One of the highlights of any Supernatural convention is, of course, seeing the actors live on stage. They generally do panels, which is con-speak for sitting there with a mic and answering audience questions.

In theory, anyway. Some of these people should not be allowed to run a panel by themselves. A show, sure; a panel, no. Sebastian Roché has the attention span of a fruit fly on meth, and without a babysitter will bounce around and produce a stream of early-Robin-Williams-esque comedy monologue. You can remind him that he's supposed to be doing a Q&A, but unless you're standing right next to him the whole time, it'll go in one ear and out the other.

(Not having a sitter also deprives Roché of one of his favorite things, which is a friend to cheerfully molest. There's a running joke to the effect that the main difference between Roché and Balthasar, the character he plays, is that Roché already speaks French and wouldn't have to ask how you say ménage à 'twelve'. He speaks a bunch of languages, in fact, and is notorious for doing things like teaching the audience how you say 'orgy' en français, which is why his panel was noted in the schedule as being unsuitable for children.)

Vegascon was wedged in between shooting blocks for season nine. Jared and Jensen had evidently finished shooting Friday night, hopped a plane to Nevada, and turned up for autographs, panel, and photo ops on Saturday on what may have been zero hours of sleep. This might explain why Jensen is so entertained by things like a cowbell and a slightly wobbly chair.

(Perhaps I should explain the cowbell. And also possibly why Rob Benedict is wearing what appears to be a blue polyester tuxedo and aviator glasses. See, Rob Benedict also fronts what turns out to be a perfectly functional rock band -- I expected to be able to compliment them mainly on the sheer volume of noise they produce, but they're actually quite good. So naturally they spent the entire weekend cosplaying as the kind of band that would make Spinal Tap piss themselves laughing. A cowbell is involved for the usual Christopher Walken-related reasons.)

Because of timing, we didn't get a panel with Jared, Jensen, and Misha together. Which is kind of a shame. If you've never seen the three of them together out of character, this bit at Dallascon in 2013 just about sums it up. Misha comes on stage with a small pig, because why not? Nothing in his body language indicates that it has crossed his mind that this might be odd. I am unclear on where he's acquired said pig, but he does at one point refer to its handler as if she's out in the audience, so presumably it's a local critter. Jared sees this and promptly goes hey! pig! cool! can I hold it? like an enormous mischievous 12-year-old. Then they both immediately pass it off to Jensen, who sits there dumbfounded for a moment before asking reasonable questions like, "Why is there a pig in my lap?" followed by, "Why is this happening to me?"

The high point -- or the nadir, depending on how you look at it -- of the J2 panel at Vegascon was when a young lady asked them, if Sam and Dean were the sorts of pagan gods they deal with on the show, what kind of altar or sacrifices would summon them forth? Except she didn't phrase it particularly carefully. A word to the wise: English is littered with words and phrases that have a secondary, euphemistic sexual meaning. If you're going to ask questions of a pair of guys who have been up all night and are well aware that they are speaking to the kind of audience who shows up to fan conventions in Sin City already carrying their 32 oz plastic flutes of alcoholic smoothie, you might want to avoid any phrasing that involves the verb "to come".

(Fan: *flustered* No, I mean, what would make you arrive--

The entire room died.

Jensen, I might add, was rather more talkative than he normally is, probably because he'd swapped out sleep for about nine cups of coffee by that point. Ordinarily he's pretty quiet and responds to Jared's antics mostly with funny looks.

There are other amusing bits. A lady from South Carolina asked them something near the end, and the both of them decided they were way more interested in her accent than in the query. Jensen's pretty good at it -- and his demonstration ("You are just as stupid as your father, God bless his heart.") is in fact an accurate dialectical use of the phrase. It's not in particularly common use in Texas, where he's from, but it's widespread in the rest of the Deep South.


  1. I've never managed to get to a con that had Sebastian, but I've received the general idea that if you look up "louche" in a dictionary, there's a picture of him in lieu of definition.

    I've never managed to get to a con with J2, either, come to that. UK cons pretty much suck out loud.

    Regarding the last paragraph, the English version is "Oh, *bless*", to be delivered in a tone indicating either longsuffering fondness or profound scorn, depending on the object. So, probably not much difference from the Southern...


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