASK ME ANOTHER prize.



FEIG: OK. Oh, my.

EISENBERG: So the heat is on.

FEIG: Yeah. Oh, boy.

EISENBERG: Are you ready?

FEIG: I like it. When I go down I take someone else with me.


FEIG: That's my favorite situation. All right. Bring it on.

EISENBERG: Linda Cardellini starred as lapsed geek Lindsay Weir in 18 episodes of "Freaks and Geeks" before it was cancelled, but she lasted a whopping 126 episodes as Nurse Samantha Taggart on what medical series?



EISENBERG: Paul, you are correct.


EISENBERG: John Francis Daley who played Linda's onscreen brother Sam...aww...


EISENBERG: Has done well both in front and behind the camera. For six seasons he's been a cast member on the television series "Bones" and he co-wrote what 2009 hit film starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey.


FEIG: "Horrible Bosses."

EISENBERG: Paul, you are correct.

FEIG: Yes.


FEIG: Whoo.

EISENBERG: Right. This is easy.

FEIG: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

FEIG: There's one coming that's going to kill me. I know it.

EISENBERG: And they'll remember. Right.

FEIG: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I know. I'll never have dinner with them again.

EISENBERG: Becky Ann Baker was fantastic as Sam and Lindsay's loving mom Jean. Since 2012 she's played a slightly more acerbic mom on what critically acclaimed HBO series?


FEIG: "Girls."


FEIG: Yes.


FEIG: And I also got to direct her in an episode of "Nurse Jackie" so we had a reunion on another show. So there you go.

EISENBERG: Bonus point for Paul.

FEIG: Trivia.


FEIG: I didn't even ring in for that.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. You just get that one. On "Freaks and Geeks" Jason Segel's character Nick Andopolis is an aspiring drummer obsessed with the Canadian rock band Rush. In what 2009 comedy does Segel play another character obsessed with the same band, Rush?


FEIG: I believe that would be "I Love You, Man."

EISENBERG: Yes. It is "I Love You, Man."

FEIG: Oh, thank god.


EISENBERG: Besides John Francis Daley, a number of the "Freaks and Geeks" alums have also dabbled in screen writing. Which series regular shares a story credit on the 2007 Will Farrell comedy "Blades of Glory"?


FEIG: That would be the luscious Busy Phillips.

EISENBERG: Busy Phillips is correct.

FEIG: Yeah.


EISENBERG: Busy Phillips, who played James Franco's on and off girlfriend Kim.

FEIG: Kim Kelly.

EISENBERG: As uber geek Neal Schweiber on the show, Samm Levine told corny jokes and worked on his Dungeons and Dragons character Kraiggimore the Destroyer.

FEIG: Yes.

EISENBERG: So it's a little surprising to see him pick up a rifle and hunt down Nazis as Private First Class Hirschberg in what 2009 film?


FEIG: "Inglourious Basterds."

EISENBERG: That is correct.


EISENBERG: You did it. Paul, you got all the questions.

FEIG: I did? Oh.


EISENBERG: Michael Garvey of Royal Oak, Michigan is going to get a special ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's cube.


EISENBERG: He is so lucky. How about another round of applause for our...

FEIG: Thank you.

EISENBERG: ...VIP Paul Feig?



JONATHAN COULTON: (singing) I don't give a damn about my reputation...


COULTON: (singing) Living in the past it's a new generation. A girl can do what she wants to do. That's what I'm going to do. I don't give a damn about my bad reputation. Oh, no. Not me. I don't give a damn about my reputation. Never said I wanted to improve my station. I'm only doing good when I'm having fun. I don't have to please no one. I don't give a damn about my reputation. Oh, no. Not me. Oh, no. Not me.


EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton. If anyone does not know, would you like to say where that song is from?

COULTON: That's Joan Jett. That's the theme from "Freaks and Geeks." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.