Professional Learning

Celebrity Q&A: Jason Lee on School Life

The star and producer of NBC’s hit comedy My Name Is Earl talks about his school years.

January 10, 2008

Jason Lee, star and producer of NBC's hit comedyMy Name Is Earl, is a very animated guy -- literally.

Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead rolein writer-director Kevin Smith's comedy Mallrats, andhe went on to star in some of Smith's other films,including Chasing Amy. He was also featured inCameron Crowe's Almost Famous as the lead singerof a 1970s rock band called Stillwater.

But Lee's latest film is the computer-animation/live-action hybrid feature film Alvin and the Chipmunks, in which he stars as Dave Seville, the songwriterand father figure to singing chipmunks Alvin,Simon, and Theodore. His voice work also includesthe lead character in Underdog, last summer'slive-action film adaptation of the classic 1960scartoon, and the role of Syndrome in the award-winninganimated feature The Incredibles.

What is your idea of a perfect teacher?

A friend.

What was your most memorable schoolexperience?

Getting sent to the principal's office formaking the class laugh.

What was the low point?

Going to the principal's office.

Did you go to public or private school?


Where did you fit in your schools' socialhierarchies?

The ratty-little-skater clique.

What was your favorite subject?


If you could change one thing about educationin America, what would it be?

The psychiatric drugging of kids -- and thefood stinks.

What is impossible to learn in school?

Only what you can't understand.

What should they teach that they don'tteach now?

How to use a dictionary. Kids should knowwhat they're studying and actually pass thetests, and not just by memorization.

What did you learn today?

That my son is hilarious.

What did you teach?

I'm not a teacher.

What is in your dream lunchbox?

Sandwich, cupcake, root beer.

If you wrote a textbook, what would it becalled?

NOT Calculus!

If the prom were tomorrow, whom wouldyou take?

The missus.

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