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kottke.org posts about Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen: Tales from the Nineties Bar Mitzvah Circuit

posted by Jason Kottke   May 04, 2021

The New Yorker is running an excerpt from Seth Rogen’s new memoir, Yearbook (ebook), which will be out next week. When you’re reading this, remember to hear Rogen’s voice in your head; it makes it so much better.

The movie “Tombstone” came out in 1993, and, although it wasn’t a massive box-office or critical hit (the New York Times called it “morally ambiguous”), it made an impression on many, mostly owing to an amazing performance by Val Kilmer that was publicly praised by President Bill Clinton — which is the single most nineties sentence one could write. As 1994 rolled around, a young me was smitten with not only Kilmer’s performance as Doc Holliday but the entire Western aesthetic. The result? A fuckload of vests.

I could not own enough vests. I’d have bought more torsos just to wear them all if that were an option. A vest packed me in, gave me shape, and, most important, kind of made me feel like a cowboy who was dying of tuberculosis, which Kilmer had somehow made seem super-awesome. I also wore a pocket watch, which, in a truly impressive act of delusion, I’d convinced myself was cool.

It wasn’t.

Weekend after weekend, a slow song would come on, boys would ask girls to dance, girls would ask boys to dance, and I’d generally find myself standing off to the side, watching it all happen, spinning my pocket watch like some sort of nineteen-twenties Mafia snitch.

I’m a little older than Rogen — Tombstone hit when I was in college — and seeing the film didn’t make me want to wear vests, but that didn’t stop me and my friends from going around quoting the film at length, pretty much all of the time for months on end. One of our favorites — I can’t remember which of us originally came up with this — was reworking Doc Holliday’s line about his partner not wearing a bustle (seen at the beginning of this clip) into: “Kate, you’re not doing The Hustle. How doo doo doo doodoo doodoo doo doo…” That’s some prime middle school humor right there.

Oral History of Freaks and Geeks

posted by Aaron Cohen   Dec 07, 2012

Really great and long oral history of Freaks and Geeks in the January issue of Vanity Fair, a show that aired for one season on NBC in 1999, but has since developed a cult following. A following helped, no doubt, by the emergence of stars like James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segal, along with the show’s co-creaters Paul Feig, and, well, Judd Apatow.

PAUL FEIG: We did our infamous two weeks with the writers locking ourselves in a room and telling personal stories. I wrote a list of questions for everybody to answer: “What was the best thing that happened to you in high school? What was the worst thing that happened to you in high school? Who were you in love with and why?”

JUDD APATOW: “What was your worst drug experience? Who was your first girlfriend? What’s the first sexual thing you ever did? What’s the most humiliating thing that ever happened to you during high school?”

PAUL FEIG: That’s where most of our stories came from. Weirder stuff happens to people in real life than it does on TV. It was a personal show for me and I wanted it to be personal for everybody else.

While we’re on Freaks and Geeks, why not read the above article while listening to Freaks and Geeks Complete, a Rdio playlist by Joel Robinson with all the songs featured on the series.

While we’re on oral histories, Tim Carmody posits “we are living in a golden age of oral histories.” Agreed.

While we’re on Judd Apatow, take a look at Gallery1988’s ‘A Tribute to Judd Apatow,’ an art show inspired by the Apatow’s TV shows and movies.