April 30, 2013
This past weekend I went to the Chiller Theatre 2013 Horror Convention. This was my second year in a row and you can read about the 2012 con right here.
It was a total blast. I met and took pictures with Zacherle (The Cool Ghoul), John “Good Times” and “West Wing” Amos, Burt “Paulie from Rocky” Young, Jerry “The King” Lawlor, WWE icon, and Akira Takarada, more on him later. There were- literally- hundreds more guests, including The Monkees, Tia Carrera, and Jake Lamotta. Calling this a horror convention is very, very inaccurate.
I want to say at the outset that this was a ton of fun. The dealer’s rooms were huge and had tons of great stuff that I spent too much money on. The guests were all amazingly friendly and while it was very, very crowded, it was not too crowded to move.
I wrote all about the great time I had last year, so instead of repeat myself, I’ll present some of the odder things about the convention this year.
- Jeremy Miller and Tracy Gold from Growing Pains were there signing autographs. They were the younger brother and sister on the show. Jeremy Miller has gone on to do pretty much nothing. Due to the setup of his area of the convention, I had to pass his table seven or eight times during the day. I never, not once saw him with a fan at his table. He was sitting next to Keith Coogan, best and only known from Adventures in Babysitting and Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. That guy had tons of fans. (BTW- he’s the grandson of Uncle Fester himself, Jackie Coogan.)
- Tracy Gold had a pretty decent number of people stopping by her. And I have to say, I can see why. At 43 she looked great. I looked her up on imdb and she has not distinguished herself either, but I wouldn’t mind taking a picture with her… if it didn’t cost $20.
- Across from the hot Tracy Gold (yes, I mean that) was Priscilla Barnes. She was in 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects but nothing else since. And as good as Tracy Gold looked, that’s how bad Priscilla Barnes looked. You might remember her from Three’s Company, but you wouldn’t recognize her here. It isn’t that she is now 57, it is that her face looks like ground beef, three days old.
- The saddest sight at the convention was Burt Young. He’s 72 and he appears to have had stroke. While he was signing, he didn’t seem to really be all there, and one eye looked blown out compared to the other. Later that night, Rocky and Rocky II were on cable. There was no comparison. Burt was not taking pictures, and I would have felt bad to ask him.
- I also would have felt bad to ask Greg “The Hammer” Valentine for a picture because for the second year in a row I am sure he was drunk. And sadly, he was not an invited guest, like “The King,” he and some other broken down wrestlers rented the table to sell autographs. Brutus Beefcake was there, looking like a total a-hole.
- Next in the total a-hole category was Todd Bridges, Willis from Different Strokes. He had an attitude of self-absorption and importance about him that was just wrong coming from someone whose claim to fame is being part of Gary Coleman’s catch phrase. (“Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”) His substance abuse issues are legendary, and he was accompanied by his bodyguard/sober coach everywhere he went, even on a smoke break. In case you are interested, he devoured a whole box of Tastykake Cocoanut Juniors while we were there.
- This brings me to a humorous but off-color bathroom anecdote. Hey kids, time to switch to Barney for a couple of minutes. When I went into the men’s room, the first person I passed on his way out was Todd Brides bodyguard/sober coach. I immediately panicked, envisioning Todd Bridges lighting up with Lorenzo Lamas somewhere. I hope he made it back in time. Anyway, while I was in there, someone walked in and loudly announced “I can’t use a urinal, my cock is so big I need a stall.” After an awkward pause, he apologized.
- In The Monkees room, everyone was swarming around Mickey Dolenz while Peter Tork (Peter “The” Tork- who gets that reference?) sat all alone at an empty table. Despite being a huge fan of the Monkees, the whole thing felt very off and I left without taking a picture with them.
- I would have taken a picture with Tia Carrera if she had not priced herself out of the market by charging $30 for a picture, which was $5 to $10 more than anyone else asked for.
- While there far less people walking around in costumes this year, Batman and The Penguin returned from last year, and a guy dressed like a member of Kiss was walking around. Totally ruining the effect was the fact that he was walking around with his wife, who was pushing their baby around in a stroller.
Bring on 2014!
And speaking of horror and castle-themed hotels, we passed a Knight’s Inn on the way to the convention, and it looked like a condemned, filthy piece of hotel-like excrement. Check out Allan Keyes’ Knight’s Inn blog here.