Feig was born in and raised in Mount Clemens, Michigan. His mother, Elaine Elizabeth (née Artingstall), was a telephone operator, and his father, Sanford William Feig, owned Ark Surplus on Gratiot Avenue. Feig's father was born Jewish and converted to Christianity; Feig's parents met at a church social, and Feig was raised in Christian Science.
With Heavyweights co-scripter Judd Apatow, Feig created the short-lived dramedy series Freaks and Geeks, inspired by his experiences at Chippewa Valley High School in Michigan. The show aired on NBC during the 1999–2000 television season. Eighteen episodes were completed, but the series was canceled after only twelve had aired. Despite the short run, Freaks and Geeks has since maintained a devoted cult following. The show was named in Time magazine's 100 Greatest Shows of All Time, and in summer 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked Freaks and Geeks as the 13th best show of the past 25 years. Feig was nominated for two Emmys for writing the show's pilot and the season finale.