Review: 90’s Con
Well, this is the time of year so many of us look forward to: snow is becoming a distant memory, seasonal depression is somewhat at bay, Wrestlemania is around the corner but more importantly…it’s convention time! I’ve recently moved to a different town after my recent divorce so this is the time of year I have been looking forward to the most because now I’m within the shadow of NYC, MD, NJ, DC, and much to amazement…Hartford CT. Not normally a city I‘d consider going to but when I’ve heard about this big show called 90’s Con, celebrating all the weird and phat nostalgia of my least favorite decade. Plenty of positive buzz around this convention and I knew someday I’d make it out. I just didn’t realize how soon. Shane Doherty here, Jason Marsden there, and finally the name who I knew I couldn’t miss: Dave Coulier.
Upon learning that this show was a mere three hours away and had received extremely positive critical buzz the devious year, I knew I had to make it my goal to attend. Knowing that a few friends were attending also helped make that decision much easier. New convention? Check. Town I’ve never been to? Major check. Friends? Oh yeah, that’s a quick way to get me to a convention for sure. I expected a fun time filled with (hopefully) positive memories but I didn’t expect to be so shocked, surprised and left with an overwhelming feeling of extreme joy.
You know the drill, enough riff-raff, let’s get this party started with a rundown of all the fun…Fist a rundown:
The convention itself was held in the Connecticut Convention Center, which is a very large place and the convention packed in everything it could in every nook and cranny. Photo op stations included phone booths, giant tv, a MoonMan, and other fun free things that provided attendees many fun memories and fun photos. After all, what’s a convention without those fun group shots with your friends to post on Instagram? 90’s Con knew their audience and wanted to pack in as much as they could. Panels, a full vendor room, a costume contest, a live DJ, and even fan after party on Saturday night. I didn’t make it to the after party like I had planned, but from what I heard, it was quite the phat time.
Lots of great vendors, as I had said before. I only grabbed two things though. A GI Joe Classified Zarana figure and some pins from Night Owl Designs, an awesome couple who I was surprised to find out are local favorites right here in PA! If you see them at future shows, stop by and chat with Nicole and Nicole, and grab an awesome creation! I was able to grab a few cool pins on Friday. One pin would’ve come in handy for a certain photo op…if I had remembered it. More later…awwww here it goes!
Now onto the celebrities!
The first celebrity I met was none other than the host of Double Dare, Marc Summers. Marc had a constant line and with good reason. He greeted everyone with a handshake, a smile and "What's your name? What do you do?". Upon hearing that, I was 6 years again. Marc had a lot of energy and loved to chat with everyone who stopped by. Marc and I got to even discuss Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon being guests on his show.
Jason Marsden is a great character on the screen and off it. His line did not end on Friday and I'm sure the rest of the weekend as well. Jason gave every person who came to meet him his undivided attention and when kids were around, he'd put a Binx the Cat puppet on his hand, do the memorable voice from Hocus Pocus and play around. It was great to see Jason so invested in the people who came by to meet him. Now, of course being a fan of Ghostbusters, I had to talk his ear off about Extreme Ghostbusters and even Ecto Cooler! Jason was a real joy to meet and we even discussed his dissapoiuntment in Garrett's action figure not being released, especially due to how it would've been great representation for disabled kids to have a character to relate to.
Yes! The real main reason I had to make it out. I've gone on record saying that I always preferred Dave Coulier's depiction of Peter Venkman on Real Ghostbusters more than I did Lorenzo Music. Certain;ly no personal slight against the late great and very beloved Lorenzo but the Garfield voice always distracted me. So naturally, much like Jason, I had to ask about a billion questions. Dave seemed very shocked and appreciative that I would say he was my favorite Venkman and had a few fun stories about recording with Maurice LaMarche, Frank Welker and Arsenion Hall. Dave had said they all had the best time and given they were all standup comedians, the laughs never ended. I could've talked Dave's ear off and listen to about a million more stories but I didn't want to hold up the line. But it was so great to meet him, shake his hand and even reunite him with our pal Slimer for a photo!
Jason Preistly and Shannen Doherty:
I'm not usually one for pro photo ops unless it's legit the only way I can get a photo (example: Stan Lee), the line is too long, or there's a very special photo being offered. This was a situation where this kinda combined everything. At one point it was said Shannen wouldn't be taking selfies with fans at her table due to time constraints and then on Saturday, it was then announced she would. However, I had already purchased a dual photo of her and Jason Priestly, so I'm ok with the last second decision. My amazing friend Hollie aka Hollie GoFrightly also joined me for our photo op. I didn't get much time with Jason and Shannen but I did get a nice handshake and a great photo. That's really all I could ask for. And extra big thanks to Hollie for editing in the Peach Pit as our background!
All That...WITH KENAN THOMPSON!??!?
Originally announced as an All That reunion with Amanda Bynes but Amanda was pulled due to personal situations (of which I send my love and best to her, just like we all do). This put the promoters in an unfortunate position as many fans came to the show for her especially. Well, they found a way to make up for her absence. During the All That reunion panel, fans were pleasantly surprised by an appearance by none other than KENAN THOMPSON!!!! Kenan and Kel had made an appearance on The Tonight Show the previous night and apparently Kenan decided he wanted to stop by 90's Con to see some friends. Once word started spreading, fans started buzzing about Kenan maybe joining in for a photo op. Well, around this time, I was mulling over heading back to my room and taking a quick nap. No more than 15 feet away from the door, the announcement comes over the PA system :"KENAN THOMPSON WILL BE JOINING THE ALL THAT PHOTO OP!" I quickly turned around, power walked right over to the Celeb Photo Ops table and grabbed a ticket. As you can imagine, any remaining tickets for that photo op sold out almost instantly, especially given it was such a limited window and he’d only be apart of one photo op session(usually about 20-30 minutes per photo op). Being a massive Kenan and Kel, All That and SNL fan(and especially a huge fan of Kenan) I knew I couldn't pass this up. The photo with Danny Tamberlli, Lori Beth Denberg, Kenan and Kel was a great experience. All 4 were so great and gracious for fans coming by. Kel especially was full of energy, even commenting on my Dennis Rodman jersey. Lori Beth and Kenan also thanked everyone for hopping in the photo.
What a shocking way to remember the show. Never would've guessed I would've gotten so many great photos and memories but I'm glad I did! Bigger shows usually scare me off but 90's Con was such an unexpected surprise...in many ways...
So this show gets my highest recommendation. It's fun, the fans who attend were so lively and having a great time. Almost infectious. I don't think it was possible to leave without a smile. There's a lot to do, see, hear and experience. I hope to do it again next year and I'm already counting down til I make the drive back up to Hartford!
Oh right and on the way home, I stopped by WWE Headquarters (Titan Towers!). I figured after all these years of keeping them in business I should at least stop by and see the front door I helped pay for. haha.