Today was a new adventure in a place I had never been with a person I have admired for years but barely know. Today I was out in Rosemont at the convention center participating in a version of Comic Con called Wizard World. Now, this is a realm that I am not all that familiar. The only tidbits I know are mostly because I am married to a man who reads these types of things (books, comics, blogs), watches this type of TV and plays these types of games. My husband has gone to the big Comic Con in San Diego before. In fact, last year when he was at Comic Con, I was here in Chicago at my Phish shows.
We all have our own things…
But I digress. I came home from one of my many trips last month and Tim told me our long time comedy hero and kind of new - dare I say, friend? - pal, Joel Hodgson had sent Tim a message via the ol’ Twitter that he was hoping to get a hold of me.
Me. Rebecca Hanson.
What tha…? Joel gave Tim his phone number and asked that I call him.
Me. Rebecca Hanson.
Now - it is not like Joel and I had never met before. Tim, our friends Ross and Nikki, and I met Joel, Trace and TV’s Frank last fall while they were in town for a panel about MST3K. You can refresh your memory about us meeting them right here, friends, in case you do not remember this historic event in our family. Tim and Joel follow each other on Twitter. Joel made a point to wish Tim and I a Merry Christmas, which was such a sweet present for us. Neither of us really expected to hear too much out of him.
Until last month. When he asked Tim to have me call him.
Me. Rebecca Hanson.
I was nervous but I called him. Yes - I called Joel Hodgson. He gave me his phone number. I totally called it. He was in need of some assistance on the final day of Wizard World while he was in Chicago and for some reason, thought spending a day in a booth at a convention with me would be a pleasant way to spend a day in a booth at a convention.
THE HONOR WOULD BE ALL MINE!!!! I tried to calmly say to him over the phone. I don’t know how cool I was. I like to think I was totes cool but… who knows.
We planned to meet up for drinks on Thursday, August 21st, in the evening so he could see Tim, too, and we could meet his friend, Julie, who would be helping him on Friday and Saturday.
We totally met up for drinks and totally had a great time. It turns out that Julie is a completely amazing woman who lives in Sioux Falls, SD, and long story short - we found out that she and I know mutual people and she is doing some work on the movie I was in last summer. All four of us: Joel, Julie, Tim and I exchanged stories of our Midwestern upbringing, the biz that is show, food, Chicago tales - you name it. It was a lovely time. Tim and I left the bar trying to be cool but totally geeking out that WE JUST HUNG OUT WITH JOEL HODGSON!
Us. Tim and Rebecca.
So - today, I woke up. I was kind of nervous. I thankfully had my trusty Diet Coke with my very best friend’s name on it so that was a great way to start the day! :
(Erica, by the way, was totally rocking it out at a Triathalon today so… you know, she’s amazing!)
I met up with Joel and put my Guest Wristband on for me. What a gent!
He, of course, said something hilarious while putting my wristband on me but I was fairly nervous at this point so I do not remember his hilarious eloquence. He taught me the spiel and kinda told me what I would be doing today and we headed over to the convention center.
We ate breakfast in the artist green room and I saw a few people I actually recognized (like, ‘stars’ I have watched on TV for years) so I felt a little less like a hack being there. We then rocked it out to Joel’s booth. It was cool because everywhere we went we had a type of bodyguard/escort type of person who lead the way and made sure people didn’t swarm Joel.
So we spent the morning behind this table. I greeted everyone who came over and helped them decide what they’d like and then Joel would sign something for them or take a picture with them. He always asked people their names, shook their hand, chatted with them for a good while, made everyone laugh and thanked them for seeing him. We laughed a lot and met a lot of sweet people.
Joel had a Q&A this afternoon. Just him. He killed it. It was so great. I learned a lot more about MST3K. He was also just so damn funny. He had all 300 (or so) of us laughing and laughing.
After the Q&A we went back to Joel’s booth and met more lovely folks. Thankfully, Joel was enjoying the bits I was doing, too, and laughing at some of my dumb stuff. You know I was laughing at his brilliant stuff. Tom Servo, however, was rather quiet all day…
You know I kind of teared up when he pulled pieces of Tom Servo out of his suitcase and started assembling him this morning. You know I did. And knowing that Joel not only created Tom Servo (and the entire MST3K Universe) but is honestly one of the kindest people I have ever met makes the whole thing all the sweeter. Once again, had you told College Rebecca that one day she would not only meet Joel but have him like her and ask her to spend a day with him, she would not have even believed it to even be possible.
Current Rebecca can hardly believe it happened either.
But she is so happy and thankful it did! Mange takk, Joel! For everything!