Monday, August 04, 2008

Comic-Con Post 5

There's a Wendy's on the same street as the main entrance of the convention center, and every year, I go to it. Merrill and I had a break in between shows, and we popped in, along with a hundred other smelly, fat geeks (come now, I said "other").

If you don't mind a tiny digression, Wendy's came out with this truly awesome Chicken Sandwich Deluxe Combo a few months back that is not only delicious, but the sweetest deal since "Free Peepshow Fridays" at my last corporate job. I can't oversell how great this combo is, except to say that if studies were presented that proved that eating them gave you a 90% chance of getting a tapeworm, I would still order one the next time I was at Wendy's.

Anyhow, the weird thing with this combo meal is that it was only on the menu for a very short time. One day it was there, the next it was gone, and when I asked about it, some Wendy's said, "Oh sure, we've still got those, here you are," and other Wendy's said, "Sorry, those have been discontinued." And worse, some stores claim they never existed at all.*

Anyhow again, Merrill and I were side by side, waiting for our turn to order, and I went first, meeting a sour-faced woman at the register, who must've been really tired, having a bad day, or just a very unpleasant woman. Of course, I asked her about the Chicken Sandwich Deluxe Combo, as Merrill went to the register next to her. The woman frowned (if you can consider an already frowning face turning southward a frown) and told me they had nothing called that. I told her I might've gotten the name wrong, but it was a...

"Chicken Sandwich Deluxe Combo," Merrill said from beside me, telling the young man behind his register what he wanted. And sure enough, that employee said, "Okay," and gave him the total.

Well, that was so strange that I just had to call the woman on it, so I said, "I'll have what he just ordered. What was it?" And Merrill said, feigning ignorance, "The Chicken Sandwich Deluxe," which I repeated.

The woman behind the counter gave me such a stinkeye that several of my pubic hairs turned white. "Please," I added, and she looked down and pushed the button for "Deluxe Chicken Meal," then went back to order around the kitchen staff.

While Merrill's cashier smilingly gave him his order and thanked him for coming in, mine shoved the tray in front of me and said, "Next customer," in a commanding tone that would've done R. Lee Ermey proud. If ever a fast food employee would have spit in my food, it would've been her.

And I didn't even intend to talk about this here. I was just going to say we went to eat then came back to watch Kevin Smith's annual Question & Answer session.

I don't have a lot to say about this year's. I love Kevin Smith, but I see him a lot.** And to keep myself entertained, I used to make a game of counting how many oral sex references he made in each one of his panels. This year, I went as far as to bet Merrill that if he made less than ten, I would buy him lunch.
Well, Kevin came out, easily the fattest I've ever seen him, but was jovial and funny as usual. He was there to promote ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO (a title that may get him in trouble, especially in conservative communities***), and had brought a large panel with him: Producer Scott Mosier, young actor Craig Robinson, adult film "actress" Katie Morgan, Traci Lords, Jason Mewes, and the titular stars of the film Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks.
They talked about the film, joked around, showed a lengthy clip, and joked around some more. It was interesting to see Seth Rogen try and upstage Kevin Smith, who, frankly, is so in his element at a comic convention that he could've outshined Paul McCartney. They're both funny guys, Kev being more of a self-effacing comic and Rogen the kind to get laughs at the expense of others, but as Kevin said last year, "It's not wise to mock the one with the microphone."
They took questions from the audience, and kept it going for a long, long time (Kevin Smith Q&As always go at least two hours), and seem to genuinely like each other. Seth Rogen had a very unusual laugh that I got tired of almost immediately, but is probably actually quite endearing.

I sometimes feel bad for Scott Mosier, who is Kevin's best pal, but rarely gets any of the attention or accolades (if there are any) that Kevin gets. He made us all laugh whenever someone would ask a question of the actors, because he would take the microphone and say, "Uh, I'm not an actor, so I don't know."

Amid the laughter, Traci Lords brought the whole room down by talking about being a child porn star and the exploitative nature of the business. I wondered why, if she has such a problem with the adult film industry, she would do a movie like ZACK & MIRI. But then, I don't know if it reveres or lampoons ye olde porneaux business.

One of the guys who asked a question prefaced it by saying that because his mother was in the audience, he would pretend he didn't know who Katie Morgan was. Katie Morgan seemed really out of place on the panel, but seemed nice, and seemed grateful to, for once, have had a job where, at the end of the day, she didn't have to wash something out of her hair. As another aside, my friend Jeff has mentioned to me that he doesn't know if he'll even go to ZACK & MIRI when it comes out. I hope the movie's a good one, and that it's successful (with or without Jeff's eight dollars), but Halloween seems like an odd day to be releasing it.

The panel let out, and Merrill and I took off to eat and move the car, and to let the other shoe drop, there were only seven B.J. references, so I had to buy him lunch.

I don't really feel this is worth mentioning, but on Friday night they did hold a screening of "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," and Merrill really wanted to see it. Because it was at night, when there's so much less programming, there was a great deal of interest, to the point where they actually held four screenings in four different auditoriums to meet demand.

The first one, though, was going to have Joss and Company at it, so Merrill sat and held the line while I went and moved the car (trying in vain to find a parking place that wasn't across the Mexican border). I got my brother's laptop to play with, and we surfed the internet and looked up swag on eBay as the hours went on (the screening was to start at 10:45). Several times, security/bouncers/ushers/whateveryoucallthem came by and told us that the line was too long for all of us to get it, but there were three other venues we could watch the movie in with practically no waiting. A few people got out of line, but for the most part, the fans wanted to see and hear the cast and crew (and I figured there was a better than good chance they'd do another Q&A when it was over).

We did make it into the auditorium around 10:50, with the film already in progress, and it was pretty cool to see it with an audience. Unfortunately, there were a couple of people there who thought it would enhance the experience to "Rocky Horror" it, by running around and mouthing the dialogue and basically drawing attention to themselves instead of what we were there to see, and it really irritated me.

But even more irritating was when the film ended, and Joss, NPH, Nathan, Felicia, and the rest came into the room, amid all the applause, went to the front of the hall, waved, and went home. I expected some sort of comment, statement, or banter, but we didn't even get a "thanks a lot, kids, now drive safe." I wondered why we'd fought to get in that particular screening if that was all we got (they didn't even stay still long enough to get a picture).

No big deal, but it was how I felt at the time. Maybe I'd have been in less of a foul mood had I not had to shove my way through crowds all day, and fight the Wendy's lady for a chicken sandwich meal, but hey, this was the last show of the night.

Rish Outfield

*Honest to Anne Hathaway's bosoms, folks.

**Well, maybe not now that I'm out of L.A., but man, I used to see the man all the time. Sometimes at signings, sometimes at conventions, sometimes through binoculars while he was tucking his child in bed at night.

***Don't believe me? Do you remember that Greg Kinnear film about a decade back where he worked for the post office and decided to answer all the letters that were written to God? Do you know what the local newspaper advertised that film as? Yep, it was "DEAR ___."

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