The 21st century is all about the celebration of fandom and convention culture. There’s nothing cooler than nerding out about your favorite show, actor, book, or cause. With conventions being part of the mainstream, Supernatural alumni Richard Speight, Jr, and Rob Benedict have taken con culture a step further by creating a digital series called Kings of Con, currently streaming on Comic-Con HQ. The scripted series is loosely based on their real experiences, but takes a comedic approach to the convention world.
After playing roles on the fan favorite television series Supernatural, Speight (archangel Gabriel) and Benedict (Chuck Shurley) became regulars on the Supernatural convention circuit. Eventually they came to front these weekend events, with Speight emceeing alongside Benedict and his band Louden Swain. As well as the numerous Supernatural cons they participate in each year, Speight and Benedict have also been involved in Comic-Con and other conventions in various capacities for many years.
These actors know what it’s like to address an audience at a panel, sign autographs for excited fans, pose in a ridiculous manner for photo ops, and get close and personal at meet and greets. They also know the other side of con life—spending half your weekends on the road at hotels, flying all over the country, being hurried through back hallways and service elevators, eating lots of hotel food, and spending time with other actors doing the same thing. Kings of Con gives us a glimpse of this life, but not in the way you might be expecting.
Kings of Con is not a behind-the-scenes reality show, but a scripted series in which Speight and Benedict play actors who are famous during the 13 weekends a year they spend at fan conventions. Like Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Speight and Benedict play fictionalized versions of themselves. The characters aren’t the actors we’ve come to know and love, but exaggerated adaptations who have the ability to make us laugh and cringe at the same time. In the first few episodes of this single-camera comedy, Speight and Benedict are joined by Supernatural alumni Kim Rhodes, Kurt Fuller, Osric Chau, Matt Cohen, Alaina Huffman, and Mitch Pileggi. Expect a host of other familiar faces throughout the series.
The 10-episode series was initially funded through a Kings of Con crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo, and is available through the new digital network Comic-Con HQ. New episodes air every Tuesday at 12am on Comic-Con HQ. Kings of Con gets fan culture, so naturally they have an aftershow. After you get your fill of Kings of Con, be sure to watch Kings of Conversation on Tuesdays at 7pm PST on Comic-Con HQ or through facebook live. Whether you’re experienced or just con-curious, you won’t be able to resist Kings of Con, as Speight and Benedict create comedic storytelling amid the culture of our times.