Ah, a new year… That means a brand new edition of the Paleyfest the annual celebration at the Saban Theatre of television of the best in quality television. This year the celebration kicked off with a cast q and a of the television series Community also known as the last decent show on NBC! I kid, I kid…
Jack is a huge Community fan and headed out to check out the pop culture celebration. This year Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash, and Alison Brie were the main stars attending.
Jack being the huge Community fan, had an amazing time! Check out his full report after the jump!
Pop Pop! Hello Greendale Human Beings! Sorry, I couldn’t resist making a few Community references with my intro. Tonight I attended the Community Paleyfest event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. For the past three years, attending Paleyfest has been one of my favorite events of the year and for two of the past three years I have attended the Community event. Unlike conventions, Paleyfest provides an opportunity to watch episodes (or clips) with cast/crew from your favorite TV show and even have the chance to meet those very same cast members after a Q&A in a relaxed environment.
As of tonight, Community became the first show ever in the history of Paleyfest to come back three years (and in a row!). The previous two times the majority of the principal cast has showed up with the exception of two or three cast members: Alison Brie (absent at 2010 and 2011), Danny Pudi (missed 2010) and Yvette Nicole Brown (missed 2010).
As a result of my fond memories from previous Paleyfest events I finally decided to become a member and was thrilled at the announced lineup. For the first time this year, Paley Center members get priority seating and I love it! Now I don’t have to arrive ridiculously early to Paley Center events anymore.
Tonight I’m most excited to meet Alison Brie and I hope everyone shows up since I brought something for everyone to sign including a Childish Gambino CD (Donald Glover). The one thing I have learned from previous experiences is just because someone is announced doesn’t mean they will be there. Last year, both Will Ferrell and Adam McKay were announced to be at the Eastbound & Down event (I was indifferent because I absolutely adore the show), but there were several fans I met in line that were heartbroken when they didn’t show up. So be prepared because anything is possible at these events. Still, how often are you provided with an opportunity to meet the majority, if not, the entire cast at one event?
5:25- I parked my car near the Saban Theatre after paying $10 for parking.
5:29- After getting a stamp I waited in the member’s line and was maybe 20th in line when a gentleman started walking up and down the lines hocking cheap looking Community photos for $10. I was scared not because he was selling photos, but the fact he possessed an obscene amount of dandruff. I honestly don’t think this guy owned shampoo and conditioner. His black shirt was completely covered in dandruff around his collar. I hope I don’t have to see this guy again.
5:30- I began talking with the individuals around me about our love of Community and started discussing past Paleyfest events. We even broached the subject of the San Diego Comic Con, which made several people extremely frustrated because of how quickly tickets sold out this year (Yes, they are REALLY SOLD OUT). Still, it was fun discussing other fan friendly events.
5:50- We are notified by a Paleyfest staff member we will be let in soon.
6:00- Paley Center members are let in first and we get to snag the best seats possibly.
6:04- I snag an aisle seat in the front row since I bought an orchestra front ticket (seats in the first four rows). I look to my right and on the other side of the aisle is Dandruff guy. Now all I’m thinking is “Please someone rush the stage so I don’t have to stand next to this guy when the Q&A ends.”
6:19- I receive a text from one of my friends that she is working with Jennifer Lawrence today and she sends me a picture of Jennifer before an interview. Gosh darn it! My friend knows I have a huge crush on her. Oh, well these things happen.
6:23- I overhear the autograph dealers discussing strategy as they find their seats in the first few rows. Let me be honest, that’s fine if you collect autographs, but I truly despise people who only collect autographs to re-sell them. This is a fan event, so don’t ruin it for us.
6:45- Creepy dandruff guy is now hocking his photos in the Saban Theatre. You have got to be kidding me. He is randomly approaching people that don’t have anything and everyone is turning him down although I do hear a few “maybes.” I hope he gets kicked out.
7:00- Program begins with the Paleyfest intro. Shortly thereafter Dan Harmon introduces a brief clip from his proposed 1999 Fox pilot, Heat Vision and Jack starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Ron Silver as himself. If you haven’t seen the pilot, you are missing out. As a matter of fact at the first Community Paleyfest event I asked Dan Harmon about the pilot and if there was any chance of a movie and/or TV series. He discussed there is some stuff in the works, but nothing solid (I’m still hoping!).
This is where the night becomes a blur. Immediately after the clip, the next Community episode that will be airing (on March 15 at 8pm) is played. Afterwards the cast is slowly introduced one by one with each making a funny gesture.
Danny Pudi flashed everyone by taking off his shirt,
Joel McHale pretended to give everyone high fives in the front row (but just out of reach) before tossing out his water bottle to the audience,
and Alison Brie showed us some leg lifting up her dress higher and higher until she was stopped by her fellow cast members. When Jim Rash a.k.a. Dean Pelton a recent Oscar winner came on stage, the entire audience gave him a standing ovation, which was pretty cool. Shortly thereafter, his little friend made an appearance and he proudly joked about his special award. Needless to say, everyone was in great spirits.
After discussing Chang Tongue, #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, the #OccupyNBC movement, Alison Brie talking about Yvette Nicole Brown’s breasts, the felt goatees, and other fun stuff about Community, the moderator turned to the audience for questions. If you missed the livestream of the Q&A, didn’t attend the event and/or want to re-live the experience, you can check out the Q&A on Hulu beginning March 15. Questions ranged from how old Abed is to what would the movie be if there were #SixSeasonsAndAMovie.
The highlight of the Q&A was the last question of the night when a girl wearing a Greendale Community College sweatshirt told Danny Pudi she was his favorite character while trying to take a picture of the cast as she held the microphone. Immediately, Danny Pudi motioned for her from the back of the theater to approach the stage so he could hug her, but she stood in the back motionless. Instead, Danny hopped off the stage and ran into the back to embrace her. It was honestly one of the coolest moments I have ever seen at a Q&A. He popped back on stage smoothly and answered her question.
Then it happened. The Q&A ended and now people from the woodwork bum rushed the stage. One guy literally came from the 20th row to stand right next to me and all I did was stand up. This is when the real fun begins because posters, DVDs, photos, programs, etc. are being pushed and shoved from every imaginable angle (literally). At some events, I have seen talent immediately walk off stage because of the chaos, but generally most are pretty relaxed as long as the fans don’t get too aggressive. And whatever you do, DO NOT POKE ANYONE otherwise you ruin it for everyone!
The cool thing was Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie and Yvette Nicole Brown literally went on their hands and knees to sign autographs. I even saw Academy Award winner Jim Rash, Ken Jeong and Dan Harmon as well, but they didn’t sign as long as the others. Everyone was super accommodating.
I was able to snag a photo with Gillian Jacobs and received autographs from Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jim Rash. Now I have officially met every single cast member from Community, which is pretty cool (I had met Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, and Donald Glover along with everyone else who attended the 2010 event). Every single cast member took their time with each fan request and seemed relaxed thanking us all for coming out. They really enjoyed the experience just as much as the fans did.
My two favorite moments were when Alison Brie came over as she was being rushed out and signed my program. She accidentally bumped into Joel McHale’s waist and joked about how awkward it was signing that autograph (turned out to be her last autograph in the Saban Theatre) as her publicist pulled her out. Glad I finally met her, but I was hoping more for a picture. Even though security kept escorting various cast members out, Yvette Nicole Brown and Danny Pudi were troopers.
They were there until the very end signing for everyone they possibly could. Talk about people who really care about their fans! The entire cast of Community is seriously one of the coolest casts you could ever meet and they truly do know how to treat their fans.
At 9:10, I was finally out of the theatre and couldn’t have been happier. In total I received 16 autographs on my Community Season 1 DVD,
Community Season 2 DVD,
a signed personal photo of Joel McHale from Paleyfest 2010
and the Paleyfest program. In the next week or so I shall discuss my other upcoming Paleyfest adventures. Until then, happy autograph hunting!
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