Freaks and Geeks was tragically canceled after only 12 episodes had aired -- a mistake many have come to learn throughout the years as the series has found a cult following and a new appreciation. Its cast is filled with some of the most recognizable and lovable faces around today. Here are the audition tapes from those faces, trying to land the roles we'd come to love them for:
Linda Cardellini, Lindsay Weir
We could really never picture any other actor playing Lindsay Weir, and she had it down pat even in her audition. Since playing lead character (and eternal style icon) Lindsay Weir, Cardellini has starred as the perm-getting murderess from Legally Blonde and Velma in the Scooby Doo movies, as well as maintaining a long run on ER and an Emmy-nominated guest role on Mad Men. More recently, she's done voice work with various TV shows.
John Francis Daley, Sam Weir
"So that means she had sex in February." He straight up kills this audition and perfectly embodies the adorable Sam Weir. Best known for his facial expressions throughout the short-lived series, Daley has become well known to fans of the hit show Bones, starring as Dr. Lance Sweets since season 3. He also writes movies like Horrible Bosses and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone nowadays too.
Seth Rogen, Ken Miller
"That's why when some idiot teacher tells me that I'm not living up to my potential, I just smile 'cause I know I am." It seems from this clip, Seth Rogen hasn't changed much, thankfully. Rogen followed his role in Freaks and Geeks with a small role in Donnie Darko and a lead role on the (also tragically short-lived) Judd Apatow-created Undeclared before finding more mainstream success with bigger roles in films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, which he also produced. He's since gone on to write, produce, and star in several other monstrously successful films: Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is The End, and Neighbors. He's also a known enemy of North Korea.
Busy Philipps, Kim Kelly
Wow, Busy Philipps totally understood just how mean she was supposed to be. After her turn as McKinley High School's resident mean girl Kim Kelly, Philipps guest starred a few times on Undeclared and then had a longer run as a supporting role on Dawson's Creek. Aside from her film roles in movies like White Chicks and Made of Honor, she can be found currently starring in the sixth and final season of Cougar Town.
Jason Segel, Nick Andopolis
Absolutely perfect audition, right? No longer just the awkward, Led Zeppelin-obsessed stoner of McKinley, Segel now has a successful film career acting in Knocked Up, I Love You, Man, Bad Teacher, and writing/starring in movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, and Sex Tape. His TV roles include a memorable recurring role on Undeclared and a lead role on the long-lasting hit series How I Met Your Mother.
Martin Starr, Bill Haverchuck
"It's called the Hitler Punch." It's clear from this hilarious audition why he got the part! Probably our favorite of the entire bunch, Bill Haverchuck, the geekiest of the geeks, was played perfectly by the lanky and awkward Martin Starr. Starr has gone on to enjoy film roles in Superbad, Knocked Up, and This Is The End, along with a TV role on the hilarious-but-unfortunately-short-lived cult comedy Party Down. He can currently be found on the Emmy-nominated Silicon Valley as Gilfoyle.
Samm Levine, Neal Schweiber
Yepp, it seems Samm Levine really is Neal Schweiber, doofy impressions and all. Levine followed up his memorable turn as one of Sam Weir's geek best friends with small roles on every show you've ever heard of: Spin City, Yes, Dear, Just Shoot Me!, The Steve Harvey Show, Boston Public, Undeclared, Raising Dad, What I Like About You, Maybe It's Me, The Drew Carey Show, That's So Raven, That 70s Show, How I Met Your Mother, My Name Is Earl, Still Standing, Entourage, Veronica Mars, Lost, 90210, Modern Family, NCIS, Person of Interest, and most recently, Selfie. His film work includes Sydney White, Inglourious Basterds, and I Love You, Beth Cooper.
While there's no James Franco audition online yet, we're not giving up hope.
Kanye West treated Seth Rogen and his wife to a two-hour freestyle rendition of his album Yeezus before its release, following a chance meeting in a hotel lobby.
The Knocked Up star was about to retire to his room with wife Lauren Miller when West invited them to get in his limousine and enjoy a sneak preview of the record.
The Stronger hitmaker used a backing track and launched into a two-hour freestyle version of the record as the shocked couple looked on.
Rogen admitted that West's eager nature and willingness with his craft and showmanship changed the way he now makes his own movies.
He tells Rolling Stones magazine, "Me and my wife had gotten some dessert and were in the lobby getting plates to bring back to our room... And Kanye was like, 'What are you guys doing? Want to hear my new album?' So he takes us to this limo van and starts playing his album - except there's no lyrics only beats. So he raps the whole album and after each song, he stops it, like 'So what do you think?' We were in the van for two hours!
"Now I realize the next person he sees that he knows is getting pulled into that van. But I learned a lesson from it - which is that Kanye is seeking input at all times. Process-wise, it showed an openness and a fearlessness. We started screening our movies more and in rougher versions for our friends because of that."
Actor Seth Rogen has helped to raise $900,000 (£562,500) for Alzheimer's disease through his third annual Hilarity for Charity event in Los Angeles.
The Knocked Up star and his wife, screenwriter Lauren Miller, hosted the gala the Hollywood Palladium on Friday (17Oct14). They were joined by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylor Lautner, Rob Lowe and R&B group Bell Biv Devoe, who performed at the 1980s-themed variety show prom event. Rogen founded the organisation in 2011 to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease shortly after he wed Miller, whose mother was diagnosed with the condition when the couple began dating.
Comedian Seth Rogen is helping to make full-time care for Alzheimer's disease sufferers a reality by setting up a special grant program via his Hilarity for Charity foundation.
The Knocked Up star has become an outspoken campaigner for increased government funding into Alzheimer's research after his now-mother-in-law was diagnosed with the condition shortly after he began dating screenwriter Lauren Miller. The couple wed in 2011 and subsequently set up the Hilarity for Charity organization, which aims to raise money for dementia research projects, and he even testified at a U.S. senate hearing on Alzheimer's research earlier this year (14).
Now Rogen and Miller have teamed up with officials at Home Instead Senior Care to offer grants for in-home services, which many families across the U.S. and Canada are unable to afford. The funnyman admits he has no idea how he and Miller's family would have coped had he not been able to help cover the costs of his mother-in-law's treatment, and now he wants to provide the much-needed care for others struggling with the illness.
He explains, "The only thing that makes the situation remotely liveable is the fact that I'm in a very comfortable financial situation and we can pay to have someone live with Lauren's mother, essentially, and provide her 24-hour care. "We started to realize that the government does not subsidise this type of care, as many think they should, and a lot of people just can't afford it on their own, so we have set up a program where, if you can't afford it, you can apply for a grant through Hilarity for Charity and we will provide you with free in-home care."
Funnyman Seth Rogen has become a better, more "emotionally available" partner to his wife after her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The Knocked Up star's wife, screenwriter Lauren Miller, discovered her 55-year-old mum was suffering from the memory loss disorder shortly after she started dating Rogen and years before they wed in 2011, and the actor/writer admits the terrible news brought himself and his then-girlfriend closer.
During an interview on U.S. TV personality Meredith Vieira's daytime talk show on Tuesday (09Sep14), Miller said, "For me, it (mum's diagnosis) probably tore down all the walls I normally would have put up, because I had such strong heavy emotions early on in the relationship. And he stepped up right away; he was really able to show how sensitive he was early on."
Rogen added, "It really forced me to be a lot more emotionally available than I normally would be."
In fact, the funnyman admitted he had little to no knowledge of the disease, and was only aware of the "romanticised" version of Alzheimer's that he saw onscreen.
He revealed, "I didn't realise it could effect people so young. I thought generally it was reserved for grandparents and great grandparents. I honestly didn't realise there was nothing that could be done about it."
The couple has since founded the organisation Hilarity for Charity, which raises money for Alzheimer's research, and Rogen even testified at a U.S. senate hearing for Alzheimer's research in February (14).
FOX Broadcasting Co.
Andy Samberg's ensemble cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine had quite the first year campaign, winning the Golden Globe for best comedy series. As a reward for the good work, Fox will move the show next season to Sunday nights, sandwiched between The Simpsons and Family Guy. For anyone wondering, Brooklyn will in fact still be a live action show next season, even if the Fox move might make you wonder if the programming executives realize that.
Tuesday Was Bad Enough
Brooklyn Nine-Nine spent its freshman season already leading into two sitcoms that it didn't mesh with: New Girl and The Mindy Project (with Dads providing a weak lead-in). The fact that it survived is a testament to the show's strong writing and the outstanding performances of Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Joe Lo Truglio, and the rest of the cast.
Fox's reasoning for moving the show is to put it in a grouping with other male oriented fare, since Samberg's core audience really isn't too much different from his Saturday Night Live predecessor Adam Sandler.
On the surface, the reasoning makes some sense, but is the audience for Brooklyn really the same as those of either The Simpsons (at this point in the show's run anyway) or Family Guy? Samberg's show is closer in tone to some of the workplace ensemble comedies of the '70s… a descendant of programs like Barney Miller and Taxi by way of The Office. Even when it veers into broad comedy, there's a certain level of sophistication in the way that Brooklyn approaches its funny business.
A Scheduling Problem (and Solution)
Unfortunately, Fox boxed itself into a corner with its schedule, given the number of hour-long shows the network has on its grid. In a roundabout way, they tried to partner Brooklyn with freshman sitcom Mulaney, which also comes from the Lorne Michaels tree. It follows former SNL writer John Mulaney as an aspiring stand-up comedian working for Martin Short. Mulaney is set to follow Family Guy on Sunday nights. That show faces much the same problem as Brooklyn… how much of an audience does it share with Seth MacFarlane's long-running series? Family Guy, though, is still a proven ratings winner so Fox isn't going to move it… meaning that Brooklyn and Mulaney are stuck on either side of it.
Both shows would've been better served being paired together on Wednesday night in the 8 - 9 PM time slot. While Survivor continues to pull decent ratings for CBS there, neither ABC's offering of The Middle and The Goldbergs nor NBC's new series The Mysteries of Laura would have been impossible to overcome. With a Golden Globe in its back pocket, you would think that Fox would have confidence in letting Brooklyn lead off a night of its own.
While bouncing a show around a network's schedule is a time-honored way of killing it, Fox should consider making another move with Brooklyn Nine-Nine the next time that it's making scheduling adjustments when a couple of its new show inevitably fail and build a block of programming around Samberg and his merry band of cops… instead of trying to squeeze them into the schedule wherever they can.
On Saturday Night Live, the cast member who anchors Weekend Update has always had a special role to fill on the show. Guaranteed a showcase, they are the one constant in an otherwise ever changing group of sketches.
The originator of the role, Chevy Chase, left after one season to find stardom in movies, setting an example that would be followed going forward: Weekend Update anchors moving on to bigger and better things. You may have heard of Chase's immediate successors — Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray — all of whom (along with Chase) continue working regularly in film and television 30-plus years later. But how about everyone else who's held the desk?
THE LOST YEARS
When first Jean Doumanian and then Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer after Lorne Michaels exited the show following the 1979 - '80 season, the segment went through a number of changes, including sometimes being called Newsbreak and Saturday Night News. The most prominent host during the early '80s was Brad Hall — known to most, now, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband — who anchored from 1982 - '84. Many of the other anchors during that time — Charles Rocket, Christine Ebersole, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Gross — did the segment for just a year (or less). Most members of this group have faded into the background, although Rocket, who famously dropped an F-bomb during a SNL sketch, made regular appearances on television and movies (Moonlighting, Dances with Wolves) until his death in 2005. Doyle-Murray (Bill's older brother) and Guest were established character actors before joining the show and didn't miss a beat after leaving. Doyle-Murray has been in everything from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to ABC's The Middle, usually playing some variation of a blowhard. Guest most famously played the six-fingered Count Rugen in The Princess Bride and earned additional praise for directing ensemble comedies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.
THE GOLDEN AGE
Since Michaels took back the reins of SNL in 1985, the format of Weekend Update has remained largely unchanged and the comics that have sat behind the desk have become some of the biggest names in entertainment. But, who's having the best post-SNL career? Starting with the mid '80s, we rank them from worst to best below:
Kevin Nealon (1991 - '94) and Colin Quinn (1998 - 2000)
Most non-hardcore SNL fans would have difficulty remembering anything about either Nealon's or Quinn's stint on Update, so maybe it's not surprising that they've had the least success since leaving the show (although they've still done significantly better than most of the Ebersol folk). Quinn was a stand-up comic before the show and just returned to doing more of the same when he left. He did host a show on Comedy Central for a while, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Nealon's biggest success came playing hapless accountant Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. Each is friends with fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, so Nealon and Quinn also show up occasionally doing cameos in Sandler's films. Lately, we've seen Quinn show up on episodes of Girls as a boss and friend of Alex Karpovsky's character Ray.
Norm Macdonald (1994 - '97)
Like Quinn, Macdonald came to SNL with an established background in stand-up. He had the good fortune to be behind the desk during the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial, which provided endless fodder for the comedian… and possibly led to his dismissal after running afoul of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson. Macdonald had his own sitcom on ABC for three years (Norm), and keeps a steady schedule of stand-up dates. Besides doing voice-over and commercial work, he's also a frequent guest of Conan O'Brien and, like Quinn and Nealon, has a habit of showing up in movies that Sandler produces.
Seth Meyers (2006 - '14)
Meyers sat behind the Weekend Update desk longer than anyone, and is the only anchor that worked both solo and with a partner. He has only been gone a few months, so it's hard to grade him, but he's off to a rousing start as the host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, maintaining his 30 Rock residence and boss Michaels. We're rooting for you, Seth.
Dennis Miller (1985 - '91)
Miller was the one responsible for returning Update back to something closer to Chase's original version. Unlike most of the others, Miller's sole role on the show was hosting the fake news segment, very rarely taking part in any of the show's sketches. Miller also might be the most controversial of the former anchors. After leaving SNL, he hosted Dennis Miller Live on HBO from 1994 - 2002, winning five Emmys. He also did a disastrous two-season stint as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football. After 2001, Miller's political views became increasingly conservative, leading to him to a gig at Fox News with a regular spot on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since 2007, Miller has also hosted a syndicated radio show. Oddly, when Miller is on vacation his frequent fill-in both on radio and with O'Reilly is Macdonald.
Amy Poehler (2004 - '08)
One of the founders of the influential improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, Poehler joined with Tina Fey to form the first all-female team on Weekend Update, and the two have been joined together ever since. Poehler was such a powerful presence on the show that she managed to make an appearance on the segment by frequent target Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin come off as charming instead of forced. Since SNL, Poehler has starred in the movie Baby Mama and has done the voices for more animated characters than we can count. She also just completed her sixth season starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 and, oh yeah, and she has a little awards show hosting gig that she does with Fey.
Jimmy Fallon (2000 - '04)
Fallon teamed with Fey to turn Update back into a buzz-worthy segment, with the two of them trading quips at which Fallon would frequently crack up. He tried his hand at movies after leaving the show, starring in Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Taxi with Queen Latifah. It was when he returned to television, however, that he really hit his stride. Starting with taking over for O'Brien on Late Night, Fallon has steadily grown into one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry as a late night talk show host. In February, he took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, moving it back to New York from Los Angeles and earning accolades for his mix of goofy humor, music, and social media interaction.
Tina Fey (2000 - '06)
During her time on SNL, in addition to co-anchoring Update with first Fallon and then Poehler, Fey was the show's first female head writer. While still on the show, Fey wrote the hit teen comedy Mean Girls, and since leaving has starred in a group of comedies, including Baby Mama with Poehler and most recently Muppets Most Wanted. She wrote, produced, and starred in NBC's 30 Rock for seven seasons, and her book Bossypants was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks. She's won eight Emmys, most recently for her work hosting the Golden Globes with Poehler, and she was the youngest ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Dazzlingly smart and funny, it's hard to find many people that can match resumes with Fey.
Actor Seth Rogen has helped to raise over $150,000 (£93,750) for America's Alzheimer's Association by hosting his first ever Hilarity for Charity benefit in New York. The Pineapple Express star and his wife Lauren Miller launched the comedy charity event in Los Angeles in 2012 to spread awareness about the degenerative condition, which Miller's mother suffers from, and they took the bash to the Big Apple on Tuesday (08Apr14).
The Jane Hotel gig featured stand-up performances from comedians Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress and Natasha Leggero and an auction of VIP tickets for this weekend's (12Apr14) Saturday Night Live sketch show, which Rogen is guest hosting, and access to the couple's Los Angeles Hilarity for Charity benefit later this year (14). The lots sold for a combined total of $11,300 (£7,063).
The success of the Hilarity for Charity events have even prompted Miller and Rogen, who recently testified before the U.S. Congress about research, treatment and prevention of the condition, to consider launching the benefit internationally.
Miller tells WENN, "We've talked about it. Honestly, the growth for Hilarity for Charity has been really organic, in that we started just thinking we'll do one event in L.A. and it's been really the response that we've gotten that there's a need and an excitement about young people getting involved in Alzheimer's in a fun way... so I don't know what's gonna happen; we could go international."
Rogen adds, "This (New York event) has been sold out (sic) in six, seven minutes or something. People are oddly excited about helping in this capacity so yeah, we'll see (about launching it internationally)."
And the couple's hard work has won them praise from guests like Mad Men star Ben Feldman, who has also had personal experiences with Alzheimer's disease in his family.
He says, "Like millions of Americans, it's certainly touched my family and a lot of people that I know. It's a massively important cause. It doesn't get the attention that it really deserves and that it needs... Thank God for people like Seth and the American Alzheimer's Association for bringing this kind of stuff to light."
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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