If the gargantuan size of San Diego Comic-Con was measured in units of alcohol, it could singlehandedly submerge a large continent under several feet of adult beverages. The pop-culture convention has grown so large, many companies are set to take advantage of the overflow by offering up alternative conventions which are cater to those who aren’t lucky enough to win the SDCC ticket lottery. Scoring entrance into the convention center is now a crap shoot that has become notoriously more difficult to win than an actual state lottery.
The full trailer for Con Man. (And you didn’t even have to wait in line to watch it.)
Enter The Nerd Machine. Using the umbrella of his pop-culture news and entertainment company, Zachary Levi (Heroes Reborn, Chuck, Tangled) created his own convention to take place alongside Comic-Con called Nerd HQ. Since its inaugural showing in 2011, Nerd HQ has grown into a popular staple amongst convention-goers thanks to the intimate panel setting and the fact one doesn’t have to sleep on concrete three weeks in advance just to see one’s favorite celebrities from a distance akin to the length of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Keeping on the subject of concrete for a moment longer, I would be shortchanging the Geek Outlaw community if I didn’t share the video from the wild rickshaw bike ride which transported me to Nerd HQ. If there is such a thing as a party on three bicycle wheels, I experienced the closest thing to it. I’ll let you watch the video to decide for yourself and as always, sincere apologies for the slightly shaky footage (a trike ride and a few vodka waters will have that effect).
Rollin’ with the Outlaw…
I attended Nerd HQ for the first time last year for a panel featuring Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Seth Green among a few others. I found the experience to be so worthwhile; I made it a point to try and attend again this year. Luckily, the Geek Outlaw name happened to find itself on a press invite list (this is what happens when people feel bad for you) and I was given the opportunity to attend certain panels without the need to buy tickets in Nerd HQ’s own lottery based-system. While I had grand plans of attending several panels, a few other appointments along with the fact I could no longer feel my legs by Sunday, prevented me from attending the other two events I had hoped to take in.
Fortunately, I managed to see what may have been one of the most entertaining panels, which happened to be for a new up and coming internet-television series called Con Man. The series stars Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk of Firefly fame and entails a couple of semi-washed up actors clinging to the fame of their short-lived sci-fi space opera series (ala Firefly). The premise is unique and the trailer looks promising as well. More importantly, the chemistry off-screen within the panel of actors provides some hope the same chemistry will transfer on-screen as well. The panel was hosted by Levi himself, and hints were dropped that he could possibly join the cast for a second season should there be enough demand for more episodes down the road.
Highlights from the 2015 Nerd HQ panel for Con-Man (laughs included).
Speaking of the man behind the Nerd HQ curtains, Levi himself is an extremely busy man. In addition to his new starting role in the resurrected NBC series, Heroes Reborn, he will also be hosting a new pop-culture-based game show titled, Geeks who Drink.
The aptly named series, which will be hosted by the Chuck alum, pits two teams of contestants against each other in a pound for pound (or ounce for ounce) face-off to see who can correctly answer the most pop-culture related trivia while also making sobriety an afterthought. Each team of two also receives added help from not-so-sober celebrity judges. Only security and thoughts of self-humiliation prevented Spunky from rushing the set and jumping over the bar to have her way with celebrity guest David Giuntoli (Grimm).
The entire set was actually set up to look like an incredibly nice pub and the studio audience sat in adjacent bar tables with all sorts of salty and sweet snacks. The best part? Each member of the audience also received one alcoholic beverage of their choice. Yes, one drink minimum for this show folks, for alas, show producers don’t want to be held liable for any potential bumper-car sessions post-recording. Despite the limits on our alcohol, the contestants and celebrities weren’t capped and it made for a surprisingly fun outing.
Nerd HQ wisely promoted the game show by allowing the SyFy network to sponsor the bars strategically placed throughout the venue. Of course, the Outlaw would have been remiss if he didn’t quench his thirst with an adult beverage or two.
Geeks Who Drink premieres Thursday, July 16th on SyFy channel at 11/10pm CST and if you have a sharp eye, you might be able to spot the Outlaw and Spunky Destructor in the background of the season’s third episode airing on July 30th. Based on guest star John DiMaggio, the episode we attended is appropriately titled “On a Bender.” And with that, you can kiss my shiny alcoholic brew.
(Stay tuned for even more exclusive Geek Outlaw SDCC coverage!)