about this site!
I'm planning on
leaving this site up for quite some time after we hear the news
about the show. Should it miraculously be picked up, the site
will stay up and running, but should it be cancelled, I'll keep
the site up for at the longest six months to a year before having
to condense it or shut it down, due to server space constrictions.
Museum of Television and Radio Event in Beverly Hills!
written by Greg Barber, creator
of the McKinley High fansite
Having just returned
from the MTR event in Los Angeles, I just felt like I had to write
up a piece for the website, letting you all know how great it
My alarm was set to wake me up at 6AM, so I could get an early
start for the eight hour drive (according to my MapQuest directions)
to Beverly Hills, where the MTR building is located. Unable to
sleep well because of my excitement for the Saturday event, I
actually woke up at 5AM and was out of the house by the time the
alarm actually went off.
The ride from San
Francisco to Los Angeles is a long one, mostly on a very small
highway of two lanes, filled with large semi's and slow cars.
I popped in all my CD's, even Billy Joel's 52nd Street,
which gave me an hour of singing at the top of my lungs in the
car. When the CD's ran out I was left with the dreaded radio,
listening to the station switch from alternative, to hard rock
and then to country. I couldnt wait to get to Los Angeles,
and was making great time.
The drive ended up
only five hours, instead of the eight mapquest had printed on
the top and at about 11:30AM I pulled off the freeway onto Santa
Monica Blvd. I thought it was appropriate that as I was sitting
on the offramp waiting for the light to signal me to turn onto
Santa Monica Blvd, the radio began playing Sheryl Crow's song,
All I Wanna Do. Very appropriate.
Find the Museum was
fairly easy, especially for someone like me who gets lost pulling
out of the driveway. Of course parking in Beverly Hills is another
question. It took me two hours to find a parking spot and the
only reason I did was because I drove past the "PARKING LOT FULL"
sign at the museum's underground parking lot and then begging
the parking attendants to let me park somewhere. They were extremely
nice to me, after hearing my sob story about driving from San
Francisco to see the night's event.
I was slightly early,
you know four hours early to the lunch planned by Eden Blair,
the second biggest fan and longtime member of the producers message
board, at a place called Koo Koo Roo's. I figured I would take
up some time walking around Beverly Hills, but that made me sick
very quickly listening to people talk about their shopping trips.
"Ohmygod, I soooooo need to have that lace shirt!" said one girl.
Her friend responded, "Ohmygod, but we have so many places to
go today". First girl then says, "But I'll just DIEEEEE if I dont
get that lace shirt, life is so unfair!!!". Yeah, boy, life is
Anyhow, I ended up
sitting outside of the museum for the remaining few hours playing
Solitaire on my PalmPilot. When 3PM rolled around, I was beginning
to wonder where everyone was. We had lunch plans and I didnt
see anyone around, of course, I could have been staring right
at them, but didnt know what anyone looked like. When 3PM
hit, I headed to the closest Koo Koo Roo's and hoped to see a
group of Freaks and Geeks fans. Luckily, the people in front of
me I had seen in front of the museum, asked what they were there
for and then found out I was talking to Terra Stoddard, my tape
making queen and also bigtime supporter of the show. Besides her
was Erik Blair, Eden's brother who had bought me my ticket and
farther down the line was Eden Blair.
We bought our lunch and quickly met up with Fladog (of the producers
message board) and her husband, and chatted about Eden's night
with Garrett (creator of the Operation Haverchuck website) and
Martin Starr, aka Bill Haverchuck, for a signing session. They
seemed totally excited about the entire event. When lunch ended,
we all headed up the street to the museum where we found Garrett
setting up shop, complete with buttons and bumper stickers, as
well as a couple of backpacks for Paul and Judd, creators of the
Introduction were made and when we arrived, and being able to
put faces to names from the producers board was really exciting.
Talking to Garrett,
Terra Stoddard, and Eden Blair about the show really was
a lot of fun. Moments later, Michael aka Humphries (a longtime
poster on the producers message board and an extra on the show)
arrived, and I was so thrilled to finally see him in person, as
I've chatted with him on the AOL messenger from time to time.
Soon after a girl tapped me on the shoulder and said "are you
Greg Barber?, Hi, Im Brooksie!", and another guy tapped
me and introduced himself as the "Vegan" from the producers board.
Totally a thrill.
A few minutes before we were going to be let in, the excitement
really began to build, expecially when Martin Starr, Seth Rogan
and Samm Levine (aka Neil) came out to talk to the crowd. I told
Samm my name was Greg Barber, and he immediately was like "THE
GREG BARBER, great to meet you finally!". It was very exciting
to be recognized, especially by the cast members themselves. I
also thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet Maureen, the web queen
of the producers site, for the first time. I knew it was her as
soon as she walked up and she immediately recognized my name from
Somehow I managed
to be the first into the theater and ran for the closest seats
to the stage. The three rows in front of us were reserved for
the cast and crew and a row behind me was partially reserved,
so I took the row between them. Sitting beside me was Eden Blair,
her brother, Brooksie, Vegan, Humphries and Terra. The biggest
internet fans all in one row, its how it should be.
The cast began to file in, Natasha Melnick, aka Cindy Sanders,
sat in front of me and to her left was Busy Phillips (aka Kim),
with Sarah Hagan (aka Millie), and Martin Starr (aka Bill) in
front of them. Behind me was Linda Cardellini (aka Lindsay), with
Jason Segal (aka Daniel) and Seth Rogan (aka Ken) sitting to her
left. I was star struck at this point. Was I dreaming? I mean,
here I am watching my favorite show with some great friends from
the web and the cast surrounding me, ohmygod, I couldve just passed
out. Eden and I kept looking at each other and giggling like kids
over the silliest little things.
The coolest thing was meeting Busy's mom and sister. They have
to be the biggest fans of the show and message board, I've ever
seen. As the web folks introduced themselves to her, she was nearly
jumping out of her seat hearing the names. "ohmygod, Brooksie,
so nice to meet you finally". They are such
great supporters, and big time readers of the message board.
Paul and Judd started out with a few words on the show and how
the fans were great, and he ended by saying how much the web folks
rocked. Then we sat down for three episodes beginning with the
Kim Kelly is My Friend episode. The entire audience applauded
as the credits were listed for the first time and it was so cool
to listen to the comment behind me from Seth and Justin, or watching
Busy whisper to Colin Hanks, or Natasha to her mom.
The three episodes
ended and refreshments were offered in the lobby. Also, my queue
to begin pestering the cast for autographs
for my Pilot script I had brought with me. I quickly turned
around and asked Seth, Jason and Linda if they would mind signing
it for me. They were extremely gracious about it. Jason is very
tall, as I expected him to be. Seth is hillarious, especially
when he talks, he sounds like Sam Kinison or something. Linda
is so sweet and tiny, very nice to chat with.
I then popped onto
the stage and had Paul sign my script, and promised to talk to
him more after the show. I ended up not getting refreshments and
instead focused on autographs and talking with the cast. I was
told to get Joe Flaherty's (aka Mr. Weir) autograph early because
he was known to disappear quickly, so I head to him and he was
so great to talk to, with his young son in toe. John Daley (aka
Sam) soon reentered the room and I nearly jumped over three rows
of seats to ask him to sign for me. I handed him the script and
when he asked my name I told him and his response again was "You're
THE GREG BARBER!". What a strange feeling to have them know me,
but I guess that's how they feel. Eden's brother cracked up at
the fact as the role reversal in that the cast was in such awe
over meeting people they recognized from the board. I managed
to get a signature from Natasha Melnick just as the lights went
down, and she wrote that I was "super dope" on the script. She
was also very sweet and remarkable well spoken for someone of
We watched the rest
of the episodes, listening to Seth and Jason make comments about
cast members or about the episodes being shown. I watched Natasha
squirm as her scenes were shown, or could see John's dad patting
him on the shoulder during his scenes. Loud applause as the episodes
ended or particularly good scenes were shown, and laughter all
around. In one scene, Busy's character made a comment about the
"aliens at Roswell" and both her and her mom leaned toward Colin
Hanks jabbing him.
There was a question and answer period with Paul and Judd, where
Brooksie, Terra and Eden all got up and asked questions, about
the cast, thoughts for a second season if it were to happen, etc.
During the Q&A, both Garrett and Eden presented Paul and Judd
with the backpacks, signed by all the fans the attended and the
cast. Paul kept looking at it during the interview, he honestly
looked moved to tears at a few points. They are such great guys,
very down to earth
as is the entire cast.
When the final episode
ended, there wasnt a dry eye in the house. And when the
lights turned on, we all quickly attempted to dry our eyes. I
think it was a culmination of seeing the final episode, knowing
it was really the last time we'd all be together like this. It
was final in so many ways, and if I could capture it in a bottle
I would have. To put closure on a show this way, was the best
experience I could've ever had in my life. I was able to be a
part of the first group to see the final six episodes, I was able
to sit with the cast, writers, crew and Paul and Judd.
I have a signed script
as a memory of such a wonderful night and the memories of meeting
so many great people all in one night. I will forever be a fan
of everyone in the room, and although I may not be able to make
a fan site for every one of them, they will always have a fan
We all hung out in
the lobby until about 11:30PM, chatting with the cast and the
fans, and at that point I headed down to the garage to drive off,
waved at Paul as he drove off ahead of me and was on my way to
meet with the web fans at a restaurant called Barney's Beanery.
I sat next to Joanne,
known as Fladog on the board and also next to Michael, known as
Humphries to fans everywhere. I'm actually planning a trip back
in August to meet up with TVs Henry and Humphries. The night was
filled with talking about each other and surprisingly little talk
of the MTR event. I think we were all just letting it sink in.
Garrett handed out the remaining pictures and Michael even signed
photos for those at the table.
We all went on our
way at about 1:30 in the morning. I slept for a few hours in my
car and headed back to San Francisco, with all the wonderful images
of the last 24 hours reeling in my head. If its possible, Im
a bigger fan because of this night.