Skip to content

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Mirth

It’s a project that almost didn’t happen, largely because ofthe sizable clearance fees that had to be coughed up for every lastStyx and Joan Jett song featured in the original shows. “We had to finda distributor who was willing to pay for the music, because it wouldcost over a million dollars for the rights,” says Apatow. “We won’tmake any money on this-we just love the show and want people to be ableto get it.”

With the help of some equally devoted fans, Apatow and cocreator Paul Feig also produced a limited-edition eight-disc set, designed especially for hardcore Freaks and Geeksviewers. “We hired people we met through our website to work on it,”says Apatow. “There is this woman named Tammy who came to my officeevery day to watch every piece of film.” The efforts of Tammy andothers yielded hours of unaired footage, filmed table readings, andeven a live performance by Feedback, the fictitious rock band frontedby the show’s guidance counselor, Mr. Rosso. The deluxe package alsooffers an 80-page “yearbook” compiled by the Freaks players andproducers and, in Apatow’s words, “way too many” audio commentarytracks, including one with the cast members’ actual parents, “which ishumorous if you like hearing parents say, ‘Oh, look how handsome heis!'”

By now, Apatow is used to seeing his TV programs smothered in their infancy (his other short-lived series include The Ben Stiller Show and the post-Freaks college sitcom Undeclared),but he’s comforted-slightly-by the digital immortality that a DVDcollection provides. “I never want to do stupid things that I thinkwould grab people’s attention, because I know that I’m going to see theshow forever,” he says. “If I’m not proud of it, I’m really going tohate myself.”