To those who were unable to attend Comic-Con 2008 this year (Hugh included), I have been asked to report the goings-on to your eagerly awaiting computer screens.
By now, you all know that the DVDs for the 20th Anniversary Box Set are Laserblast, Werewolf, Future War, and First Spaceship on Venus, but did you know that Dr. Forrester has a third lightening bolt streak…in his pants? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Kudos to Trace for sharing that deeply intimate detail! Unfortunately, it made Mike and Kevin try to rip out their own eyeballs.
Anyway, the 20th Anniversary panel was a roaring success, and everyone on the panel seemed to be having a great time. No tension at all, just fun. At the beginning, the lights were dimmed and we were treated to our favorite opening theme song, mishmashed so that all the eras were blended into a single song. Joel’s voice flowed into Mike’s and each of the Bots were given a double Robot Roll Call to cover the cast changes for each one. (Click for more, after the cut.)
After that, Patton Oswalt came in and, after a brief introduction, the entire cast came out from the curtain they were standing behind (presumably to hide from the sweaty fans… and I can’t blame them for that) and they introduced themselves amid massive cheers and squeals from the excited MSTies.
From there, Patton jumped straight into his questions. The first part was stuff we’ve heard in previous interviews. What life was like at KTMA, the origin of the show, how Beeper turned into Servo, how Servo got his mighty voice and blah blah blah…. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you know all that already. So, let’s get into some of the more interesting tidbits:
What movie was so painfully, offensively awful that not even they would be willing to riff it? According to Frank, it was the film Child Bride from the 1930s, which Kevin eloquently described as Appalachian child porn. Mike claims you won’t be able to find it to see what it’s all about. Hardcore MSTies, start searching for this beauty!
Patton also asked if there was any backstory regarding the Gizmonic Institute, since we knew all about Deep 13, but very little about the uber-corporation that housed it. Joel’s response: “Uh, all we know is that the building…was shaped like a big ‘G’”. It was an answer so simplistic, and so perfect, that Joel got mountains of applause.
Funniest moment: When asking what the most positive response they ever got about the show, Frank started to say how getting death threats from Joe Don Baker was probably the best, but Kevin (I believe) started to talk about a rumored family who had a loved one in a coma and, by playing MST3K episodes, he magically came out of the coma. Mike’s response: “His name was Michael Bay.” Genius.
Most embarrassing panel moment: Patton Oswalt, who claimed to be a huge fan, literally forgot Bill, Paul, and Bridget’s names. He was asking each person what everyone was up to these days, one by one, with ease. He could ask Mike, Kevin, and Frank what was going on with them, but when he got to Bill, he totally blanked. Bill recovered by giving out a funny fake name, but after he finished up his answer and got to Paul, he couldn’t spit out the poor guy’s name. Same with Bridget, Mike’s freaking wife, for crying out loud! Bridget, being the smart gal that she is, immediately responded by asking Patton what his name was, which got a laugh. It was nice of the cast to try to recover from that, but it was painful to watch Patton struggle. I might give him Bridget and Paul, since they weren’t on camera as much, but Bill? C’mon man.
Alas, for fans that came to the panel to see the bloodbath between Jim Mallon and, well, everyone else, they came away disappointed. Not only was everyone on the panel perfectly friendly to one another, but the lack of a fan-run Q&A prevented any snotty Comic Book Guys from trying to rip Jim a new one. So if you wanted to get more dirt about the failed reunion episode or the flash cartoons, well, you probably won’t find out now. Part of me is relieved that the entire thing didn’t turn into a Jerry Springer episode, but part of me really wanted to see someone make an ass of themselves. Oh well.
Overall, it was a great time. Everyone stayed behind for a little bit to sign autographs and take pictures, before being kicked out so the next panel could start. They were all extremely cordial and willing to meet with the fans, which was awesome.
The most important thing that I took away from this experience was that everyone was genuinely happy to be there, and there wasn’t the slightest trace of animosity between any of the cast members. It seems as if so many fans are desperately trying to seperate everyone into enemy camps, but when you see them walk out onto the street after the panel together chatting happily, you realize that even though they might be seperate most of the time, they’re still friends.