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NYCC: The Venture Bros. Panel Was Awesome, Here Are Some Details


I was lucky enough to get a great seat in the IGN Theater yesterday at New York Comic Con, and yes, I’m bragging about it. Because I waited on the super long line to get into the DC Animated Films panel (more on that here), which was excellent, but I mostly didn’t want to risk getting stuck in a bad seat for The Venture Bros. panel featuring its creators, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick. Before you join us after the jump for any possible spoilers or new plot details, be aware: there are none. The fifth season is currently being written, with four scripts completed. However, if you have ever listened to the commentary on the DVDs, I can tell you that this panel was exactly like that: lots of hilarious digression, lots of joking, lots of familiar character voices, and almost nothing about the show itself. Okay, there was some information about the upcoming season … but not much. That said, this panel made me want to write an honest-to-goodness, pen-on-paper fan letter to Doc and Jackson because it was so, so funny.

Jackson kicked off the panel by saying, more or less, “We’ve got so much nothing for you!” And this is because all their new stuff simply does not exist yet. But they did read (and mock) questions that were posed online, and here are a few things they did say:

They had no revelations along the lines of “Is 21 Hank’s father?” (The answer to that is no, he is not, but he is a sort of “spiritual father.”) But they did say that Venturestein would be back and that Jackson had just finished writing for him. There would also be more of Col. Gentleman’s dog Mischa, whose costumes in the fifth season would be inspired by buildings: “the Chrysler Building, Notre Dame” etc. Jackson also revealed that the character of Brick Frog was created when he was eight years old when he threw together a costume for Halloween one year and came to the conclusion: “I guess I’m Brick Frog.”

Other things that were tiny revelations: Despite what they said in their DVD commentary, there is no easter egg on the Season One DVD. And the name of the guy from “Tag Sale” who was looking for girlie mags is Augustus St. Cloud. And Ghost Robot is not dead, because according to Doc, “Can you really kill a robot? Or a ghost?”

Another subject that had nothing to do with the actual show, but is certainly related to it was the pressing question: “What exactly is a rusty venture?” This question has actually been answered on the show by Brock Sampson, and the answer was the same at the panel: A rusty venture is when “you masturbate until your penis is red.” (Hence, “rusty.”) The real question was from which character the panelists would like to receive a rusty venture. First, they offered choices: Shore Leave, 21/Gary, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, or H.E.L.P.E.R. They immediately eliminated the sole female, because she was too “obvious.”

Jackson said that Shore Leave would give “the best rusty venture,” but he still wants one from Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. Doc’s answer was a bit more nuanced, saying that he would choose 21/Gary over H.E.L.P.E.R. because the cuddling would be way better, plus a robot wouldn’t offer the same emotional connection. Not easy to argue with that. But he then added: “Shore Leave mouth all the way.”

Doc also recounted experiences he’s had in his apartment building with the elderly residents, including a story that, for some reason, has not already become an episode of The Venture Bros. Apparently, a 90-year-old woman named Mary was a “kept woman” of the mob and has been taken care of by them her whole adult life. And Doc says that she must have been SO HOT back in the day. Well, if those guys aren’t going to write about that, then I will, damnit. And I’d be very surprised (and, frankly, disappointed) if something about the ashes of Doc’s late cat being made into pixie sticks or seasoning doesn’t make into Season Five, because he told that story, too, and it was demented.

But the things that had nothing to do with the show were probably the most entertaining. “Doc and Jackson Tell Stories” needs to become a weekly podcast, like, yesterday. Because they are the kind of people who don’t have an Internet hookup at home so they aren’t using it to look at things that are “90% false” (that was Doc), spend too much time on the Huffington Post getting angry and writing blogs that will never be read (that was Jackson), and watch hours and hours and hours of America’s Next Top Model, Millionaire Matchmaker, and Project Runway. Guys: I will come to Titmouse myself and produce this thing for you if you let me.

And it was probably all those reality TV marathons that made the highlight of the non-Venture-related segments possible: Doc’s List of Things He Never Wants to Hear People Say Again. Here is the complete list.

1. Hot mess
2. Literally (in non-literal situations)
3. Totes (“Say ‘totally’ or say nothing”)
5. Ridonkulous
6. Awesomesauce/awesomepants (anything with “sauce” or “pants”)
7. In your face
8. Rocking out (because it’s such a “mom” thing to say)
9. It is what it is (“Basically, you just lost an argument. ‘It is what it is.'”)
10. Conversate
11. Underwhelmed (“A real word that means ‘meh’,” at which point he added “meh” to his list)
12. Sick puppy (“The dog’s fine.”)
13. Big time
14. Take it to the next level
15. Get your [blank] on
16. Go big or go home
17. Wow factor (“Unless you’re Tim Gunn … or Nina Garcia”)
18. Pure win
19. RAWK
20. Bring your A-game (“I was gonna bring meh, but I brought my A-game”)

I was really surprised that “Throw under the bus” and “I’m not here to make friends” didn’t make this list, and have you ever noticed how often people say “at that/this point”? A lot. they say it a lot.

Here is the takeaway from the Venture Bros. panel: Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick have a hilarious rapport, and it shows in the wonderful randomness that makes The Venture Bros. so uniquely entertaining. And judging by how much better every season gets, Season 5 can’t not be awesome. Also: I will never get over watching people who do cartoon voices do those voices in person.

(Top pic not from NYCC. Camera phones do not take great pictures in the IGN Theater. The original is by Shannon Cottrell and can be seen here.)

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