Archive for the ‘Tales From the Convention Floor’ Category

Tales From the Convention Floor – Part 3: Larry Hagman

2012/12/31

As we say goodbye to 2012, we also bid a sad farewell to actor Larry Hagman, best known to television audiences for his roles as Major Anthony “Tony” Nelson in I Dream of Jeannie and ruthless oil baron John Ross “J.R.” Ewing in Dallas, the latter of he recently revisited for the 2012 revival of the series.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hagman during Fan Expo Canada 2011, where he, decked out in a cowboy hat and “Team Hagman” shirt, was doing his best to keep the promotional machine rolling by signing so-called Hagman Dollars, novelty $10000 bills featuring a picture of J.R. Ewing on the front and Southfork Ranch on the back promoting organ donation and part of whose proceeds were being donated to charity.

hagmandollar001

hagmandollar001

What made this encounter particularly memorable to me was what happened after I’d received my autograph and reached out to shake his hand. He politely refused to do so, not out of ego but consideration: he was feeling a bit under the weather that day and didn’t want to risk giving me anything. But he said that he would totally be up for a fistbump. Yes, that’s right, people: I fistbumped J.R. Ewing. How awesome is that? 😀

larryhagman001

Coolest. 79-year-old. EVER.

Godspeed, Mr. Hagman. You will be missed.

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Tales From the Convention Floor – Part 2: Christopher Lloyd

2012/08/29

During the Fan Expo Canada 2012 convention in Toronto, Ontario last week, I was presented with an opportunity that I never imagined would come my way: the chance to meet the incomparable Christopher Lloyd, who had major roles in two of my all-time favorite movies, Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

While he’s built his career on playing energetic, intense, and eccentric characters, Mr. Lloyd proved to be pretty low-key and calm in person, was very friendly and sociable, and gave off a distinctly soothing, grandfatherly vibe. When I mentioned that I’d heard he rarely makes public appearances – something his entry on Wikipedia makes a point of mentioning – he responded with a simple “I do make a few of them.”, all while maintaining the subtle-but-perpetual warm smile he seemed to have reserved for everyone in attendance.

Two additional things worth mentioning about Christopher Lloyd: first, he has one of the most legible celebrity signatures that I’ve encountered in the 14 or so years I’ve been actively collecting them. (And the guy’s almost 74 years old!)

I’m hoping to get Michael J. Fox to sign the other half someday.

Second, he has the uncanny ability to make pictures that even I appear in look incredibly awesome. (The DeLorean time machine is just icing on the cake.)

There definitely isn’t enough room to get up to 88 in the convention hallway.

Tales From the Convention Floor – Part 1: Sgt. Slaughter

2011/09/20

This past weekend, at the 2011 Montreal Comiccon, I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Remus, better known to children of the 80s as Sgt. Slaughter, a member of the World Wrestling Federation (since rechristened World Wrestling Entertainment) who served as the inspiration for the character of the same name from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

Dr. Mindbender and Destro’s second attempt to clone a Cobra Emperor was an unmitigated disaster.

In spite of his fearsome reputation and towering stature, the good sergeant was friendly and polite. He also didn’t bark at people in that intimidating, raucous voice that he’s invariably seen using on television and in the cartoons. (Whether this counts as a relief or a disappointment is strictly a matter of opinion.) His strength, however, is no exaggeration; shaking hands with him was akin to sticking my extremity into a vice.

As anyone who’s read his Wikipedia entry knows, information on Sgt. Slaughter’s private life is distinctly lacking. Now, while I’m not a nosy person by nature, there’s one nagging question that’s bothered me for years and which I felt compelled to ask: did he ever serve any time in the actual military? His response:

“(I served) six years. In the U.S. Marines.” – Sgt. Slaughter

So now you know. And knowing’s half the battle. 😉

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