News Column

The essential Paul Feig

June 23, 2013

YellowBrix

June 23--If you're not familiar with Paul Feig's work, you probably missed the last 20 years of comedic innovation. But it's never too late to catch up. These Feig credits are a good starting point.

"Bridesmaids." A 2011 box-office hit that demonstrated the power of female-driven comedy, it benefited from Feig's familiarity with improvisation and made him a sought-after director for A-list funny women.

"The Office." As co-executive producer and occasional director, Feig contributed to the NBC sitcom's pioneering work in uncomfortable laughter. Among the episodes he helmed was the one about Pam and Jim's nuptials in Niagara Falls.

"Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence" and "Superstud: How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin." Feig has authored two memoirs, one about his teen years and the other about his awkward early romantic escapades. Their hilarious content lives up to the cover photos of Feig sporting a 1970s hair-don't and wearing a Steve Martin-wannabe white suit.

"Freaks and Geeks." This 1999-2000 NBC series is the best series ever about high school, no argument. It contained no after-school-special melodrama, focusing instead on the honest awkwardness of those formative years. "Freaks" was inspired in no small part by Feig's days at Chippewa Valley High.

"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." Before his renaissance man years began, Feig paid the bills -- and made a big impression on Gen Xers -- as Mr. Eugene Pool, Sabrina's science teacher on the 1996-97 season of this ABC comedy from the network's wholesome TGIF programming block.

-- Julie Hinds

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