Episode Report CardHeathen: A+ | Grade It Now!
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JA: I always thought the last year of Kids in the Hall was really funny, because you could tell they'd run out of ideas and went into a completely different bizarre place, because there was nothing they hadn't done. There were so many really original, funny sketches that came out of that. So I tried to do that with the writers here. Everyone's going to write the basic drinking or romantic-comedy ideas when they first pitch, but when you have to come up with sixty ideas in three hours... JK: Remember the episode where [Shaggy] gets a bird to be the cool guy? I remember that was an early Ali idea about an Asian kid who got a snake so that he was The Asian Guy With The Snake, just to give himself an identity. Well, [Shaggy's] story came from that weird little idea and became a huge part of an episode. JA: That's how we came up with "Bill eats a peanut" for Freaks and Geeks. We'd just write tons and tons of ideas, and I remembered I had a friend who, if he ate a peanut, would die, so we could do an episode about Bill eating a peanut and dying. JM: I thought somebody pitched it sarcastically -- "Hey, so, what if Bill eats a peanut?!" H: How many of your ideas came from your own college experiences, and how many were a product of a late night, lots of caffeine and a deadline? KB: [To Judd] Well, wasn't the pilot sort of about you? Didn't you get the big news when you started college that your parents were getting divorced? JA: No, my parents got divorced when I was in junior high, although they continued to get divorced for twenty-three more years. But, you know, I thought the show wasn't personal while we were shooting the first thirteen. And then I watched them, and realized that it was about this girlfriend I had in high school who went on to go to college far away from me, and we decided to have an open relationship. A lot of the dynamics of Eric, Lizzie, and Steven are based on me trying to figure out if I should screw around with someone else, and I was allowed to but I didn't want to, and then I did and I felt guilty about it. And then I would take runs at her every summer and try to get her back. I always thought this show was based a little bit on me as Steven, but the more I looked at it, I realized I was Eric. H: Oh. I was thinking you were Lizzie. [Laughter] JA:: I definitely was Lizzie as well, in that I wasn't sure what to do, but there was also that crazy, psychotic desperation of Eric -- thinking that if he handles it right, he'll get her back when she's done learning about college. So really, the most disturbing facets of the show...