The real McKinley High did not have any dancing Glee Club members led by a curly-haired pretty boy often referred to as Mr. Schue. Oh no. The real McKinley High is nowhere near Ohio. The real McKinley High graced our television screens for eighteen short episodes and featured the hijinks of both freaks and geeks. Like My-So-Called Life, the Judd Apatow coming-of-age venture Freaks and Geeks will go down in 1990s history as being a cut-too-soon tragedy, unlike that other McKinley High show that—arguably—has gone on for at least a half a season too long.
(I feel as though it’s important to tell you that William McKinley High is also the school that Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper went to on The Wonder Years. And, in what will likely be the strangest bit of trivia you will hear all day, The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz was actually about President McKinley. And this is where it comes full circle, you guys. Because you know that movie coming out, the one starring JAMES FRANCO, the one called Oz: The Great and Powerful? See what I mean? Full circle. It’s a very Judd Apatow kind of trippy, really.)
Freaks and Geeks is actually way more popular now than it was in 1999-2000, when it was NBC’s lowest-rated show. The cast didn’t even need to be told they were being canceled. According to Jason Segel, “We watched the craft-service table: it started out with, like, cold cuts and delicious snacks, and it was reduced to half a thing of creamer and some Corn Pops by the end.” It has developed a cult following of sorts due to its availability on Netflix and it’s mostly realistic portrayal of what high school is actually like (again, no red-skirted Cheerios in sight). And while there are talks of a maybe, possible, most likely unlikely movie in the future, fans of the show seem to be getting to geek (and freak—see what I did there?) out to the next best thing.
Judd Apatow has guest-edited the January issue of Vanity Fair, the magazine’s first-ever ‘All-Star Comedy Issue,’ and inside its pages you will find a Freaks and Geeks reunion of sorts, with each of the show’s cast members—including Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps, John Francis Daley—reunited for the first time since the show was canceled twelve years ago.
It’s a move that is sure to make you feel both nostalgic—it’s 27 pictures of your favorite Freaks and Geeks, all grown up and adorable, many of whom have gone on to great commercial career success—and super old—both Busy Phillips and Linda Cardellini pose in one shot with their cute, cute baby girls.
“We’re excited, because I don’t think this will ever happen again,” Judd Apatow says in a behind-the-scenes video shoot on Vanity Fair. “This will never happen again.”