In a normal world, this column would had been written on my flight from Miami to San Diego as I journeyed to my 14th consecutive San Diego Droll-Con. For sure, nothing about our world is “traditional” perfect now.
Fortunately, the tireless folk that plod SDCC occupy made lemonade out of the basket of lemons 2020 has delivered with Droll-Con@Residence. On the opposite hand, I’m silent severely bummed to now not be within the Gaslamp District this year. That’s partly for selfish causes, as I’d had been webhosting a panel linked to the debut of SYFY WIRE’s first normal documentary, Todd McFarlane: Like Hell I Is now not going to, which drops Saturday at 11PM ET on SYFY (shameless plod, I do know. But I’m a producer on the film and hi there, we’ve all bought funds to pay). I’d occupy moreover been doing publicity for my subsequent e-book, which used to be this potential that of come all over again out this tumble.
Infrequently, life occurs. All that you just can maybe attain is are attempting and abet up.
I dilapidated to dream about going to San Diego again within the days when all I knew about it had been the transient mentions within the Bullpen Bulletins in Wonder Comics. It took me Four years to persuade my boss at WNBC-TV in New York City to send me out West to veil Droll-Con. I have been again as soon as a year since, and along the intention in which, I have been lucky to attain some unforgettable recollections and tales which occupy earned me on the least one or two courtesy chuckles, and even the occasional “attaboy!” Right here are just a few that spring to mind:
Two years within the past, I had my daughters bounce out of the Hilton Bayfront pool and plod up soaking wet to meet Dove Cameron out of doorways the SYFY WIRE studio suite. She used to be in San Diego promoting the Wonder Rising intriguing sequence, and she or he’s awesome as Ghost Spider. But to my ladies, she used to be and always will almost definitely be Mal from The Descendants. Omit Cameron, thanks for being icy with my ladies and earning me Chilly Dad capabilities that will by no intention expire.
My first year attending SDCC used to be 2007, and I was inner Corridor H when Jon Favreau showed that now-legendary first rely on at Iron Man. To me, the pleasure inner that room after the photographs used to be confirmed marked the beginning of the MCU. But the 2d that gave me legit goosebumps came later on that day throughout that legendary Paramount panel when it used to be revealed Leonard Nimoy would return as Spock in J.J. Abrams’ Celebrity Drag. I was standing appropriate offstage this potential that of uninteresting success and a kindly safety guard, and Nimoy himself brushed perfect past me on his intention to the stage. The cheers from the crowd after he acknowledged, “Live long and prosper” is also the purest kind of fandom affection I’ve ever witnessed.
The next year, a publicist for Run to Witch Mountain wished to strangle me with my mic cable after I wrecked the timing of her press line by trash-talking Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about College of Miami soccer (I went to Florida Assert College, Miami’s arch-rival faculty). He went fat “Folk’s Champ” on me and dropped a verbal smackdown that included on the least one factual-natured “candy ass,” all while Carla Gugino stood there laughing at us.
Then there used to be the time in 2015 I was ready to unhealthy “get photobombed by an NBA All-Celebrity” off my bucket list. Who knew Dwight Howard cherished to get his Nerd on?
I was lucky ample to focus on with NFL icon Joe Namath in 2018 as he helped relaunch the fabled Mego toy line. When he left our interview room, there had been about 20 old tech guys from the a total lot of interview suites on the Hilton ready appropriate to voice “hi there” to him. Decades later, Broadway Joe used to be silent the middle of consideration.
I shared this one on Twitter fair at this time, nevertheless in 2011 I was scrambling to get to a couple submit-Corridor H interviews (again after they silent came about within the out of doorways field of the convention middle) and I needed to crowd into an elevator fat of gigantic dudes who did now not desire me inner. Fortunately, the skinny guy with immense hair standing within the middle acknowledged it used to be stunning. That skinny guy used to be Robert Pattinson. The vampire model seems to bring me success at Droll-Con (more on that later).
Then there are the interviews. I’ve completed just a few these in San Diego.
In 2012, I talked with Mark Hamill and Stan Lee within the identical press room, and I will be able to not for the life of me set in mind what they had been promoting. I appropriate acquire Hamill laughing as I instructed him about my robust-fought negotiations with my important other to get Leia for our daughter’s middle name.
I have been lucky to meet 1000’s actors whose work I love, nevertheless assembly Lee Majors in 2016 used to be something special. This guy used to be now not easiest a celeb from my childhood, nevertheless he inspired one amongst my well-liked action figures! Sorry Stone Cool, nevertheless here is the easiest Steve Austin I glimpse.
Sundays are always tricky in San Diego on story of you furthermore could can very nicely be fried from Four straight days of press, events, and numerous nonsense. The first time I ever interviewed The Imperfect + The Divine creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie used to be on a Sunday, the final day of SDCC 2017. Our suite used to be, as current, within the Hilton Bayfront. Gillen arrived first, and as he entered the room, acknowledged out loud, “You realize what happiness is? Waking up after an evening of too principal drinking, remembering you occupy a morning interview, after which realizing or now not it’s for your resort!”
My talks with the cast of Wonder’s Brokers of S.H.I.E.L.D. occupy by no intention now not been enjoyable, on story of these actors maintain the most of their Droll-Con time. In 2016, Liz Henstridge and Chloe Bennet determined to lift random props throughout the interview… appropriate on story of they could maybe.
The Saturday evening Leisure Weekly event used to be and remains the crown jewel of the Con event circuit. Or now not it’s been the source of just a few principal Con moments for me and I’m sure many others.
The guest list for that bash has always been subsequent-stage tricky to get on. But again when SYFY co-hosted the match, I was running a movie point out for NBCUniversal, so I had a smidgen of pull. I dilapidated every bit of it to get into that event. That led me to having drinks 365 days with Admiral Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, regaling Joe Morton (then of Eureka, always from Terminator 2: Judgment Day) and myself with tales from his days on Miami Vice and the intention in which his inadvertent hardball negotiating ways with Michael Mann scored him a colossal payday and ingenious abet a watch on of his persona.
On the EW event in 2009, I was talking to an actor I knew nicely from varied Broadway shows and requested him what he used to be doing at Droll-Con. Matthew Morrison laughed and acknowledged, “I construct now not occupy any idea! I’m starring on a brand unusual point out on Fox called Glee and so that they instructed us to come all over again here to advertise!”
At that identical event, I and quite loads of PR of us cornered Lost star Matthew Fox and took him from the event to 1 amongst the resort suites that border the pool on the Solamar (the resort the build the bash dilapidated to be held sooner than it moved to the Exhausting Rock Hotel) so he could maybe maybe divulge “Jubilant Birthday” to 1 amongst SYFY’s prime PR of us, Maureen Granados. Thanks for being a factual sport, Matthew!
(Repeat: I’d occupy filled this complete column with embarrassing tales of worthy folk that bought too inebriated at Droll-Con events, nevertheless I’ll achieve these for as soon as all over again after I’m feeling pettier and more vindictive.)
Two more Droll-Con Dad tales. The build else nevertheless Droll-Con could maybe maybe I interview Neil Gaiman (in 2013) after which sit down down and listen to him be taught me his unusual youth’s e-book, Chu’s Day, in honor of the unusual beginning of my 2d daughter?
My oldest daughter Alexia inherited the collector gene from me. In 2017, I took her to 1 amongst my well-liked Droll-Con traditions, the Hasbro breakfast on the first day of the Con. The Hasbro team are always tremendous to all individuals, nevertheless they treated Alexia love a queen. They gave her so many My Small Pony toys she had something for every kid in her class. She positively bought some jealous facet-ogle from the Bronies at that year’s breakfast.
The 2010 Con had its factual and inappropriate moments. The inappropriate? My iPhone literally blew up throughout an interview I was doing with Matt Reeves about Let Me In. Like, sparks unquestionably shot out of it on story of I was utilizing one amongst the portable batteries that had turn into a favored convention event giveaway. I needed to high-tail to the Apple store to get a substitute, and it took so long I neglected the Inexperienced Lantern panel. In actuality, in hindsight, it would not seem so inappropriate.
I made it again to Corridor H later that identical day to peep the Avengers assemble onstage. I construct now not veil Corridor H anymore on story of that is a younger man’s sport, nevertheless that day, I was there in a sea of humanity hopeful for the geek version of The Beatles to come all over again together. All of us went bonkers. Holy repulsor rays, the vibe inner that room used to be unbelievable. It remains my well-liked Corridor H 2d — and my final. I’ve literally now not stepped foot in there since.
For me personally, no point out has equipped more enjoyable Droll-Con recollections than Game of Thrones. There used to be the year I had a beer with the Crimson Viper, Pedro Pascal…
And the half of-dozen images I’ve taken taking a rely on ridiculous on the Iron Throne on the annual GOT point out within the Gaslamp District.
Which rings a bell in my memory of 2012. I one intention or the other wound up on the again of the velvet rope within the VIP field of the HBO/Playboy event with the cast of Precise Blood and Thrones. Yes, there unquestionably used to be a velvet rope, presumably to abet the total girls folk from attacking Joe Manganiello, who used to be decked out in skin-tight stone-washed denim. Then, Emilia Clarke and Rose Leslie showed up quite later.
In a while, I seen Seth MacFarlane standing now not a ways away, and it regarded love he had been cornered by just a few Household Man tidy-followers, so I threw him a lifeline and acknowledged something love, “Yo, Seth! Advance here! Somebody wants to meet you,” and bought him into our puny VIP share. He came on over after which I made a humorous memoir love, “Wouldn’t you principal otherwise be here with Emilia Clarke?”
And that is the reason how I became a celeb matchmaker and *kinda/sorta/perchance/now not really at all* helped build up Emilia Clarke and Seth MacFarlane for his or her transient romance. For sure, I didn’t know unless weeks later they’d unquestionably started dating. But it started that evening in San Diego, so I’m taking the damn credit.
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The views and opinions expressed listed listed below are the author’s and attain now not essentially mirror these of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBCUniversal.