My plan for Halloween 2011 had always been to save up some money and finally buy a Ghostbusters costume – complete with an accurate proton pack. It was going to be costly, but dammit…I’ve wanted it since I was ten years old! In fact, back in ’84 I made and put up flyers in my neighborhood offering up my services as a Ghostbuster. In the midst of drawing the logo on one of these flyers I was suddenly hit with a thought: What if somebody actually called me because they had a terrifying spook, spectre or ghost? I stopped for a moment and considered and came to the only reasonable conclusion: I would just have to take care of it. Back to the flyer. Cut to May of last year. I was putzing around on the internet at work and came across just outright lousy and terrible news. Randy “Macho Man” Savage had passed away. I soon came to the conclusion that my Halloween costume would simply have to be about him. A large gathering of friends were going to Chicago for the wedding of our great friends Justin and Kathy. They were having a Halloween-themed wedding and Savage was invited!Everybody thought it was a blast…with the exception of the mother of the bride (but she didn’t cause a stink or anything).
As Comic-Con approached this year, it only made sense that I would pull the robe out of the box in the closet and show Randy off again. I began to grow out the beard and touched up the costume with some reasonably passable boots. I hadn’t been to Comic-Con since 2008. I didn’t really have the urge to make the trip out last year, but then was EXTREMELY jealous when my friends got their picture with Matt Smith from Doctor Who!
In another universe (the WWE Universe), another big nerd passion of mine was being represented at Comic-Con: CM Punk would be at a panel and signing autographs with Sheamus and Zack Ryder. I really wanted to get his impression of the silly photoshop page I have set up for him: CM Punk Is Not Impressed
I aim high. I set up two goals for myself this past weekend.
1) Get a picture with CM Punk and Sheamus while dressed as Savage
a) CM Punk gives the “Not Impressed” look in the shot
b) Punk and Sheamus drape their belts over each of my shoulders in the shot [hey - I SAID I aim high!]
2) Get a picture one-on-one with Matt Smith
In my head I saw both of these pictures as being real possibilities.
I left Anaheim on Thursday at about 4:30am and it took about 90 minutes to arrive in my 30 dollar per day parking spot. Whereas I didn’t expect my friends to be awake yet (they were) I decided to change in the car.
HEY - do you ever want to feel like an asshole? Prance about an unfamiliar town for several blocks wearing a pink speedo and a robe at 6:30 in the morning.
The line to pick up badges was ricockulously long. Eventually I got in and went up to stand in line for the WWE / Mattel panel. I was about 8th in line. Once we got in I got a spot in the 2nd row. These guys were close!
After a presentation from the Mattel guys, Zack, Sheamus and Punk were introduced. Punk didn’t have his title with him (there’s a chunk gone from the perfect picture). They did kind of a standard Q and A, then Punk and Zack took off and Sheamus continued until Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez barged in to build some hype for their match on Sunday.
Alberto was frigging hilarious.
He got heat by bringing out an “Issue #1″ of a comic book (I think it was Superman) and ripping it up. I’m in the video grinning like an idiot – unapologetically.
After the panel, most of us headed to the Mattel booth where the three performers were signing. THIS was my chance to see what Punk thought of CM Punk Is Not Impressed, and hopefully get a pic with him being “Not Impressed” with my costume. While waiting, my new WWE friend Dianne (and fan of the Punk page) saw Dolph Ziggler walking the floor. She pretty much freaked out and ran off to get her pic with him while I kept her place in line. She came back with a great shot which inspired me to pretty much do the same. I approached him and asked (in my Savage voice), “Could The ‘Macho Man’ get a picture with ‘The Show Off’?” He smirked and said, “sure”. I believe he was geniuinely amused.
Eventually we got our face time with the guys signing. Sheamus asked me right away if I used bronzer for the costume. I confirmed this (I’m generally very pale) and Sheamus mentioned it to Punk.
Sheamus: Punk, check it out: this guy’s using bronzer!
Punk: So are you Randy Savage or a gypsy?
Me (about as meekly as I’ve ever sounded): I’m the Macho Man Randy Savage!
Punk (smiling): Oh, OK.
Me (trying to get back on track): Are you familiar with CM Punk Is Not Impressed? Photoshopping you into funny situations?
Punk: I’ve heard of them, yeah. They’re always tweeting me.
Me: Well, it’s me. I was wondering if I could get a picture of you not being impressed with my costume?
Lady in control of line: We’ve got to keep this line moving!
Me: I was just going to get a pic here.
Lady in control of line: We’ve GOT to keep this line moving!
Punk: Sorry, pal.
And that was it. The guy has a schedule to keep and people to see.
After assessing our discussion…what he said, how he said it, general tone of the meeting… I have come to the conclusion that CM Punk couldn’t give two shits about CM Punk Is Not Impressed.
Or to say it another way:
CM Punk Is Not Impressed With CM Punk Is Not Impressed
It was kind of a bummer. I was hoping that he’d dig it or at least get a chuckle out of it, but no such luck. At the end of the day I was just the scrawny dork in a pink speedo and a curtain (which really isn’t far from the truth).
So be it. Zero out of one so far, one to go. I explored the floor a bit and got some fun pics.
My plan was to be Savage on Thursday and Saturday, no costume on Friday, and the 5th Doctor from Doctor Who on Sunday. However, after 8 hours in my Savage gear (and being mocked for it by my hero) I decided to pack it up. The wig made me sweat a bunch, and the costume boots – while looking very cool – were not very good for my feet. I dressed normally and enjoyed the rest of my day as myself.
Friday I walked around a bunch. A BUNCH. I didn’t go to any panels, but observed more costumes and really tried to take in the convention floor.
As the day went on, I prepped for my plan to meet Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor from Doctor Who). A massive Doctor Who fan, my favorite Doctor is the Fifth Doctor:
I had to shave my beard…and I decided to go crazy and dye my hair blonde. Walking in the Gaslamp District, I found a hair salon to get the work done.
The lady shaved my beard with a straight razor. I anticipated this being a pleasant experience, but I don’t think she’d done it very often. It hurt like a motherfucker.
IT HURT LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER.
AND…the blonde dye job turned more into a strawberry blonde dye job.
So Saturday comes along. My girlfriend makes the trip from Anaheim and brings my (Bob Mitsch’s) 5th Doctor costume. While getting dressed…I broke the celery in half.
I still haven’t told Bob. He’s going to fucking flip.
Time was ticking. I got rapidly dressed and started to look for a nearby store to purchase some tape to mend the celery. I thought I knew where a CVS was but was having trouble. It was 80something degrees out, I’m running late, and physically running around San Diego in a shirt, sweater and jacket. Eventually I find another store with the goods and head back to the hotel to hopefully meet Doctor Who.
“How does this guy expect to meet Matt Smith and get a picture?”, you may be asking yourself.
Good question. There were literally thousands of people at the convention who certainly had the same desire. But how could that practically happen?
Well…I’m a pretty lucky guy. A friend of a friend of a friend is on a television show (a pretty cool one at that!) and was on the TV Guide Fan Favorites panel – WITH Mr. Matt Smith. I met this person at a party on the 4th of July. When I found out they were on the panel with The Doctor I made it clear: “You’re going to help me meet Matt Smith!!” My friend said that they would see what they could do.
The panel was in the hotel I was staying at, which was a definite plus. Me and a couple of friends were hanging out as close to the entrance to the panel as we were allowed. It got down to maybe ten minutes before the panel was set to begin and finally my TV pal showed up and led us all into the green room with everybody.
This was pretty darned exciting.
I enter the room. It is filled with activity, people talking and having a great time. Sitting down to my right is Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle, Dr. Horrible, nerd icon). A bit to my left is the BEAUTIFUL Jasika Nicole (Astrid from Fringe), straight on is Joel McHale (Winger from Community and Talk Soup)…and a bit further to the left is Doctor Who himself, Matt Smith.
I am the only person in the room wearing a costume.
I casually approach Matt’s general area as he is talking to a fellow, and his friend immediately notices my costume and enthusiastically approves. Matt kind of waves me over and his friend moves along.
Kev: Listen, I’m going to be honest, here. When you were cast as The Doctor I was like, “They’re fuckin’ Twilighting my show!”
Matt: “Who’s THIS guy?”, right?
Kev: But – you’re REALLY good! You’ve totally sold me. You’ve got it and I’m very happy you’re The Doctor.
Matt: Thanks, man! We should get a picture!
I asked my girlfriend to take our picture. Matt was going for the traditional “arm around the shoulders” shot, but I asked him if we could pose for our action/adventure series. I then took a picture of her with him. Matt told me to have a great Comic-Con and took off to get ready for the panel.
Couldn’t have gone better. The dude was very nice, gracious, and generally super cool. And I didn’t make an ass of myself.
Everybody started heading to the panel, but I really needed to process the event. I wouldn’t have been able to sit still for an hour and didn’t want to embarrass my TV pal who got me in.
THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEKEND.
…and then there were Zombies.
As promotion for the Walking Dead, a part of PetCo Park (not the actual field but the interior perimeter) was turned into an obstacle course filled with zombies. You and your group (ours was about 25 people) need to navigate from one “Safe Zone” to another.
This video from Gamespot doesn’t do it justice but it’s the best I have to offer. IT WAS AWESOME!!
(I’m not in this):
I had initially planned on staying well into Sunday for Doctor Who day at the Con, but man…The lines for the panel (and autographs, I heard) had already been started at 10pm the previous night. I didn’t really feel the need to spend the night sleeping on the ground for a chance to catch a glimpse of the dude I had met, had a small discussion with and took a picture with earlier in the day.
At 10:45pm Saturday night I left San Diego.
As of 11:30am on Wednesday, I almost have complete use of my legs back.
But it was worth it to get the pic with Matt. Hopefully I’ll be able to dye this back to my natural color, or else I’m bringing out the clippers.
Not Wearing A Sweater In July Next Year,