I still don’t get it, but now I kind of get it! This morning, Max and I actually attended a COMIC-CON PANEL. Wow! American Heroes, I’m sure. The panel was for Bob’s Burgers, a new animated series from Loren Bouchard (Dr. Katz, Home Movies, Lucy: Daughter of the Devil) premiering on FOX in January. The show stars Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, and John Roberts, and the first seven minutes that they showed at the panel was very very funny. Not just in the way that I like the people in it and am hopeful and supportive of their new project, but in the way that I laughed a lot and really enjoyed it. But more importantly: panels! The real Comic-Con experience. I still really do not understand the appeal to a living human being with emotions and priorities of standing in line for 19 hours to watch a trailer in an overcrowded nightmare room that is simultaneously made available on Yahoo! But because the Bob’s Burgers panel was smaller (and very poorly promoted in that the official listings did not even mention that any of the show’s stars would be in attendance), it was completely civil and respectful of human dignity. If the whole convention was like this, I might even begrudgingly admit that it was NOT a shameful and misguided way for someone to spend their time! MIGHT.

The people in attendance were excited and enthusiastic, and being in a room full of excited and enthusiastic people is ENJOYABLE. And while Jon Benjamin and Kristen Schaal are huge stars in their own right, one could imagine the electricity of this Aggressive Public Expressions of Fan Sentiment magnified in the presence of, say, Stone Cold Steve Austin, or whoever is in Tron. As I mentioned, the first seven minutes of the show were great, and again, if things were conducted in a manner that acknowledged the things that make us human rather than blinded, inexhaustible cattle, then the experience of getting a sneak peak at a thing that might interest you could be very exciting and rewarding indeed. After some banter from the cast and creators, the floor was opened up to questions. This is where things got VERY intense and VERY Comic-Con. Like, the first person gave a nerve-wracking story about her own experiences in life with having a baby voice (?!) and then applauded Kristen Schaal for just being herself. But again: I suppose that is kind of the point of this whole thing, right? In theory, it is a giant safe place for the outcasts. A safe place that is theoretically so safe that you could even think the professional comedians on a TV show were like you.

Of course, it was when the free t-shirts were thrown into the crowd that people REALLY lost their shit. Which was made even funnier by the fact that everyone was going to get a free t-shirt as they left the room. But, you know, the people who caught the shirts definitely got them a few minutes before everyone else. So congratulations to those guys.

I still do not understand the Hall H mentality, or the people who are clearly here with their family for their annual summer vacation to Comic-Con. And yet, after a good night’s sleep, some humble resignation, and a glimpse into the way the world could be if you were able to stroll into a conference room moments before a panel discussion and sit in a chair like a HUMAN MAN, it is less of a waking nightmare. And with everyone cheering and grasping at the air because the cast of a cartoon they haven’t even seen yet are throwing Hershey’s Kisses into the crowd, I almost get it, even.

Almost.

Comments (54)
  1. How are you not talkin about Sylvester Stallone’s insensitive comments about Brazil?! Cala Boca Sylvester Stallone!

  2. I don’t think we’re at Videoglum.com anymore, Toto!

  3. Go ahead and mock – Stone Cold Steve Austin is laughing all the way to the TomatoBank.

  4. Do they still have the thing where you can stand inside it and get your picture taken that makes you look like you are a star wars action figure still in the packaging?

    • I think this year they have the thing where you stand inside it and get your picture taken that makes you look like you are a sparkly vampire dildo still in the packaging.

  5. Being Gabe is hard.

  6. Lucy: Daughter of the Devil is one of the best shows ever on Adult Swim. I miss it muchly!

  7. Awe Grumplestiltskin had a better day! Good for you!

  8. I am so psyched about “Bob’s Burgers.” It will probably be canceled after six episodes, but those will be six great episodes.

  9. Max is really blowing it. He didn’t photograph you and your frowny face with the panel in the background.

  10. I’m glad you posted this, Gabe, I was following Gawker’s liveblog of the world premiere of Bob’s Burgers, but all the traffic pretty much shut down that whole corner of the internet. Those guys should really have planned better.

    Seriously, though, you didn’t need to go to California to find a place that is outcast-friendly, you didn’t even need to leave your blog. This guy knows what I’m talking about:

  11. Gabe’s hate for Comic-Con has me wondering if he is going to protest it with the Westboro Baptist crazies that showed up.

  12. ummm… i’d say we’re burying the lede a bit here. Mr. Silvestri has just tweeted some VERY IMPORTANT NEWS that is more than a little relevant concerning a certain ACTION MOVIE STAR of interest around these parts: http://twitter.com/maxsilvestri

    WE NEED DETAILS!

  13. Someone please explain Hall H to me, my nerd-dom does not extend so far as to know what that means. I am marinating in shame. Shame and cheeto dust.

    • Your nerd-dom isn’t lacking, you’re Videogum reading comprehension/throuroughness is lacking. If this were the SAT, I would be looking at your Verbal scores with disappointment. But hey, it’s not.

      Hall H is the shit-show where all the stuff that induces the nerd mass hysteria that allows them to wait in Bataan Death March length lines happens, except none of them die horribly in tortourous fashion that makes you question man’s capapability of compassion, instead they just drink too much soda, argue about whatever, and do that thing that nerds excel at — complain massively, endlessly, about the things they supposedly love.

  14. Did Kristen Schaal happen to mention if she wants to be best friends with me?

  15. I just want to say I live close to downtown in San Diego…and Gabe is right. You can just cut the tension with a spork.

  16. Hey you guys, we didn’t get a “Top Chef” recap this week cuz of Gabe hanging out with nerds.
    Fine, fine, I’ll do one.

    “This is gross, people are eating duck testes. If only an internet blog commentator would rescue me from this madness!”

    “Why, hello, Guided by Vodka!”

    That’s what I got out of it, anyway.

  17. This sounds great. I hate to say it, but it will be cancelled. I’ll definitely watch it when it premieres, but there’s no way it’s going to last, as much as we’d all like it to. Even if everyone who likes everyone involved watches it, it won’t succeed because 1. It’s on Fox and 2. The sense of humor is just too obscure (I’m assuming. Nothing cool ever lasts more than a few years, so let’s all enjoy Louie while we can.

    Sorry.

  18. Oh god, the Q&A period of every panel at every nerd convention ever should just be taken out and shot, seriously. I have never heard anyone ask something at one of those that didn’t just make the entire room cringe for them.

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