Of course, I've often felt like Judd had me -- or someone just like me -- on the brain, as so much of the humor in "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared" felt painfully true to my own life. After the Adam Sandler episode of "Undeclared" -- where Ron's attempts to make Sandler want to be friends with them reminded me of my some of my own inept early celebrity encounters -- I even sent Judd an e-mail complaining that he had built some kind of mind-reading machine and was using it on me. Not surprisingly, a restraining order soon followed, along with him getting a new e-mail address.
So since I'm no longer allowed within a thousand yards of the man (Judd, you know I love you! Call me!), I have to show my love in other ways, like a quick run through YouTube for some of Apatow's greatest hits. You really oughta start with the Cera thing, which is brilliant whether or not you've seen the infamous David O. Russell/Lily Tomlin "I Heart Huckabee's" screaming match that inspired it. But here are some other fine moments of genius from Apatow and his associates -- or, at least, the best that I could find on the YouTubes:
- "The Last Stand of Yakov Smirnoff" remains both my most-quoted sketch from "The Ben Stiller Show" ("I am cold. I am frightened. What will the new world order bring for Yakov?") and the only one Stiller felt the need to apologize for later.
- "Die Hard 12: Die Hungry" and "A Few Good Scouts" were probably the Stiller show's two best pure spoofs. I particularly love Taylor Negron's work in the former as the terrorist of unknown ethnic origin.
- Not a lot of "Freaks and Geeks" footage to be found (aside from a lot of music video tributes, like this ode to Bill Haverchuck), but this clip about the phrase "You have a beautiful body" does a good job of capturing both the hilarity and the squirminess of one of my favorite shows ever.
- "Undeclared" clips are almost as scanty, but enjoy a game of Truth or Dare gone awry and the perils of the Freshman 15.
- After the chest-waxing, the finest moment of "40-Year-Old Virgin" is probably the famously-improvised "You know how I know you're gay?" game between Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen.