Freaks and Geeks might be the best show to come out of the 1990s American comedy scene. At a time when Friends, Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince, and Frasier were pulling in colossal audiences, Freaks and Geeks was far less popular and got cancelled after just one season. But those 18 episodes were enough to form a cult following that only grows as the show gets older. It was even ranked as high as number 11 in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest TV Series of All-Time” list. The show was something special — and way ahead of its time that connected deeply in a way everyone still relates to, cementing its status as a masterpiece and the definitive teen comedy.
What made this show even more remarkable was the talented and one of the most prolific cast ever. From regulars like James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel to guest stars Shia LaBeouf, Lizzy Caplan, Rashida Jones, and creators Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, Freaks and Geeks launched the careers of (what feels like) every comedy star in Hollywood today. The last time these many talented A-listers shared the screen, half of the human population faded.
Yes, it’s clear so many of them are doing high-profile stuff, but do you know what Cindy or Sam have been up to? Check-in with everyone now!
Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir
Linda Cardellini starred as Lindsay Weir, an intelligent mathlete who rebels against her goody-two-shoes label by hanging out with a group of teen burnouts.
Over the next two decades, Cardellini’s acting career has flourished, and she has starred in movies like “Legally Blonde,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Brokeback Mountain,” and “The Curse of La Llorona.” Her stint on “Freaks and Geeks” wasn’t her last on television: Cardellini spent six years on “ER” and appeared on “New Girl” and “Mad Men” (which earned her an Emmy nomination) and can currently be seen starring alongside Christina Applegate on Netflix’s “Dead to Me.”
She has a 9-year-old daughter Lilah with her long time partner Steve Rodriguez. She also dated her Freaks and Geeks co-star Jason Segel for 5 years after the show ended but just like Lindsay and Nick, they weren’t meant for each other.
James Franco as Daniel Desario
Franco played Daniel Desario, the rebellious bad boy and the oldest of the freaks. Gorgeous, aloof, and super charming, he wasn’t afraid to get in trouble.
Unlike his character, in the years that followed, Franco built an impressive career starring in films like “Spider-Man,” “James Dean,” “127 Hours,” and “The Disaster Artist” (amongst many, many others), and has won two Golden Globe Awards for acting. But much like his controversial movie “The Interview” he’s been at the centre of a few controversies lately including charges of sexual assault following Hollywood’s infamous me too movement.
Even Franco’s social media profiles led to a lot of fuss due to controversial selfies and comments. And the backlash led him into deleting all public profiles and has been off social media since focusing on his family, friends, and work. Franco was last seen in HBO’s amazing drama “The Deuce” and has a couple of projects under his belt as actor-director for 2021.
Jason Segel as Nick Andopolis
Long before he was a Hollywood A-lister, Jason Segel played Nick Andopolis, a sweet, sensitive burnout stoner who dreams of being a drummer in a rock band.
Well, his career rocked harder than anything as he managed to achieve immense success on television portraying the lovable lawyer Marshall Eriksen on the critically acclaimed CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.” He also built a prosperous film career starring in comedies like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “The Five Year Engagement,” “The Muppets,” and “Sex Tape.”
On top of that, Segel co-authored the young adult novel “Otherworld” in 2017. His most recent project includes AMC’s “Dispatches from Elsewhere” which he created and starred in. Currently, the actor is not married but is rumoured to be in a relationship with Alexis Minter who is a photographer.
John Francis Daley as Sam Weir
John Francis Daley played Sam Weir, one of the lead geeks and Lindsay’s younger brother. On the show, Sam was known for his caring personality, always looking out for his sister and his friends.
Following “Freaks and Geeks,” John continued to work in Hollywood as an actor and screenwriter. From 2007 to 2014, Daley portrayed Dr Lance Sweets on the Fox drama series “Bones.” Daley also wrote the comedy “Horrible Bosses” and the box-office smash “Spiderman: Homecoming” with his writing partner Jonathan Goldstein.
He was last seen as an actor on “Game Night” and is currently working as a writer and producer on numerous Hollywood projects like “Dungeons & Dragons” and “Vacation Friends.” He’s been married to actress Corinne Kingsbury since 2016 and together they have a 4-year-old son Basil.
Seth Rogen as Ken Miller
Seth Rogen got his start playing the sarcastic Ken Miller, known for his abrasive one-liners, admiration for “tuba girl” Amy, and fervent hatred of all disco music.
Today, Seth is one of the most popular actors, writers, and producers in Hollywood. After the show ended, Rogen’s comedy-acting career skyrocketed as he appeared in many of Judd Apatow’s most iconic films, including “Superbad,” “Anchorman,” “Knocked Up,” and “Funny People.” In 2008, he both co-wrote and starred in the action-comedy “Pineapple Express” alongside Franco, with whom he also appeared in “The Interview,” “This Is the End,” and “The Disaster Artist,” among other projects.
He’s also the executive producer for the shows “Preacher,” “The Boys,” “Black Monday” and “Future Man,” voiced Mantis in the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise and brought Pumbaa to life in Disney’s 2019 live-action adaptation of “The Lion King.” Rogen has been married to writer-actress Lauren Miller since 2011 and together they have founded a non-profit organization “Hilarity for Charity” to raise awareness on Alzheimer’s disease.
Busy Philipps as Kim Kelly
Busy Philipps played the brash and reckless Kim Kelly, one of the freaks with whom Lindsay tried her hardest to fit in. She was a little preoccupied who couldn’t stop making out with her boyfriend.
Since “Freaks and Geeks” ended Busy has been, well, busy. The actress followed up her stint as a freak with a role on the creek — “Dawson’s Creek.” She was also part of the main cast on “Cougar Town” alongside Courtney Cox. Philipps has starred in films like “White Chicks,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Made of Honor.” She also hosted her talk show, “Busy Tonight” becoming one of the few females ever to helm a late-night talk show.
Apart from acting, she co-wrote the sport-comedy “Blades of Glory” and even directed an episode of Cougar Town. Busy was last seen in the hit Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” She has been married to screenwriter Marc Silverstein since 2007 and together they have two lovely daughters.
Martin Starr as Bill Haverchuck
Twenty years ago, Martin Starr played Bill Haverchuck, perhaps the geekiest, most socially awkward of the geek troupe.
Over the last two decades, Starr has lived up to his last name, acting continuously since the end of the show and racking up an impressive roster of television and film roles. He had small roles in “Judd Apatow’s “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express” and reunited with his “Freaks and Geeks” cast for “This Is The End.” Recently you may have recognized him in the Marvel “Spider-Man” movies, where he plays a teacher.
Starr hasn’t limited himself to movies and has done some amazing work on television too. He appeared in the short-lived comedy series “Party Down” and is most well known for playing Bertram Gilfoyle, a cynical engineer, on the Emmy-nominated HBO series “Silicon Valley.” Starr was last seen as a guest star on critically acclaimed comedy “Tacoma FD.”
Samm Levine as Neal Schweiber
Samm Levine played the funny and confident geek, Neal Schweiber, who despite being nerdy thought of himself as more mature and sophisticated than his friends. He also had a secret, ill-fated crush on Lindsay.
Once the show ended, Levine continued acting in films. He appeared in several popular comedies like “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Not Another Teen Movie” and also had roles in “Inglourious Basterds” and “Jobs.” His television credits include “Entourage”, “Veronica Mars”, “Modern Family”, “Spin City” and “That ’70s Show”.
In recent years, he’s worked predominantly as a sidekick and fill-in host on the web series “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show” and has appeared regularly as a competitor on Collider’s “Movie Trivia Schmoedown”. He has been engaged to Rachel Cushing, a movie editor, and fellow Movie Trivia Schmoedown competitor.
Natasha Melnick as Cindy Sanders
Melnick starred as Cindy Sanders, who was soft-spoken, a popular cheerleader, and the object of Sam Weir’s affection.
After becoming the crush of every guy in America, Natasha Melnick appeared on episodes of “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Judging Amy,” “Undeclared,” “Boston Public” and “Life as We Know It.” She also popped up in the movie “Orange County,” starred on the short-lived sitcom “Do Over” and voiced Meg’s friend Ruth Cochamer on “Family Guy” from 2005 to 2012.
She was also a member of the band “One Last Run” but the band doesn’t seem to be together anymore. She’s given up acting and has been married to Jeff Tucker, the lead of a former rock band “Rock Kills Kid.” She chooses to keep her personal life away from the public eye and has a private Instagram account, her last tweet on Twitter dates back to 2014 and the account hasn’t been active since.
Sarah Hagan as Millie Kentner
Sarah Hagan played Lindsay’s former best friend, Millie Kentner. The 15-year-old was also Lindsay’s former Mathlete teammate.
Following the cancellation of “Freaks and Geeks,” Hagan was cast to play Camilla Whitman in the NBC sitcom “DAG,” before the role was recast before the pilot being aired. She then appeared in an episode of “Undeclared” and was later cast as Amanda in the seventh season of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
In the years since, she appeared on a few TV series and starred in a few shorts, like “Breaking Fat.” But acting doesn’t seem to be her sole focus these days. and referring to her Instagram, she currently works in ceramics. Sarah has been happily married to filmmaker Clay Jeter and together they have a cute baby boy. She was last seen in the short movie “The False Mirror.”
Kayla Ewell as Maureen Sampson
Kayla Ewell starred as Maureen, the ultimate girl next door who has been a crush of all three geeks at some point.
After “Freaks and Geeks,” Ewell went on to guest star in several shows including “The OC,” “Veronica Mars” and “Entourage” but gained recognition after playing a troubled teen-turned-vamp on the CW’s hit show “The Vampire Diaries” becoming show’s first big casualty. Onset she became good friends with Candice King, and the two have their podcast “Directionally Challenged”.
She was last seen in CW’s “Rosewell, New Mexico” and will be next seen in Darek Ting’s sci-fi thriller “Agent II”. She married actor Tanner Novlan in 2015 and have a one-year-old daughter Poppy.
Dave Allen as Jeff Rosso
Dave Allen played Mr Rosso, the long-haired guidance counsellor who tried a little too hard to connect with the students. Mr Rosso never hesitated to namedrop a rock band he liked in front of the freaks or show off his guitar skills.
It’s been two decades but our favourite guidance counsellor is still acting today and he regularly does voice work. You may have noticed him on Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and, most recently, in Judd Apatow’s Netflix series “Love.”
He appeared in a small role in “Bad Teacher” and reunited with his “Freaks and Geeks” co-star Jason Segel for a guest stint on “Sex Tape.” He has also been a part of “Gilmore Girls” and “Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy,” and was last seen in “Star Vs The Forces of Evil.” Allen doesn’t have any public social media accounts.
Becky Ann Baker as Jean Weir
Becky Ann Baker portrayed Jean Weir, Sam and Lindsay’s kind-hearted mother. Mrs Weir always wanted the best for her kids, even though they weren’t completely honest with her.
Baker already had a few acting credits under her belt when she was cast to play Jean Weir. After the show ended, she continued to act in movies and on television starring in “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order,” “All My Children,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and also starred in several Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.
She earned a 2017 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Loreen Horvath, on HBO’s “Girls.” Recently you might have noticed her alongside Al-Pacino on “Hunters” and in the critically acclaimed Netflix comedy “The Half of It,” and will next be seen in Nicole Riegel’s drama “Holler.” She has been married to actor Dylan Baker since 1990.
Joe Flaherty as Harold Weir
Flaherty had already been acting for some time when he stepped into the role of Weir family patriarch, Harold Weir.
He had previously acted in movies like “Back to the Future Part II” and on shows like “SCTV,” “Married… with Children” and “Maniac Mansion.” After “Freaks and Geeks,” Flaherty appeared on shows like “Even Stevens,” “That ’70s Show,” and made more regular appearances as a priest in CBS’ sitcom “The King of Queens.”
Flaherty also appeared in the movie “Detroit Rock City” and Adam Sandler’s commercially successful comedy “Happy Gilmore.” He made his last on-screen appearance in 2012 for a show called “Call Me Fitz.” Apart from this, he also taught a comedy writing course at Toronto’s Humber College. Joe keeps his private life under wraps and is not present on any social media platform.
Lizzy Caplan as Sara
Lizzy Caplan got her acting break playing Sara, a disco-dancing student who becomes Nick’s girlfriend and miraculously convinces him to contest in a dancing competition.
Since playing Sara, Caplan’s built a diverse career starring in “The Class” (From the creator of Friends), “Cloverfield,” “Now You See Me 2” and has worked with her former “Freaks and Geeks” costars quite a bit, as a ‘Beautiful Girl’ in “Undeclared”, ‘Agent Lacey’ in “The Interview” and as herself in Franco’s 2017 film “The Disaster Artist.” (Not to mention co-starring with Starr in “Party Down.”) Following her standout performance as Janis Ian in the hit movie “Mean Girls,” Caplan had a recurring role on HBO’s “True Blood,” starred on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” and was last seen in Hulu’s original “Castle Rock” and Apple’s “Truth be Told.”
She dated “Friends” star Matthew Perry from 2006 to 2012 and has been married to British actor Tom Riley since 2017. Lizzy stays away from social media describing it as toxic, something that makes her uncomfortable.
Ben Foster as Eli
Ben Foster played the autistic boy Eli on the show, who was asked to homecoming by Lindsay Weir.
Foster went onto have an acting career in movies following his brief stint on the show. He had roles in films such as “The Punisher,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Alpha Dog,” “The Mechanic,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “The Program,” and, most recently, “Leave No Trace” and “Galveston.” He won an Independent Spirit Award for his role as Tanner Howard in “Hell or High Water” and was praised for his part in “Warcraft.”
Foster will next be seen in Barry Levinson’s post World War II drama “Harry Haft” alongside Peter Sarsgaard and Danny DeVito. He married “Orange Is the New Black” actress Laura Prepon in 2018 and together they have a son and a daughter. Just like Caplan and Franco, Foster stays away from social media.
Rashida Jones as Karen Scarfolli
Rashida Jones played Karen, Kim’s mean friend. She plays quite a large part in Episode 4, “Kim Kelly is My Friend.”
Jones has acted in a lot of movies and TV shows since appearing on “Freaks and Geeks.” Today, most fans know her as Ann Perkins from “Parks and Recreation.” She also appeared in dozens of fan favourite projects, including NBC’s “The Office,” “The Social Network,” “Celeste & Jesse Forever” and “I Love You, Man”, which also starred Jason Segel.
She worked as a writer-director on the biopic “Quincy” based on the life of her father Quincy Jones and was recently seen in Netflix’s original “#BlackAF” and Parks and Recreation’s social distancing special episode, and will next be seen in the comedy-drama “On the Rocks.” Rashida has been in a relationship with singer-songwriter Ezra Koenig since 2017.
Shia LaBeouf as Herbert
Blink and you’ll miss him, but little LaBeouf was on “Freaks and Geeks” as the school mascot, Herbert, who gets injured and can no longer perform.
LaBeouf had already been a child actor when he landed the “Freaks and Geeks” role and is still working as an actor to date. He most notably acted on shows like “Even Stevens” and in movies like “Transformers” and “Fury”. In 2019, LaBeouf wrote and starred in “Honey Boy” that is loosely based on his personal experience as a child actor. Shia was also a part of Lars Von Trier’s controversial “Nymphomaniac” movies and was last seen in “The Peanut Butter Falcon” alongside Dakota Johnson. He will next be seen in David Ayer’s crime thriller “The Tax Collector.”
Apart from acting, he’s also tried his hand at directing with a couple of documentaries, a TV series, and some short videos under his belt. LaBeouf is also well known for his “Just Do It” motivational speech that became a viral meme back in 2015. He does not have an official Instagram but his outfits do.
Social media profiles — Twitter