×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judd Apatow: Everything He’s Done Is Revenge for Canceling ‘Freaks and Geeks’

All those who have spent the past few years complaining about Judd Apatow movies — about the length or the plotlines or that they’re all about shlubby guys getting attractive girls or that they’re nothing but pot jokes — all those people can take it up with the circa 2000 NBC executives who pulled the plug on “Freaks and Geeks,” the beloved, yet low-rated, teen angst dramedy he executive produced with creator Paul Feig that helped launch the careers of Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and many others.

“Even to this day, I think I didn’t want to admit that ‘Freaks and Geeks’ was cancelled,” Apatow said March 10 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. “Everything I’ve done, in a way, is revenge for the people who cancelled ‘Freaks and Geeks.’ It’s really demented, but it’s just like ‘you were wrong about that person, and that person and that person. And that writer and that director.’ And I really should get over that.”

Apatow, who still frequently works with that same core people from that show, was speaking in a Q&A with Entertainment Weekly’s Dan Snierson in front of an intimate crowd of friends and colleagues like Garry Shandling (who hired him as a writer on “The Larry Sanders Show”), Jenni Konner (who works with him on “Girls” and whom Apatow hired for another short-lived cult show, “Undeclared”) and Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann, and daughter Iris. Before the show, he could be seen taking selfies with Ed Begley Jr., who appeared on “Larry Sanders” and also in the film “Pineapple Express,” which Apatow helped pen.

Apatow received the 2014 PaleyFest Icon Award, which recognizes individual creative achievements in television. The event also kicked off PaleyFest, the Center’s annual tribute to the medium with weeks of panels focused on past and current programs.

“I am, like, so proud that I’m the person who’s getting the credit for discovering Judd,” said Roseanne Barr, one of Apatow’s former bosses.

“I like what you do because you can weave a story so well and with such sensitivity, it’s so touching,” Barr said before the Q&A. “It’s just very humanistic and plus, pee-your-pants funny.”

Although Apatow is an executive producer on “Girls,” most of his writing and directing time is now spent in film. Will he ever return to TV?

“TV is so much work, it’s crazy,” Apatow said. “It’s so much harder than movies — a thousand times harder than movies. We’re about to do our fourth season [of “Girls”] and I’ve never been a part of something that’s gone that far. And it’s wonderful to imagine how they grow up.”

Apatow did say that he loves “The Americans” and (perhaps?) joked about remaking Joss Whedon’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Until then, he’ll just have to settle for “The Simpsons,” which is producing a version of a spec script he wrote of the Fox sitcom when he was still a struggling writer. He said they rewrote most of it.

More Scene

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content