The doors opened tonight at about 7pm for VIPs, with people having started lining up hours before. The VIP and non-VIP lines were separated off of different sides of the entrance. Unfortunately, as is often the case in these situations, people who stumbled upon a line wound up spending time in it even if they were in the wrong spot, meaning people wound up getting pushed back further in line because of the confusion. It absolutely sucks but a few of us tried to walk up and down the lines in order to minimize the damage. In those hours prior to the start of the show, we were visiting, meeting a ton of new people, playing the occasional Vita, and hanging out with a ton of Best Friends.
Once inside the venue, the scene was immediately different from last year. The space was much grander and there were no seats. Lines at the merchandise table immediately began forming for the limited supply shirts and posters. As a VIP, I inquired with Kevin about the exclusive Superman posters and found out that they would be handed out tomorrow during the VIP meet-and-greet portion. So then I went up and down the lines in order to spread the work. I picked up a couple shirts (the basic shirt with the KFL2 and venue information and the special Street Fighter logo) and the other two posters on display (the Pandamusk Ghostbusters 2 one and the *N SYNC one).
All the while, Grimecraft was playing the pre-show music and keeping the event “lit” as the kids would say. There were iterations of Pony, numerous video game remixes, and more. The stage had a small catwalk extension build off of it and people began grouping around it. I got a spot over there as well and started making a couple drink runs before the rest of the Best Friends started entering around 7:30pm.
And that’s when it became nearly impossible to move around. No this was more or less fine, because the show that followed was completely engaging and a ton of fun. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the intermissions we got last year in between segments.
As Grimecraft's set wound down, an image of a cell phone battery charge icon appeared at 01% and slowly started powering up to full power. This countdown became filled with chants of various VIP members of the community: Andy from Rooster Teeth and Alfredo Diaz both received a lot of love from the community on the floor. When the battery was fully charged, a short video with Dave Fennoy came on, much like last year. This year’s version was centered around “Kinda Funny is” and then featured both the Kinda Funny guys as well as guests explaining what they think Kinda Funny means. It was really well done and immediately had me moved to tears. Because for me, Kinda Funny is the last three days I’ve spent almost non-stop with my best friends in the world.
Following the video, Burnie Burns came out to kick off the show as the emcee for the evening, cracking jokes, interacting with the crowd, and then ultimately, introducing the guys! Each of the guys came out one by one to their own personalized introduction. From Nick coming out to Queen to Tim literally crowd-surfing in from the back of the audience, everyone was immediately having a great time and it showed!
Following the introductions, the guys showcased their versions of some of the crowd favorite Colin & Greg Live opening bits. Colin played the 20th Century Fox theme on a recorder. Kevin played the sea creature while Greg parodied “Jay needing to see this thing, it’s huge.” Nick gave his take on the Geraldo open, while Greg played up his small-town pizza lawyer.
And the capper, of course, was a lead-in to the Kinda Funny Aerobic Champions, featuring all four guys, in leotards performing a routine live onstage. This was a pie-in-the-sky prediction I made earlier in the week and I couldn’t be happier that they actually pulled it off. It was hilarious and might be might most popular tweet to date.
The Press Conference
The guys then kicked things off with their Press Conference. Rather than get Shuhei Yoshida to reprise his role from last year, as I had predicted, they got Jack Tretton (aka Jackie T) to record some bits in the guest bedroom in order to lead off the show.
Up first, a Conversation with Colin is coming back but it’s going to be tweaked a little bit into a new show called, aptly, Colin Was Right, and instead of featuring Greg interviewing Colin, will bring it other guests from the industry like Jim Sterling and Danny O’Dwyer to have in-depths chats with everyone’s favorite Pride of Long Island. No new clips were show, but the planned launch window was marked as Fall 2016. (EDIT: I was mistaken. Colin Was Right is going to be Colin, talking directly to the camera and delivering content SIMILAR to the work or Jim Sterling and Danny O'Dwyer. Not in-depth interviews. My bad. Greg just corrected me so I wanted to pass that along while I was at the bar.)
Up next, we were given a showcase of the work of Zacq Wenzel (@wahnivum), who has been responsible for Kinda Funny Doodles, a small animated series built around scenes from the GameOverGreggy Show audio. Kinda Funny announced this as an official show, with new shows each week. A huge congrats to Zacq for taking the initiative to do that work and it paying off for him.
Danny Shepherd of Minute Match-Ups proceeded to come out next and tease that his channel was indeed collaborating with Kinda Funny on an upcoming Minute Match-Up. On Tuesday, I wrote: “And I think maybe he and Tim put something special together. Maybe a special Power Rangers-themed Minute-Mash-Up for Time.” And I’ll be goddamned if we didn’t get Tim standing atop a hill in San Francisco before turning to the camera and going full-blown Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers for an upcoming battle between the Megazord and Voltron, schedule for August 2016. Calling it now that the Megazord takes it.
Then Greg came out to show off something that he said might not actually come to pass because a lot of it is out of their hands. But James Schuler, the Kinda Funny CTO and man behind the Kinda Funny Forums, App, and Website redesign is working with a team of engineers on a PlayStation 4 app. They showed off a couple prototypes looks at what the app could potentially do, but Greg was very clear to say that it may or not end up a reality.
Nick came out to premiere the new introduction of the Animated Series (another #TrevorWasRight prediction). Well, he wanted to but in true Kinda Funny fashion, the final animation for it isn’t done yet. But we did get an animatic of sorts showcasing the song alongside iconic cartoon openings that will be used as the basis for the sequence. And we also got a tease of the show-within-the-show that the boys watch: none other than the Live Action Taco and Bell series, with Nick playing Taco and Tim playing Bell. (EDIT: Kory McMaster, the creator of the theme song reached out and asked to be represented. Sorry for not catching the request sooner Kory. Congrats on the song! It sounded great! Find him at @KoryMcMaster)
As the deckhands transitioned into setting up the next live segment, the Kinda Funny Extra Life Team Captains, Eric and Lauren, appeared onscreen to congratulate the community on it’s incredible performance last year and start getting the word of for this year’s go of things.
The GameOverGreggy Show
Burnie came back out to introduce the GameOverGreggy Show. Now I was definitely under the impression that the podcasts were being saved for the Sunday show, but as it turned out, this was less of a normal show, and more a parade of guests.
Much like last year's show, Greg started into the normal spiel before being interrupted about things not feeling right. This time there were no flats to reveal. However, through the magic of video projection, they were able to project the guest room backdrop along the back of the stage.
Right out the gate, two Kinda Funny fans were brought up onstage for having Kinda Funny tattoos to show off. After they returned to the floor, there was a shoutout to all of the Kinda Funny mom’s present at the show. Then the guests began. Andrea Rene, Alfredo Diaz, Brandon Jones, Sean Finnegan, Michael Jones, Gus Sorola, Brian Altano, and Adam Kovic swung by the table and shared a moment before playing Lighting React. During Altano's time, he teased a cross-over episode between Kinda Funny and The Comedy Button but they haven't worked out the details, just that it's going to happen. During Adam’s turn, though, the guys deemed that the game had maybe shocked it’s last person as it wasn’t working properly. So Nick brought it out to the catwalk and let a couple fans play one more time and the winner got to keep the game.
Bruce Greene came out next and with Lightning Reacts out of commission, instead arm wrestled Greg, winning handily. Following him was Geoff Ramsey, then Barb Dunkelman. Lastly, Dan Rykert came out onstage. And then Greg’s mom came on a mic from the balcony to lay the smack down on Dan for hurting her little boy at PAX East. It was a fun little moment and Greg’s mom did a great job with it to cheers from the crowd.
With the GameOverGreggy Show done, a video popped up featuring Anthony Carboni and Trisha Hershberger reporting on a series of Kinda Funny-related "news" stories. A lot of fun little bits from “Mayonnaise will cause you to love 90s rock music” to “Crash Bandicoot dead after suffering 20 years of relevance.” I'm sure the video will release eventually as there were a lot of gems in there to enjoy.
Stand-up and Music Performances
After that clip, Mike Drucker came onstage to perform a short stand-up set. A lot of great jokes in there and the crowd was with him the whole way. He was having fun with it and the crowd and it made for a nice change of pace for the evening.
MegaRan came out to perform a couple numbers: the first being Avalanche from his album Black Materia, followed by Dr. Wily from his Mega Man work. Colin, who often lauds that as his favorite MegaRan track even came out and performed with MegaRan, rapping back-up and then eventually taking a whole verse and having the time of his life with it.
The musical portion continued with the debut of The Internet Explorers, the rap duo of Tim and Nick. They started off with a live rendition of Talk Shit Get Shot from last year’s show, before moving into a new track with Tonedeff sampling the Aerobics Championships theme. Tonedeff then followed up with a track of his own that was also performed at last year’s show. A core aspect of the song asked that everyone get down on their knees at one point before slowly rising as the music builds. It was impressive last year with 400-ish Best Friends. This year, with 1000-plus it was downright epic.
Following these numbers, the gang went into a series of lip-sync battles. Kicking things off: a rendition of the Colin & Greg Live classic Teen Witch opener “Top That” as performed by Kevin and Colin (with Kevin playing the guy and Colin in a curly black wig and pink hat playing the girl who battles him).
Next, Nick came out with, what else, Ginuwine’s “Pony” (complete with back-up booty dancers). The crowd danced along and most certainly posted a ton of videos to Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
Greg followed up by lip-syncing the Virgin America training video, with special guest iJustine edited in as the lady giving the instructions.
Lastly, Tim Gettys came out to sing “The Thong Song” and I almost immediately said to myself, “Holy shit! Is Sisqo here?” Yes. Yes, he was. The Dragon came out and danced and lip-synced to his own song alongside Tim in what must have been the most surreal moment of his life.
Sisqo then proceeded to lead the entire audience in a sing-along of The Pokemon Theme Song. And it was insane hearing us all sing that with the video playing and Sisqo and Tim and everyone else at Kinda Funny along for the ride. But there was one moment during this that caused me to burst into tears (and even thinking back on it now, my eyes immediately start to water up.
This image (captured incredibly by Ally Mushka) was spliced into the video (I think alongside the lyrics “Oh, you’re my best friend / In a world we must defend.” This hit home with me because it’s a picture of all of the Kinda Funny friends we got together at PAX South. One night in early January, I stumbled into Sean Pitt’s Twitch chat and inadvertently wound up planning an impromptu trip there, even though Kinda Funny wasn’t even going to have a presence. I just managed to convince friends from all around the country to book a quick trip to San Antonio to hang out together. So seeing that image up there, for all the Best Friends to see means more to me than I think I could ever convey to Tim.
One More Thing
Greg followed up Pokemon with starting to do a bit, before Tim told him to switch it up with thank yous. So each of the guys came out and said their thank yous to all of the people who helped them make everything possible. Of note during Tim's thank yous was the fact that Sisqo and his dancers had performed a show in Las Vegas a couple hours earlier and hopped on a plane just to be in San Francisco for this event. Holy shit is that awesome!
Then, Greg got to go back to his bit about needing to really end on a high note. He brought Jackie T back onscreen to have a conversation about what they could do to end strong, which then transitioned into another video.
A video of Nick giving a tour of the Kinda Funny Studios (I was on FIRE with my predictions) and again I started tearing up at the immense sense of proud I feel for these guys. Kinda Funny has an office and space they can got with room for a couple of studios to continue building their empire.
Not bad for 4, sometimes 5, best friends working out of a spare bedroom.
One More One More Thing
After the video, Greg came out and asked Kevin's girlfriend Paula to help him present something to everyone's favorite Peruvian. Kevin was given high praise and awarded the Kinda Funny Employee of the Year award. But as soon as Kevin came out in his best suit, the video montage behind him shifted from photos of him or him and the fans, to photos of him and Paula. He went on about how she has helped him through every hard time and we as an audience were all so incredibly excited as to where this was heading.
Kevin proposed. She said yes. The balloons dropped. And damnit I cried again.
All in all it was an incredible night, bigger and better than last year in every way. I can't begin to express how proud I am of Tim for what he accomplished tonight and as someone who genuinely considers these guys my friends, the promise of a studio has me ridiculously excited at the opportunities ahead of them.
Happy Kinda Funny Live 2! See you tomorrow with a recap of Day 2.