Exactly one hour before the panel was supposed to begin, the frazzled convention volunteers ushered the enormous crowd into the room. I took my seat and looked around, noting the room was already very nearly filled. They opted to go against the usual procedure of letting the line snake around, and and instead just let us in since there were so many of us; however, when I got up to peek outside, a new and long line, just as long as the one I had been in, had already formed. Those at the front of the new line had a chance of getting in and filling what few seats were left, but I don’t even want to think about how upset the rest of them were.
The panel consisted of Doc Hammer, Jackson Publick, and the last-minute addition of Michael Sinterniklaas; they opened by promoting the upcoming release of Season Three on DVD, March 24, 2009.
Guys We Can Hang Out With
I had never seen an episode or even heard of the cartoon until a friend of mine held up Season One and popped in a DVD. It took one episode to hook me, and I devoured the rest of Season One while cackling with glee. So much was my love for its cleverness and goofiness that I ran out to buy Season Two. Naturally, we also watched the Director’s Commentary for both seasons and quickly decided that these guys—Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick—were the sort of people geeks like us could hang out with.
So I could not help but smile from ear to ear when Hammer said, “Let’s watch the DVD together, like we’re at my house!” The panelists then showed us some funny teasers from Season Three, and it became difficult to hear because the audience was unable to contain its laughter, especially when Hammer added at the end of the aired clips that the menu for the DVD is annoying.
From the Peanut Gallery
The moderator, executive vice present of Adult Swim Keith Crofford, tried to keep things orderly, and welcomed audience members with questions to form a line behind a microphone. Inevitably, some of the questions elicited groans and eye rolls from the audience, and a small number of people heckled, threatening to make a chaotic mess out of the Q&A portion. Through it all, the trio maintained a great sense of humor, and by having fun and remaining at ease allowed the rest of us to have fun, too.
Regarding H.E.L.P.eR., Hammer quips, “You are attaching your own lives to H.E.L.P.eR. if you like him because he doesn’t do anything!” I grinned sheepishly as I scribbled down notes in my pad; Hammer’s comment had been spot on, since while watching episode after episode with my friend I had often expressed sympathy for the mothering robot.
It all starts with this great joke and it pitters down to two people talking. Sometimes, Hammer and Publick explain, the conversation between two characters takes over and the original joke gets lost.
We will see King Gorilla again but probably not for Season Four. Same goes for Dr. Henry Killinger. Hunter Gatherer, however, will be all over Season Four, as will a little more about the history of the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Expect also for Triana and Dean to get down and dirty (we’re talking full penetration). I’m especially looking forward to the voices of Kevin Conroy, John Hodgeman, and Seth Green.
During the Q&A, there was a young woman who decided to put Sinterniklaas on the spot and ask him out for a drink and perhaps some dinner. He was clearly put off, and finally semi-agreed after Hammer and Publick ribbed him jovially and egged the young woman on. She then pointed out that she was the very last person to get in (security sneaked her in after the panel had already started) and, therefore, did not have a chair; so she asked the trio to give her one of their extra chairs from the panel. As far as I could tell they did not. None of her questions was actually related to Venture Bros., which incited some heckling from the peanut gallery. I was too far away to throw my shoe at her.
Get Me My Blue Windbreaker!
After the panel discussion ended, the trio took a quick break and came back in to sign autographs for about an hour or so. I was lucky to be sitting in the second to last row of people who got to get in line—the rest of the room was turned away because of time constraints. Once I was ten people away, I snapped as many photos as I could and groaned at my camera’s dying battery. Once I was standing in front of Doc Hammer, I slid a Venture Bros. postcard to him so he could sign it and quickly shook his hand.
“I want you to know that I have everyone I know saying ‘Speedsuit’ and ‘Blue Windbreaker’”.
He chided me for not saying “Blue Windbreaker” correctly and made me say it a la Dr. Orpheus; I happily obliged. I shook Publick’s hand after getting his signature, as well as Sinterniklaas’s. While we were exchanging a few words, I heard Hammer say, “Blueeee Windbreaker! Now you have ME saying it!” Grinning like a silly fangirl, but saying nothing more, I waved at them and slowly exited stage left, while staring at my postcard bearing the trio’s signatures. Go Team Venture indeed.