‘Freaks and Geeks’ Star Jerry Messing Says COVID Has Partially Paralyzed Him

Jerry Messing, best known for playing Gordon Crisp on “Freaks and Geeks” and the viral “fedora guy” meme, says he has been partially paralyzed after a serious battle with COVID-19.

The actor told TMZ that the 35-year-old Tampa resident was hospitalized in August and placed on a ventilator, but is now out of the intensive care and breathing on his own, without a fever or cough, and has tested negative for COVID. That said, he is still in the hospital, and has minimal use of his arms and legs.

According to Messing, he is unable to stand and walk on his own, and is going through physical therapy, using a machine to help get his legs working again. He is staying positive, telling TMZ “things are looking up,” and thanking fans for all the support they’ve given him.

Messing’s father, James, had previously told TMZ that his son had received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in August and was waiting on his second shot when he became ill.

When news broke of Messing’s initial hospitalization, an outpouring of well wishes flooded in on Twitter, including from the “Freaks and Geeks” creator himself, Paul Feig.

“Sending all my love and positive energy to Jerry Messing, a wonderful talented guy,” Feig tweeted at the time. “He was such an important part of Freaks & Geeks in his role as the always upbeat Gordon Crisp. Here’s to a full recovery, my friend.”

Indeed, doctors are optimistic that Messing will have a full recovery, according to TMZ, as he rests and builds his strength back up in the facility he’s currently at in Florida.

In addition to “Freaks and Geeks,” Messing also appeared in the movie “Addams Family Reunion” as Pugsley Addams, and in shows like “Mr. Show with Bob and David” and the Disney Channel hit “Even Stevens.”