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[03/13/11 - 12:03 PM]
Live at the Paley Festival: "Freaks & Geeks"/"Undeclared" Reunion
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

7:15 PM - "Good evening nerds," says Iris Apatow, Judd's daughter, to open the evening - night eight of the 28th Annual Paley Festival. "Are you ready to rock?"

7:17 PM - She's followed by The Paley Center's Betsy Scolnick who credits the success of IFC's current runs of both series for inspiring them to hold tonight's reunion.

7:20 PM - She in turn brings out Judd Apatow, who thanks everyone for still being fans after all these years. He explains they'll be showing an episode of "Undeclared," do a panel for that show, take a break, show can episode of "Freaks & Geeks" and wrap with a panel for that show. So buckle up kids, it's going to be a long night.

7:24 PM - And so begins the "Undeclared" episode "Eric Visits Again."

7:46 PM - Apatow returns to bring out tonight's very packed panel: Kevin Rankin (Lucien)! Jarrett Grode (Perry Madison)! Christina Payano (Tina Ellroy)! Timm Sharp (Marshall Nesbitt)! Carla Gallo (Lizzie Exley)! Monica Keena (Rachel Lindquist)! Jay Baruchel (Steven Karp)! Seth Rogen (Ron Garner)! And that's not all! Gerry Bednob (Mr. Burundi)! Amy Poehler (Hillary)! Jason Segel (Eric)! Kyle Gass (Eugene)! And David Krumholtz (Greg)!

7:51 PM - Apatow reveals that Charlie Hunnam (Lloyd Haythe) and Loudon Wainwright (Hal Karp) couldn't be here but each have recorded messages for tonight. "Judd, you gave me my first job in Hollywood," Hunnam, now that start of FX's "Sons of Anarchy," says in his video. "If it wasn't for you I may have gone home and gotten a real job and found some happiness in my life. But instead I'm still here in Hollywood! So thanks!" He's followed by Wainwright, who gives a brief rendition of "You thought you were so cool/Treatin' me like a fool/But I'm more than a tool/Baby, I'm a man" from the episode "The Assistant."

7:54 PM - "There was a moment, after 'The Cable Guy,' where I thought, 'Maybe I shouldn't make movies,'" Apatow - who's moderating the panel himself - explains about the origins of "Undeclared." He ended up writing "Sick in the Head," a multi-camera pilot starring Krumholtz and Poehler. "I didn't make it," Krumholtz interjects after a round of applause for his involvement. "So no one really cares."

7:57 PM - "No one could believe that I couldn't get laid," Segel says about losing the role of Ron to Rogen, whom he actually carpooled with to the audition. Meanwhile, Baruchel apparently had to test for Steven against some fellow from "The Real World: Hawaii." "Thank fucking God you beat that guy," Rogen quips. "Yeah the show would never have made it," Segel dryly follows up.

8:01 PM - Baruchel and Sharp bond over getting their teeth fixed after the show. "Holy shit, you really did!" Baruchel shouts upon further inspection. Other fun facts: Poehler was not overly excited about having to make out with Wainwright for long stretches while Payano was disturbed by having to kiss Kevin Hart.

8:07 PM - "I work at Seth Rogen's medical marijuana dispensary," Grode says about his post-"Undeclared" resume. "I see Jarrett more than anyone else on this whole panel," Rogen affirms.

8:10 PM - "We felt embarrassed even making some stupid ass show," Apatow says about the show's premiere two weeks after 9/11. Apatow adds that he and Rogen did some silly Q&A for TV Guide that ended up running in the same issue with the Twin Towers on fire on the cover.

8:12 PM - "That word paid for [my daughter's] private school," Apatow quips after Grode drops the f-bomb. He goes on to note the various celebrity guest stars on the show, including Ben Stiller. "[He] always pops up right at the end [of my shows], right as I'm about to get canceled."

8:14 PM - Apatow asks for a sample of Bednob's stand-up routine. He does a bit explaining that he auditioned for "Survivor" but after they found out he's from Bangladesh, the producers thought he would have too big an advantage.

8:16 PM - Gallo gives Apatow a hard time since, because of him, she's always known to casting directors as the girl who does weird sex stuff like on "40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Superbad."

8:20 PM - Apatow opens the floor for a brief Q&A. A fan asks why all of Segel's love interests have names that start with "Li." After he struggles for a quippy response, Poehler says, "Sounds like a question for the guy from 'NUMB3RS.'"

8:24 PM - Someone asks if Apatow will do TV again. He notes he's executive producing Lena Dunham's show "Girls" for HBO, which will likely premiere in January.

8:28 PM - "I didn't think the show was personal," Apatow says about his experience at the time. "And then when I watched it later I realized it was a very personal piece of writing about how [I thought] I could reinvent myself and act like I was kind of cool and macho and people were on to me in like four days."

8:30 PM - Apatow teases Baruchel that he remembers the actor telling him his initial goal was to make enough money to buy a Ferrari.

8:35 PM - A break before the "Freaks & Geeks" portion begins.

8:47 PM - Iris Apatow returns to ask the audience if they'd like to see the last episode of "Freaks & Geeks" or "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." And so begins "Discos and Dragons."

9:32 PM - Judd Apatow likewise returns to bring out the new panel: Creator Paul Feig! Director Jake Kasdan! Jason Segel (Nick Andopolis)! Busy Philipps (Kim Kelly)! Seth Rogen (Ken Miller)! Samm Levine (Neal Schweiber)! Martin Starr (Bill Haverchuck)! John Francis Daley (Sam Weir)! Linda Cardellini (Lindsay Weir)! But wait, there's more: Natasha Melnick (Cindy Sanders)! Steve Higgins (Mr. Fleck)! Sarah Hagan (Millie Kentner)! Stephen Lea Sheppard (Harris Trinsky)! David Krumholtz (Barry Schweiber)! And a late Shaun Weiss (Sean)!

9:35 PM - Apatow plays a tape from James Franco (Daniel Desario), who gives a heartfelt testimony about how much he loved the show... while holding an iPad with a picture of Anne Hathaway on it next to him during the entire bit. As to why he's not there: "Unfortunately, I'm busy rehearsing with Anne. We are getting ready to host the Emmys. And the NAACP Awards. And the ESPYs. Anything else you'd like to add, Anne? [Puts the iPad in front of his face.] 'Love & Other Drugs' is now out on DVD!"

9:39 PM - Apatow praises Paul Feig for his vision for the show. "Paul had just hundreds of the most humiliating stories," he says about Feig's high school experience. "It made us want to share things that happened to us and our stories." Feig adds that the show was deemed a failure for averaged seven million viewers when today success would be eight million viewers. "So we still would be a failure," Apatow quips.

9:41 PM - "We shot the finale halfway through the season," Segel says about the show's outlook early on. "That's such a Jew thing to do," Apatow adds.

9:43 PM - Apatow notes Daley had his first on screen kiss on the show. "First on screen erection too," Daley notes. Philipps likewise had her first TV kiss with Franco: "[There was] tongue and everything, he was very method."

9:47 PM - Cardellini admits she cried during the first cast screening. "I was terrified," she says. "Everybody was so good and I didn't know what to think of myself... I was afraid I was ruining something that was so wonderful."

9:50 PM - Lots of Samm Levine teasing, including how he broke into a William Shatner impersonation for no reason during his audition. Apatow adds that he once told Samm, because it was a high school show, "It would be so great... I wish you had one of those things where you don't grow."

9:56 PM - The gang moves on to teasing John Francis Daley, who was only 13 when he auditioned for the show. "John Francis still believed in Santa Claus," Rogen quips. "I also didn't have pubic hair," Daley adds.

9:59 PM - The method label for Franco apparently isn't a joke. Philipps recounts how - without consulting anyone - Franco built a backstory for Daniel that involved an abusive father, which subsequently made him freak out when touched. And so, after nudging him during a scene, Franco flipped out and threw her to the ground, screaming "Don't you ever fucking try and touch me!" (At one point Segel quips, "That story took 127 hours," a joke he admits he's been holding onto for a while.) Apatow adds that in Franco's defense, "he is the only person of all of you to be nominated for an Academy Award."

10:04 PM - Apatow showers Starr with praise about Bill: "I felt like everyone was playing someone in the vicinity of who they were but it really felt like Martin was the only one who really had created a character that was not like him." This of course is followed by more teasing as Starr apparently worked up quite the set of guns after being dragged to work out by Franco. Eventually they got so big Apatow and Feig had to tell him to stop.

10:07 PM - More Starr teases as Rogen recounts a story in which - while they lived together - a hungry (and presumably drunk) Martin passed out with the oven on, leaving his tater tots burning.

10:10 PM - "A lot of us have no higher education because of you," Segel says to Apatow, adding that he assumes that's why he's always given them work over the years. Cardellini notes she went back to school and reveals she was once approached there by a superfan: Kate Micucci, now herself an actress.

10:14 PM - Apatow opens the floor to Q&A. Someone asks about what season two would have looked like. Among the discussed storylines (in decreasing order of joking around): Martin's mom would have married the gym teacher, Kim would get pregnant and try out for the school play, Lindsay would return home from following the Grateful Dead addicted to LSD.

10:17 PM - "Why do you show your penis so much?" - Rogen, helping a fan ask a question to Segel. The true question: when will Segel host "SNL?" "They won't let me show my penis," he quips. Truth is, it's actually one of the last things on his life list.

10:19 PM - Daley on the biggest difference between then and now: "I have pubic hair now."

10:21 PM - Everyone on the stage not named Jason Segel is annoyed by all the questions for Jason Segel.

10:25 PM - Apatow gives shout outs to the various writers, directors and other crew members from both shows in attendance.

10:33 PM - That's a wrap from the reunion, I'll be back tomorrow at "Supernatural!"

And for more PaleyFest coverage - past and present - visit our Paley Center topic page.





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· FREAKS & GEEKS (NBC)
· PALEY CENTER (TFC)
· UNDECLARED (FOX)











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