The Miami Beach Convention Center was so much bigger and roomier than the Miami Airport Convention Center. Last year, I felt constricted, hot, and claustrophobic due to the smaller main hall with over many vendors and 40,000 plus attendees walking around. This year, with the expanded, AC rooms, it felt more comfortable and more relaxing. There were some special media guests that showed up this year that I was more than excited to meet up with. Here are the people I met.
Caroll Spinney and his wife Debra Spinney
Like most people, I grew up with Sesame Street. I would recall as a kid watching Sesame Street in the morning watching my favorite characters such as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Bert and Ernie, and more. So, I was even more thrilled to meet up with the man who was a big impact of many people's childhoods. Caroll and Debra were wonderful people who answered some of my questions about working on Sesame Street, meeting with Cheryl Blaylock recently, Caroll's recent documentary I Am Big Bird, and telling him that I'm acquainted with Caseen Gaines, the author of Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse. Interesting thing to note, they're both huge fans of Pee-wee's Playhouse. That's beyond awesome! Here's my autograph of Caroll.
Bill Farmer has been the current voice of Goofy and Pluto for over 25 years. He is also the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on Robot Chicken, Foghorn Leghorn and Sylvester the Cat on Space Jam, and currently is Doc on the new Disney Junior cartoon The 7Ds. He was a great guy who talked to me about being Goofy, The 7Ds, and even told me he started recording as Goofy for Kingdom Hearts III a few days ago. He was an amazing man with a great sense of humor. He even did the Goofy voice for me when greeting me. I was so gleefully joyous when he did that. Growing up with Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie, An Extremely Goofy Movie, and House of Mouse, it was an incredible experience to meet Bill. Here's my autograph of Bill.
Rodger is mostly known for voicing Squidward Tentacles in SpongeBob SquarePants. However, he's also known for voicing Toxie in Toxic Crusaders, Professor Membrane in Invader Zim, Dr. Light in Teen Titans, and Dr. Anrak from Heavy Metal. Here's my autograph of Rodger on my Invader Zim DVDs alongside Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons.
Rodger Bumpass was a really cool guy, but the highlight meeting him were the two teenage boys that were getting their autographs from him while I was waiting for my turn. One of the boys, who was dressed as the blue Scout from Team Fortress 2, told Rodger about that when he was an orphan, his earliest and happiest memories growing up was watching SpongeBob SquarePants. The other teenage boy, who seemed to be friends with the blue Scout, also mentioned about classic episodes of SpongeBob such as "Band Geeks". Rodger was very pleased hearing these stories. This moment reminded me of the two teenage boys I saw meeting with Veronica Taylor telling her about their memories growing up with Pokemon last year. Afterwards, I went over to Rodger's Q&A.
It was probably my favorite panel of the con. There were so many people at this con, both little kids and adults. I saw between the two teenage boys and a teenage girl with her 9-year-old brother. Rodger came by answering many questions and doing his Squidward voice. Some of them include what were his favorite episodes, the upcoming SpongeBob movie, and more. He even answered some of my questions regarding about working on Invader Zim and Toxic Crusaders. But my favorite moment in the panel were the people saying quotes from the shows for Rodger to answer in his Squidward voice. Some of them include "Are you finish with those errands?", "Is mayonnaise an instrument?", and "You like Krabby Patties, don't you Squidward?". Looking at the happy, laughing faces, it showed me how big the impact that SpongeBob has left in all of them. It's hard to remember how influential SpongeBob was since it's running longer than it should have with the newer episodes being either mediocre or awful. However, not ONE person brought up ANY questions or comments about Squidward being tortured in the later episodes. Everyone was talking about classic episodes from Seasons 1-3 like "Dying for Pie", "Bank Geeks", "One Bite", "SB-129", and "Help Wanted". I saw that the love of SpongeBob is still as strong as ever.
Next, I met up with Roger Cook, who was a director for a lot of Hanna Barbera and Filmation cartoons. Afterwards, I caught up with the people I met at Florida Supercon last year such as Rikki Simons and Richard Horvitz from Invader Zim and Lloyd Kaufman, the president of Tromaville. They're still great people and it was wonderful to meet up with them again. After that, I met Ernie Hudson, the actor who played as Winston from Ghostbusters. While I didn't have the funds to have a picture or autograph of Ernie, I did tell him how much Ghostbusters meant to me. He smiled and gave me a hug. Now I can say that I received a hug from a Ghostbuster. After that, I went to the big voice acting panel ran by William Salyers, the voice of Rigby from Regular Show, Dana Synder, the voice of Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Bill Farmer, Richard Horvitz, and Rikki Simons. It was a ton of fun hearing the questions from the audience and the witty answers from the voice actors. After the panel, I met with William and Dana and got their pictures with them for free.
Afterwards, I went to a Pokemon trivia question panel, a video game room, a classic arcade and pinball room, and saw all the cool vendors full of toys, comic books, t-shirts, and more. Then, I headed home having to go to work the next day. Overall, I had an amazing time at this year's Florida Supercon. Not sure if I'll go back next year, but who knows. But I'm hoping to go to a special event coming this October at New York City. More details about it another time.
That's all for now. Old School Lane will be taking a short hiatus soon due to moving to a new apartment. But, I should have a new episode of Turtle Talk and Casual Chats up soon. Plus, I'm busy with the Re-Open Nickelodeon Studios Facebook page doing a miniseries called Nicksmissal discussing about all the rejected Nickelodeon pilots and concepts that were never picked up. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the first episode down below.
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.