What’s a PaleyFest? Something Really Fun!

Judd Apatow

(Photo: Courtney Vaudreuil)

Events like Comic-Con and WonderCon draw pop culture fanatics from all over the world each year.  For television junkies, there is another annual event that is beginning to lure in crowds: PaleyFest.  This ode to all things television is sponsored by the Paley Center for Media, which has locations in New York and Los Angeles.  The Paley Center works year round to connect people with emerging events in media, provide nostalgic glimpses into the early years of television and radio, and encourage a dialogue between members of the media and the public.

PaleyFest is an opportunity for fans to unite in their love for various television shows.  Typically, for each show, there is a clip or full episode that is screened, followed by a panel of the show’s cast, writers, and producers, and Q&A.  This year, there’s a little something for everyone.  Featured programs include: Pretty Little Liars, Lost, How I Met Your Mother, Sleepy Hollow, and Mad Men, among others.

Having attended PaleyFest for several years, I can say that there is something fun and special about getting together with people who share your passion.  I had an amazing time the year PaleyFest hosted the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion.  Imagine an entire theatre of Buffy nerds singing along to a screening of Once More With Feeling.  It was nerdvana.

PaleyFest will kick off this year by presenting its Icon award to Judd Apatow on March 10th.  Also scheduled to attend: Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, This Is 40), John Francis Daley (Bones, Freaks and Geeks), producer Jake Kasdan, and comedian Gary Schandling

This year, PaleyFest has moved to the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, which will increase the number of people who can attend.  Tickets are still available for some programs through Ticketmaster.  If you can’t make it to the festival, Paley Center usually has some kind of streaming option or DVD of the programs.