The following posts were published to Trevor Trove between May 24 and June 2, 2016 and have been combined herein.
Tomorrow I fly out to San Francisco for Kinda Funny Live 2. As I typically do for events, I’ll be spending the next week recapping my experience, including all of the community-driven events throughout the lead-up to Saturday and Sunday. And since the Kinda Funny guys have said this show is going to big bigger and crazier than last years, I figured why not make some predictions as to what that might mean.
Side note before I begin: I have talked to Tim Gettys about getting a run-down of the big announcements in advance of the show so that I can prep some of my recap in order to publish it as announcements are made. But he’s in super crunch mode so he hasn’t sent me anything (and he may not when all is said and done and the Saturday/Sunday recaps might just go up later). So since he hasn’t sent me anything yet, I’m working purely off of speculation; no insider knowledge at play.
By expanding to a two-day show this year, the guys are opening themselves up to a lot more opportunities. Last year could basically boil down to the Presidential Debate, a live episode of the GameOverGreggy Show, a musical performance by Tonedeff, and the press conference featuring a lot of announcements for the future of Kinda Funny.
So this year it’s broken out with Saturday dubbed “The Show” and Sunday dubbed “Podcasts/Meet-and-Greets/Signings” so here’s my predictions on what that might entail…
On today’s topic of the GameOverGreggy Show, the guys suggest that there’s a lot more video content this year. Probably stuff along the lines of the “Talk Shit, Get Shot” video from last year’s debate. So I imagine this will be largely a mix of live bits with guests (see below), pre-recorded bits with guests, and the “Press Conference” complete with new announcements.
It’s already confirmed that we’re also going to get performances from MegaRan and Grimecraft via Twitter. Given that last year’s show featured a lot of intermissions to give the guys breaks/give everyone else the chance to drink. I think Grimecraft will probably keep those intermissions “LIT” as he would say. And I imagine MegaRan will be the Tonedeff-style mid-show musical act.
As far as other segments, I think we’ll get a peek at the new election-themed season of A Conversation with Colin (much like we got a tease of Love and Sex Stuff at last year’s show). I would like to predict we’ll see the next episode of the Animated Series but since the last one was so delayed it doesn’t seem likely. That said, I think we’ll get the first look at the Animated Series theme song and opening. Tim and Nick were recording it in LA when they were down there a while back so it seems like that could be in a pretty good place and ready for primetime. I think we might also get live iterations of Love & Sex Stuff and Oreo Oration (Greg was just talking about the new Fruity Pebble Oreos).
One of the announcements from last year was that Tim and Alfredo would get back to making some of their assorted comedy videos. We haven’t seen or heard anything since so perhaps the first one of those will be featured. Additional Danny Shepherd aka Ismahawk has made it known he would be at Kinda Funny Live so maybe we’ll see something special from him and the team behind the Minute Match-Ups on YouTube.
My pie-in-the-sky prediction that I don’t think at all will come true: the guys come out at the top of the show to their own version of the Aerobics Championships video. The entrances for the debate were a big point of fun for everyone last year so I know they’ll do something big but they might keep everyone’s intros separate and that seems like it would play more as a group/flash-mob thing.
And then of course there will be the Press Conference, which I get to in a little bit when I predict the Announcements.
Sunday will be the more streamlined Podcast day, obviously from the name. I think we’ll see the GameOverGreggy episode being largely a Q & A-style event like last year/pretty much all of their Live Event GOGs. This one will maybe also include some of their special Rooster Teeth guests like Gus Sorola and Burnie Burns. This year I think the Gamescast will follow-suit, with the guys from Achievement Hunter and Funhaus popping in for a bit here and there. Since they try to keep it to a two-man show, I think PS I Love You XOXO will take the night off but I would LOVE to see them do an episode with people like Marty Sliva, Brian Altano, and Andrew Goldfarb popping in. Screw it! I talked myself into it. I’m predicting they’ll do all three podcasts.
One of the other teases in today’s GOG topic was that they’ve pretty much been able to get every guest they’ve gone after. So here are some of the people I think we’ll see or hear from:
- Dave Fennoy – his silky smooth voice kicked off the show last year, he served as the third emcee for the Final Fantasy XV event that Greg and Tim hosted. Dave’s voice will absolutely be involved in this show.
- Troy Baker – as the emcee of last year’s Presidential Debate, I think Troy is a safe bet for an appearance this time out. See below.
- Nolan North – he made a small cameo in the fan-created video last year. My guess would be at some point during the press tour for Uncharted 4 that Nolan and Troy are on (they’ll be at the Phoenix Comic-con the week I return), the two got together and recorded some Christopher Walken and Jeff Goldblum again.
- Danny Shepherd – as mentioned above, I know he’s going to be there. And I think maybe he and Tim put something special together. Maybe a special Power Rangers-themed Minute Mash-Up for Tim.
- MegaRan/Grimecraft – as outlined above, they’re also confirmed to be performing so this isn’t a prediction so much as a repeat that I think they’ll fill the mid-show performance and intermission DJ roles discussed above.
- Shuhei Yoshida – he has probably Skyped in another introduction to repeat last year’s Press Conference kickoff. He might have even recorded it during the same session as his PAXAMANIA debut.
- Critical Role – the Kinda Funny X Critical Role episode recently was one of the mode widely-lauded episodes in recent memory. I would love to see them in full garb request a rematch of sorts and schedule it as part of either team’s Extra-Life stream this year. Who wouldn’t want to see the return of Terradon Masterclef, Democrat Obamafan, and Nick the Mage?
The big one.The Press Conference last year announced new shows, Kevin, the Kinda Funny Forums, the Kinda Funny App, T-Shirt Tuesday, etc. So what will we’ll see from Kinda Funny Live 2?
- The Return of T-Shirt Tuesday – with all the insanity surrounding the partnership with Rooster Teeth, I think we’ll get an indication that T-Shirt Tuesday will be back, bigger and better than ever.
- New Merch – With the Kinda Funny store now run by RT, I think we’ll get firm news on the hats and sweatshirts that they’ve been teasing since the partnership. Maybe even plushies of the Animated Show characters.
- E3 Plans – If I had to guess, I’d say Kinda Funny will be partnering with Gamespot again for E3, a la last year’s Gamespot X Kinda Funny second stage experience. Either way, I think Greg will come out and announce the plan for E3.
- A Conversation with Colin – As mentioned above, I think we see the return of A Conversation with Colin. They already announced that this season will be very politically-focused in honor of the election. So we’ll probably get a return date for when those episodes will start up again.
- T & A Will Never Die…For Realz Tho – As I mentioned above, the big announcement from last year that hasn’t panned out was that Tim and Alfredo would be making videos again. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Tim call that out and fix it.
- Kinda Funny Studio – At long last, I think Kinda Funny will announce that they’ve rented a studio space in town so they can move their productions out of the spare bedroom at Colin and Greg’s place. This would be a huge get for them in terms of cutting down on all the time they have to take setting up and tearing down each show. And having been in that room, it’s super cramped with all the equipment in there so having an actual workspace would be great.
- Kinda Funny Studios – maybe following the one-two punch videos last year announcing the Forums and then the Apps, they announce the Kinda Funny Studio and then Kinda Funny Studios where they’ll be working on a live-action film of sorts. Kevin and Nick allude to being pulled off of Kinda Funny Live to focus on upcoming projects (that will be announced this weekend) so my guess is that they’re referencing some kind of next step from the Animated Show. Perhaps with all of the Kinda Funny family members in attendance, we’ll get hints of the “Behind the Music”-esque documentary that occasionally gets thrown out there.
- Kinda Funny: The Game – much like the App was created by one of the Best Friends, I think we’ll get an announcement that somebody has been working on Kinda Funny: The Game. Now I don’t know what form this will take. It could be a mobile game. I’m sure they would do everything possible to get it on the Vita. I remember when the first episode of the Animated Series came out, people were excited about the idea of a Kinda Funny Dodgeball game. Perhaps that’s been in the works for the past few months alongside the Animated Series.
- Employee #2 – Definitely the longest shot since I feel like going through their taxes gave them pause on thinking about when they could hire another person and since I feel like I know most of the people who would be the prime candidates and they would have done something to tease that they would be moving to San Francisco for a new opportunity. So rather than announce a new person, maybe they announce that they’re finally ready to start the search. Again, I think this is the most far-fetched because I think when they’re ready to hire another person, they’ll know who they’re going for and it probably won’t be an open call for applications.
A couple more predictions that don’t really fall into any of the above categories.
- One of the things that was supposed to happen last year was the No Mercy Royal Rumble. That fell apart when they couldn’t get the N64 to work. This year, they’ve mentioned that the event will have “games.” One of the other rumors of last year was that there would be a build of Amplitude that never ended up showing. I’m guessing the recent influx of Overwatch ads on the Kinda Funny content might tie-in to there being a bunch of PlayStations set up for private matches at the event that the audience can play before the show or during the intermissions.
- Lightning Reacts will show up somewhere. Maybe Greg will challenge audience members.
- There will be giveaways aplenty. I bet a ton of industry people have reached out to the guys with stuff to give away at the event.
I think that about wraps it up. I’m sure I’m wildly off on most of these and Tim and company will completely blow everyone away with a lot of other awesome shenanigans. One thing’s for sure: it’s gonna be a great week!
If you’re going, I can’t wait to see/meet you.
If you’re not, keep it locked here and live vicariously through me.
Best Friends Assemble
Today was my first “unofficial” day of Kinda Funny Live 2. After a relatively sleepless night due to the excitement of the coming week, I woke up around 5:30am, in order to finish the last little bit of packing (i.e. throw in a surge protector because outlets are a rare commodity with nine people in a room). Now, in order to keep everyone in my room on the same page, we’ve had a Facebook group message running for a while. So when I woke up to messages saying somebody had missed their flight (and would be arriving about 8 hours later than originally planned) and multiple instances of long security lines and near misses, I was a little concerned. But my friend Frank Bozzani (who stayed with me at PAX South) swung by to pick me up on the way to the airport around 6 for our 8:15am flight so I figured, ultimately we would probably be fine. And sure enough, we were. There was certainly a little bit longer of a line compared to when I flew out to Boston or San Antonio earlier this year, but that’s to be expected with Memorial Day travel.
After we got through security, we met up with Cameron Abbott (my roommate from last year’s Kinda Funny Live) at our gate. Well, actually, first we looked at a couple souvenir shop mugs to give to Tom Hawkins for Hawkins Tea Time. But I already picked up one for him the day prior rather than spend $20 on overpriced airport trinkets (but shhh…don’t tell Tom. I haven’t given it to him yet). Anyway, then we met up with Cameron and hung out while we waited to board. Cameron, Frank, and I have probably only hung out once before all together over lunch at Portillo’s in Scottsdale (as is appropriate in this community). But we immediately fell into familiar rhythms, talking about Kinda Funny, games, Rooster Teeth, etc.
The flight itself was pretty quick and painless, just shy of two hours. In San Francisco, we were joined by Joe Ruffler (a fellow roommate from PAX South and East). We all shared an Uber down to our hotel downtown and checked in. Kaylie Woomer and Xyger (also from PAX East) were the next two expected to join us but Kaylie’s flight had been delayed an hour. So while we waited for them, we settled into the room and relaxed for a bit. Finally, I got word from the two that they were on their way so I went down to the lobby to wait for them and hand them some keys.
After getting them settled in and dropping off their bags, we all went down the street to Chipotle for a quick lunch. Alex Aziz (former GameOverGreggy Patreon guest) joined us. Most of us hadn’t eaten since our days began so it was nice to get some food in our collective stomachs. It was also great catching up with people I hadn’t seen in a few months. When we got back to the hotel, we got word that Tom and Amy Gilroy were en route from the airport. So we all just hung out in the lobby waiting for them to arrive. They arrived and everybody else was distracted so I got to give them the first round of hugs. Yay! Both of them were super exhausted though. But we all chatted and caught up. Ally Mushka also came over to join us. And newcomer to the group John from Ireland tweeted at me asking if he could come by and we gladly welcomed him into the fold.
After a bit more conversation in the lobby, we started to disperse for dinner. Most of us migrated over to the Taco Shop at Underdog’s, a Best Friend favorite that I absolutely have to hit up any time I’m in San Francisco. While there we connected with Brian “Nabeshin” Jackson and Alex O’Neill from Irrational Passions, Barrett Courtney from BZGamers, Dave Martinson, and Christian Puente. Nabeshin and Christian round out our initial party of eight roommates (Luis Menchaca completes our fellowship when he arrives tomorrow). Underdog’s featured, as usual, great burritos and great conversation. Jordan Town, a young man who recorded today’s GameOverGreggy show that will go live Friday for Patreon supporters, showed up briefly to introduce himself.
Originally, we were going to continue on and have a second dinner at In & Out to welcome Sean Pitts and Fred Sullivan to San Francisco but most of us were wiped from the long day of travel and ready to relax. So while Barrett and Alex O. and maybe a few others went to pick up some Knerds from the airport, the rest of us headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night.
And so we’ve just kind of quietly been relaxing. I’ve been writing this on and off for the last couple hours while we’ve all just visited about anything and everything. As I type these words, my roommate Cameron (who I put on blast when I appeared on the Gamescast for loudly snoring) is at it again. As someone pointed out, “why is the big snorer always the first to fall asleep?!” But this time I came prepared, bringing ear plugs for everyone in the room. So we’ll see how well they work drowning out the noise.
Can’t wait to keep hanging out with the rest of the Kinda Funny Best Friends with the bevy of community events tomorrow.
Community Day One
For today’s festivities, a handful of some of the coolest best friends organized/planned a series of community meet-ups throughout the day. Special thanks to Joey Noelle, Nikki Powell, Jonathan “Xyger” Landeros, Sean Pitts, Barrett Courtney, and probably many more that I’m forgetting.
Up first was Alcatraz Island. Approximately 20 of us bought tickets for and hopped on a boat that took us to the infamous prison at 10am. The boat-ride over was fairly short and gave those of us who hadn’t met yet a quick chance to do some introductions. On the island we sat through a message from the forest rangers basically telling us about some of the rules and regulations on the island, as well as when the boats back to the mainland. The whole thing reminded me eerily of Oxenfree.
Sean Pitts took charge (as he is often wont to do in the Kinda Funny community) and let the group up and around the island a bit. We occasionally were taking breaks to take pictures and tweet out when the iffy wireless networks would allow it. Eventually he started to break out his new selfie stick (a returning favorite from last year’s event that tragically broke during the Sunday in the Park meet-up). While he worked on getting the bluetooth synced up, I just used my long arms to take an impromptu Alcatraz group selfie on my own. I didn’t get everyone in there, but it’s a good looking group nonetheless.
Eventually we made our way into the prison and opted to take the guided audio tour. So everyone got handed a set of headphones with a little remote and was directed upstairs into the prison. Following along with the narrator’s instructions (a former guard at the prison), we were let in and out of the halls and told some of the prison’s history: stuff like a deadly prison riot, some of the famous residents, and an escape from Alcatraz tale that made me want to watch Shawshank Redemption again. All around, it was a pretty cool and interesting tour that we were all experiencing together, even though we all hearing the guide through our own individual headphones at our own pace.
As we left, the tour left us in the Alcatraz gift shop (as most touristy things will). While there, I decided to pick up another “mug” for Hawkin’s Tea Time: a stainless steel replica of the types of cups that the inmates would have had. Not only is there no risk of that breaking en route back to England, but it will also probably be an all-around horrible contraption to drink his tea out of. Mwahahaha!
After catching a boat back to the mainland, the group of us walked down to Pier 39 (from Pier 33) to meet up with a lot more Best Friends for lunch. As I led the group up to the Hard Rock Cafe at the front of the Pier, I saw a couple of separate groups talking wearing a flurry of Kinda Funny shirts and we all brought every one together. Hugs. Introductions. Lifelong friendships being forged (if it’s anything like Wing Wings last year anyway). After about 15 minutes of assorted mingling, people started getting hungry so we began breaking away into smaller groups to eat. We’ve run into problems bringing large groups of Best Friends together for food in the past so it was a calculated decision to go somewhere we could hit a lot of smaller places. And it worked. Suddenly our group of 50-ish had a few people going for seafood, a few into Americana, some just grabbing a corn dog and Oreo churro from a cart (okay, that one was maybe just me).
Prior to lunch, a handful of friends who didn’t go to Alcatraz went to a light brunch instead so they weren’t particularly hungry and instead went to hang out with the sea lions. I took my corn dog and churro and joined them. We had a great time, falling right back into the beautiful familiar rhythms of whenever we might have last hung out: PAX East, PAX South, PlayStation Experience, last year’s Kinda Funny Live. I described the experience to Eric Petralia thusly:
Normally, I absolutely identify as an introvert. Back home, hanging out at a bar or in groups of friends drains my batteries and spending time alone recharges them. The exception to that standard has become these events. Last week, I was trudging along all week but somehow I knew, as soon as I was out here seeing my friends from across the country, that it would pick me right back up. And that’s exactly what happened.
Catching up with these friends and learning about the goings-on in their lives since we last talked might be my favorite part of going to these events.
After some time with the sea lions, Xyger started misbehaving, taking a shiny little card and reflecting the light into people’s eyes. I went into full-blown dad mode and confiscated it and put him in a time out. As a result, the ongoing joke that I’m the responsible “dad” of the group was brought to new heights when I was given the new nickname “Daddy Trevor.”
So that’s a thing now.
Later, we went to the Mirror Maze (a room set up with a labyrinth of mirrors where the goal is to get from the entrance to the exit without running into too many mirrors or getting stuck in too many dead-ends. Nikki Powell and I made it almost immediately through the maze, while some of the other members of our group took a little bit longer. Following that, we all began to reconvene near the center of the boardwalk. When we were pretty much all together, Sean went up to the second level to record all of us singing “Happy Birthday” to Kevin Coello.
With my phone dying and a minor fire that I needed to address for work, I took my leave from the group temporarily in order to get back to the hotel room. I charged up my phone, sent a couple work emails, and began writing the Alcatraz portion of this post while my phone charged up.
Unfortunately this meant I missed most of the time at Crissy Park, looking upon the Golden Gate Bridge. But since I had already earned myself a pretty decent sunburn, I imagine less time outdoors here was probably the right call for me. Eventually, though, I grabbed an Uber and headed across town, enjoying quite possibly my favorite driver to date. Mark was personable without feeling annoying to intrusive. I listened as he chatted up to two ladies I was sharing an UberPool with and even talked about my time on Alcatraz, and a little bit about the whole Kinda Funny weekend experience, describing how I was getting to spend time with friends from all across the country and even world. They all thought that was a pretty cool thing.
I showed up just as everyone at the park was deciding to take some big group pictures. Whether or not they had waited specifically for me to arrive was a flattering concept but also probably not true. After a couple pictures we all began to disperse again.
A handful of us returned to our hotel room. There was some Super Smash Bros. on Wii U (Sean Pitts, Luis Menchaca, and Jordan Town spent some time battling – and as much as Luis would like me to rewrite history, Sean won the day). Sean headed off to the Foundry for SF Game Night while the rest of us ordered pizza and put on a movie. As has been chronicled elsewhere on Twitter, Greg Miller wound up showing up and hanging out with the Best Friends at the Foundry. Meanwhile, we watched Unfriended.
Continuing the theme of Old Man/Daddy Trevor, Unfriended (for the unitiated) is a horror movie told entirely on a computer screen. A girl killed herself a year ago because a viral video had embarrassed her and her peers cyber-bullied her. Now, on the anniversary of her death a Skype call between friends gets interrupted by the spirit of the girl and she tortures and kills them one by one. I don’t do movie reviews here but yeah about a minute into this movie, I just wanted all of the characters to die because they represented everything I despise about the trolliest of high school stereotypes. Unfortunately, I had to suffer through another hour and a half or so. On the plus side, watching it with friends meant tearing it to shreds.
Then I hopped in for a quick shower while the rest of the room started watching Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. So we went for the one-two punch of movie genres Trevor loves: horror and zombies. And in case it doesn’t read: that’s full-blown sarcasm right there. Those are the last two kinds of movies I would ever watch on my own.
So rather than watch the movie, I hopped on here to write up the rest of this entry. The gang seems to be enjoying this one better than Unfriended. And from what I’m hearing from my friends, (screams of disgust and horror “Oh god! Oh no! Oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh!”) I think I made the right call focusing on wrapping this up. I’m not a fan of gore, and the comedy in this movie certainly sounds like a lot of it is driven from how over-the-top obscene they push it.
But even if the movies weren’t my cup of tea, the company was A/10.
And tomorrow, we’re off on a whole new set of adventures.
Community Day Two
The last day before Kinda Funny Live 2.
What a Year It’s Been
The first event today was a lunch event at the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. I led my group over there, since I’ve been deemed the responsible adult (see yesterday’s comment about “Daddy Trevor”). But I didn’t piece together until I turned the corner my own personal history with that place.
A little over a year ago, I was in town early for the first Kinda Funny Live. Sean Pitts was also in town and invited me to join him on a personalized tour of IGN he had set up with Jared Petty. On our way to the IGN offices, the two of us stopped somewhere to grab a bite to eat and sit and watch Colin & Greg Live on our phones. Sure enough, that location wound up being the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. We sat at a table outside and first got to know one another, bonding over our love of Kinda Funny, TV shows like Doctor Who and Chuck, and video games.
Fast forward to today, when upwards of 50 people joined us at that same location today. While another batch of Kinda Funny Best Friends were filling up the outdoor seating at 21st Amendment across the street. And the fact that I knew so many of them was an incredible feeling. I enjoyed a delightful conversation with a couple from Colorado who I hadn’t met before. And of course their name’s escape my mind now. I wrote them down in my phone but it’s plugged in and charging right now and with all of the bodies in the room, I’m making the executive decision to just add their names in tomorrow. Regardless, they were delightful. EDIT: There names were Ryan and Emily. And Emily was a real trooper tagging along despite not really watching too much Kinda Funny content herself.
KFL2 X IGN
Then we all headed down the street to IGN.
Sean worked closely with Kiersten Slader to organize this special IGN tour and while it was open to anybody, pretty much everybody in attendance was there because of Kinda Funny Live 2. There were so many of us in attendance that they had to divide us up into four groups, led by Peer Schneider, Kyle O’Connor (my group), Kallie Plagge, and Jared Petty. We were informed up front that because of the holiday weekend, everyone at the office was leaving early and the people who stuck around for the Q & A were all doing it because they were awesome and knew how cool we are (and many of them of course are friends of the Kinda Funny guys and will be at Kinda Funny Live themselves).
The tour itself was nothing particularly new to me. As described above, I got a personalized version of it last year when Jared Petty led Sean and I around the offices (I even accidentally walked into the background of an IGN News video and got to sit in the Podcast room). Kyle showed us around as we walked passed some of the IGN Meeting Rooms (all themed around different video games like Portal or Fallout. We walked through the sales side of the building and heard about all of the less glamourous work that goes into maintaining the site, like the ad sales team and the product management team, as well as a brief overview of Code Foo internship program, where people who are interested in coding can get experience and possibly get hired on full-time at the site.
After that, we walked through the large lunch/break room and it’s mini-arcade. Editor-in-Chief Steve Butts stopped for a minute after a trip to the vending machine to say hi and answer a couple of questions. Next it was on to the Ziff Davis portion of the building, where more of the behind-the-scenes business of the IGN parent company takes place. Lastly, we headed back through the main editorial hub. Brian Altano was the first familiar face to the group and took some time to chat and give hugs and pose for pictures. Given the recent cancer diagnosis of Brian’s mother, I decided to take the Box of Hope/Hope Shield I picked up from TakeThis.org at PAX East and give it to Brian. We’ve had a few Twitter exchanges about The Legend of Zelda and I know it’s his favorite series so it seemed like a fitting gift in an effort to help him through these tough times.
Then we moved on and walked by Marty Sliva, Alanah Pearce, and Andrew Goldfarb (with Max Scoville’s dog in hand since he’s overseas at the moment). It’s of course always nice seeing them but as someone who does more than the average person on the tour, I didn’t want to take away time from them interacting with other fans so I moved along and stumbled upon Miranda Sanchez’s desk. Even though she was not present it was impossible to mistake.
That pretty much wrapped up the tour for our group. I saw pictures online that at least one of the other groups got to go into the studio where they film The Daily Fix, Up at Noon, and Game Scoop!
Then came the Q & A portion of the event, where a lot of the editors and other staffers who were cool enough to stick around for us took some time to answer fan questions.
A couple common themes arose out of the questions we asked. With a lot of the Kinda Funny Facebook, Twitch, and Forums moderators present, part of the conversation steered toward keeping the community positive by engaging and empowering the positive members (who will then in turn help fight your battles and self-moderate the group) and kicking out the bad apples (“You are under no obligation to give trolls a platform.” – Kyle O’Connor, Social Media Content Creator). Another common theme that came up was being a woman in gaming: how to deal with the extra scrutiny thrown up you and how to support other women. Along the same lines as the social media conversation. Being the anti-trolls, as everyone in that room was, we were encouraged to take the time to be the positive voices on the internet, rather than the silent majority and not allow the haters to take up all of the air in the room. Additionally, the women in the group were encouraged to reach out to the women on the panel and share their experiences and support one another. Lastly, a lot of praise was thrown from the Kinda Funny fans to the IGN staff and from the IGN staff back to us. “You all are the physical embodiment of the anti-YouTube comment.” – Kyle O’Connor
Kiersten Slader, who is amazing and brought this whole thing together for us in the midst of planning for E3 and San Diego Comic Con then took a big group picture before everyone split apart for a brief meet-and-greet.
KFL2 X Gamespot?
Shortly after heading outside, a Kinda Funny fan reached out to Neha Tiwari at Gamespot to see if he might be able to get a tour of their offices. She told him she wasn’t there, but Mary Kish could probably help him out, which led Mary to tweet out
She only expected a couple people to see it or take her on the offer. But Greg Miller retweeted it and most of us were literally five minutes down the street and reached out to take her up on the offer. So what was originally planned as a few people, turned into 50+. They broke up our masses into smaller groups of 25 and took us through the CBS Interactive Gamespot offices. Gamespot just recently moved offices in the building from the fourth floor down to the first and they weren’t completely unpacked.
Mary repeatedly pointed out how impromptu this whole this was and that she doesn’t normally serve as the tour guide. And we repeatedly shot back that our bar was pretty low. Like. Garbage truck on fire low. So we were just happy to be there. Mary walked us around a little bit. We got to meet Danny O’Dwyer and head into their studio for a bit of trivia. People who got trivia questions right got to pick prizes.
All in all, it was a great little extra impromptu bit of kindness to the Kinda Funny community. And just like IGN, a lot of the Gamespot people will also be joining us at Kinda Funny Live 2.
Dinner and a Movie
Rounding out the night, a lot of us were fortunate enough to attend a special dinner celebrating Alfredo Diaz and Jackie Butler at a spot right next to the movie theatre where a bunch of us would be seeing X-Men: Apocalypse. The highlight of this might very well have been the musical performer at the venue – a ukulele player who started taking requests throughout the evening. As Ginuwine’s “Pony” has become a recurring theme of our insanity, I mentioned at the table how great it would be if he knew it. After hemming and hawing for the next ten-fifteen minutes, champion-of-the-night Danny Juarez went up and asked the guy to perform it.
Oh yeah, Greg showed up at the dinner too by the way.
When the ukulele player realized we were a bunch of video game nerds, he ran through a series of gaming theme songs to try and stump us. We won out every time.
When we headed next door to the movie theatre, it was almost immediately apparent that we had pretty much taken over the screening. I’m not really going to go into a review of the movie but I think this sums up how unique how screening was.
The 20th Century Fox logo got a huge laugh from 90% of our theatre, while the rest have clearly never seen Colin & Greg Live to know of Colin’s love for the theme as covered by a recorder.
Please please PLEASE go check out the video highlights my roommate Christian Puente – aka @pixelbrave – has been putting together all week. Here’s his video our our time at IGN yesterday. He’s basically been foregoing sleep this week in order to get these out and they’re always incredible.
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.
Photo Credit: Mike Aransky
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.
Meet and Greet, Podcasts
After realizing what a diehard fanbase was in attendance last night, a handful of us headed over to the theatre at 9am for the 12pm VIP opening. One of us was even there extra early for the general admission opening at 2pm. We showed up and a couple (Mike and Amber) arrived just ahead of us so we were almost first.
And on the general admission side of things, you can never beat Greg Atlas to these kinds of events.
Over the course of the next few hours, we continued to mingle, ordered a pizza, and chatted with Kevin. After congratulating him on his engagement and the show, we started talking a little bit about the studio. It sounds like they’ve had it for about a month (and it was indeed what Nick alluded to in the recent episode of the GameOverGreggy Show). Kevin was very excited because he wound up finding the place (it’s right above his favorite comic shop) and it’s really close to where he lives.
Shortly before the venue opened at noon, Tim sent out a tweet announcing the schedule for the day’s events:
- 12-2pm – VIP Meet-and-Greet
- 2pm – General Admission
- 2:30-3pm – Overwatch Let’s Play video
- 3-4pm – Achievement Hunter and Funhaus on stage; Kinda Funny, Gus, and Barb at signing table.
- 4-5pm – Kinda Funny, Gus, and Barb on stage; Achievement Hunter and Funhaus at signing table.
- 5-6pm – Kinda Funny Best Friends playing 8-player Super Smash Bros. on the giant projector screen.
And that’s pretty much what happened.
In all honesty, Sunday wound up being a chance for me to visit with a ton of people so I didn’t catch much of the “official” lineup. It is a surreal experience being stopped and asked for pictures or people wanting to talk to me because I’m, as Ryan (aka @mythicaljew) put it, a “pillar of the community.” I tried to ask pretty much everyone the same questions: “What was your favorite moment of the show? When did you get in town? (If applicable) Did you make it out to any of the community events?” Hearing people’s stories was amazing! I loved hearing about members of the group coming together, in the same way that I’ve found friends.
While all of these conversations were going on. The Off Topic podcast did a show for an hour. And then the Kinda Funny guys did an hour. While I was grabbing a drink at the bar, Greg happened to call me out and thank me for my recaps this week. In doing so, he wanted to correct me on a mistake I had made regarding Colin Was Right. I originally wrote that the show would feature Colin talking with other industry people like Jim Sterling and Danny O’Dwyer. Incorrect. It will actually been him talking to the camera in the same way that Sterling and O’Dwyer do on their Jimquisition and The Point shows, respectively.
This is actually extra cool because way back when I had my Patreon dinner with them a year ago, we talked about his video on Kojima and how it could be a way to take the writing that made him a standout at IGN and put it in a video-friendly format. I even pitched the name “Colin Was Write.” But this works too. Simpler.
Anyway, I immediately hopped on my phone to update this on the blog and then did my best to get up front to tell them it was fixed.
After the GameOverGreggy Show, I swung over to the wall and charged up my phone.
Then a group of us headed over to the Taco Shop at Underdogs. While there, we learned that the planned after party has a $25-30 cover charge. So plans changed to the Marriott Marquis lobby bar. Greg showed up and we had a great time. More conversations and friendships ensued. We managed to get a picture of all of the Facebook group admins who were at the party (including Greg).
All-in-all, it was a beautiful way to end the weekend. A lot of people who had early flights said their goodbyes and made the rounds of hugs.
Of course, then some of us went to Denny’s at 2am. Which is always a good/bad idea. Our group of seven stumbled in and came across another group of our friends from the party. Rather than overwhelm the Denny’s into serving 20 of us in a group, we stayed separate. One meal of questionable quality later and we walked back to the hotel.
People were lamenting the end of Kinda Funny Live 2, but I attested to the fact that Kinda Funny wasn’t over until we stopped hanging out with each other at things like the Picnic in the Park event set for Monday afternoon.
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
Today was the last day of dedicated Kinda Funny community events. Starting at 1pm, the coordinators established a dedicated picnic in the park event. This was designed to mirror the picnic in the park event from last year at the Presidio. One final farewell send off event where people can hang out and mingle until they’re ready to go.
Prior to today’s community event, I was invited to a small brunch get together with a few friends from the group. Some of the newly-dubbed #KindaHunnies were having a ladies’ brunch and invited Xyger and I to tag along.
These “secret” activities always wind up leaving me conflicted. I absolutely want to spend time with these dear friends and sometimes that requires getting a bit of personal time away from the rest of the community. But I also hate hiding from or lying to the community. I hate when people ask if I’m doing something and saying “sorry this is a smaller intimate thing” or, in order to keep people from showing up, outright lying to keep too many people from tagging along. We learned last year the hard way when 40 of us showed up to a brunch spot and were let in 10 at a time.
I absolutely want to meet new people and help them experience the community like I did. But I also want some dedicated time with friends I’ve already made that won’t be interrupted. I hope the community members will forgive me. It’s a tough balancing act and I look through my Twitter feed and still come across so many people I barely saw or didn’t see at all.
Following our brunch, we walked across the street for a quick jaunt on the beach. We immediately realized that something like that would make a perfect activity for a community event next year. Plenty of space, ample parking for those who drive, and something sort of unique to San Francisco for out-of-towners to enjoy.
After the beach, we headed over to the formal community goodbye picnic at Golden Gate Park. There were already about 30 people hanging out together when we showed up, which was awesome. Exactly what I would have hoped for; people who just met one another, fleshing out those relationships, talking about the amazing weekend they’ve just had and how they’ll keep in touch. People had brought water, Oreos, some alledged libations…and everyone was laughing and smiling.
I sat down at a table filled with people I didn’t know before this trip. A couple of them I’d met throughout the week (and I was even remembering some of their names – despite the annoying fact that they had gone and changed shirts) but some of them were brand new to me. So as I had been accustomed to doing, I asked about their favorite parts of the show. We talked about what kind of stuff they would have to pull off at Kinda Funny Live 3 to top this show. Ideas like getting The Rock up there (which Greg tweeted out) or building KFL3 as an actual world tour event going through San Francisco, Austin, New York, Canada, England, and Australia (maybe tied to industry events in each of those cities like RTX, Comic-con, etc.).
I popped around some of the other tables to see how people were doing. Ryan and Emily (from the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen Friday) happened to be at a nearby museum and swung by afterwards so I got to have a great closing-out-the-week conversation with them to see how they enjoyed their time (spoilers: they had a ton of fun). As people started peeling away to catch planes and what not, there were hugs and emotional farewells.
Meanwhile, others began putting together another secret meal gathering at a ramen place down the street. This happened to (perhaps unintentional) mirror another event from PlayStation Experience where a group of us snuck away for a secret ramen dinner. At PSX, it was a lot easier to get separate people and spread the word though. Here, just as I alluded to above, we chose to fall back on a lie of “going back to the hotel” while secretly passing along the word through text messages, Twitter, Facebook, or “Hail Hydra”-esque whispered messages during “good-bye” hugs.
Again, I feel bad for the handful of people we were misleading here. Really, I absolutely do. But the opportunity to have a more intimate dinner with the friends I’ve made in the past winds up being worth its weight in gold when we only get to see each maybe a few times a year. Getting to hang out with someone like Amy Gilroy, who flew in from Irelandwinds up being 1000% worth the guilt of the deception because I know she won’t be able to make the journey again soon. Or sitting across the table from Kaylie Woomer who, since I first met her virtually over an inter-group dispute on Facebook, has continually astounded me with her passion and fearlessness. Am I selfish to want to keep these moments to myself? Absolutely. And I’m ultimately okay with that because in the long run, I have hope that the people we might have knowingly left out of something like this will decide to partner up for their own thing and build these lasting friends just as we have.
Following our ramen, we said our goodbyes for real this time to those we knew we wouldn’t be seeing for awhile and, in the same breath, already started to plan what we’ll do the next time we’re together. After ultimately deemed the now somewhat chilly, foggy, and windy weather too cold for ice cream as originally planned, a group of us returned to our hotel room and decided we would wrap up our last night together with a quiet night in together. In order to get some writing done, Daddy Trevor as I’ve been named, decided to give the children some allowance money for food and drinks. And when they returned, we had some rum and cokes, ate some snacks, and just watched a couple movies and visited.
A quiet night in with cherished friends before we would say our fond farewells the following day.
After one of the greatest weeks of my life, I am once again home in Arizona.
End of the Journey
By the time most of us in the room awoke this morning, our remaining party of eight was already down to five. Nabeshin had the earliest flight and slipped out before anyone noticed, leaving a parting message in our room’s group chat on Facebook (he had also said some sweet words at yesterday’s farewell ramen dinner). Then Christian and Cameron left around the same time an hour or so later, again writing us on the way to the airport.
The rest of us (me, Frank, Joe, Xyger, and Kaylie) enjoyed a bit of a leisurely morning, sleeping in and slowly packing up to depart. My flight at 2:15pm would be the earliest departure but since the hotel room was in my name and we wanted to stick together, we checked out around 11am and caught and uber to the airport. Unfortunately, Frank and I were in one terminal while Joe, Xyger and Kaylie were in another. We all checked in at our respective terminals and met up in the middle outside security. I voiced that I didn’t think we’d actually be able to meet up after security but everyone else insisted we would so we each head back through our respective terminals security lines. After an incredibly quick jaunt through security (less than 10 minutes much to the chagrin of my mother who insisted the lines would take hours), we looked around.
Turns out I was right.
Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 are not connected past the security checkpoints.
The layout of SFO effectively robbed me of a heartfelt goodbye from arguably the three people I spent the most time with in San Francisco.
So instead of teary-eyed hugs, we resorted to pouty-faced selfies and texts back and forth. Fortunately Joey Noelle joined Frank and I in our terminal and we were able to snag a goodbye conversation with her instead. She and I were leaving but my flight was the first to board so we all hugged each other tight, even though this is a pretty quick turnaround before we see each other again. Not only can Frank and I grab Portillo’s pretty much anytime, but all three of us are going to be at Let’s Play Live in a couple weeks.
And then I was gone, wistfully hoping for the time when I can call San Francisco home.
KFL vs. KFL2?
One of the most common questions I was asked was how Kinda Funny Live last year compared to this year’s event. I love them both for very different reasons but part of me gives the edge to the original. Kinda Funny Live 2 was inarguably bigger and bolder in pretty much every way. But for me, there will probably always be something special about looking back at that first event.
I arrived in San Francisco last year for a week’s vacation thinking I’d maybe do some sightseeing, attend the show and the couple of community events they’d thrown out there, and then record the Gamescast. Instead, I met and immediately clicked with upwards of 30 or 40 people. I went from being a relative unknown in the community to a temporary VIP. People I talked to in attendance learned I would be doing the Gamescast and were excited for me. And the people who couldn’t attend appreciated the pictures, updates, and recap I posted in the Facebook group. And I met people who I now consider some of my very best friends.
A year later, with four more events under my belt, I came into this a somewhat prominent member of the community: a D-list celebrity if you will. I came in knowing probably roughly 100 people from past event and met a whole lot more at this one. I’m 212 days into producing daily content for this site. I’ve been around the guys enough that a quick hug or a handshake is all I might be looking for from them because I’m content to let the people who have never met them get their moment in the sun. So instead, I was excited for all of the community events this time around and the chance to reconnect with old friends or meet people who I only knew digitally. Simply put: last year was about Kinda Funny. This year was about Kinda Family. So why do I still rank last year higher?
Because without last year’s event, none of this other stuff would have happened. Meeting people like Sean Pitts last year taught me the importance of paying an opportunity forward. He didn’t have to invite me to his IGN tour with Jared. But he did so any chance I have to expose people in this community to a good time, I should do that. Meeting people like Alex O’Neill last year inspired me to write again and launch this very site. Meeting people like Nikki Powell meant that I’d have people to talk to when I went back a month later for the IGN House Party. Meeting people like Barrett Courtney meant I would have a local friend to point out the best places to go in the city for PlayStation Experience. And it gave me someone to pave the way for me to someday try my hand at Let’s Plays and other video/audio content. Without meeting people like Patrick Ryan last year, I wouldn’t have had the faith that I could talk to someone I’d never met for hours on end about anything and everything.
Without last year, it’s possible I wouldn’t have been pulled in a million wonderful directions to have conversations with people like Ryan Othman and his fiance Emily about their first experience with the community at a live event, Ryan Santille and his girlfriend Emily about Ryan’s position as Tim’s number one fan and how amazing it has been meeting him, Patrick Schweigert about theatre in Atlanta, Tyler Hall and Moises Taveras about possibly forgetting their names at all of the future events they were now dying to be a part of but trying my hardest not to so I worked them in to this article.
Kinda Funny Live 2 was amazing in every possible way. But the original molded me into the “pillar of the community” I strive to be.
Getting More Involved
As my last little bit of lingering coverage on Kinda Funny Live 2, I wanted to speak to one of the questions I got this weekend:
“How can I be more involved/visible in the Kinda Funny community?”
I was a bit taken back the first time I was asked this because it just wasn’t something I imagined anyone would ask me. But i did my best to piece together an answer. Then, as the question was asked over and over, I got a little more practiced at my response. So here are Trevor’s Tips and Tricks for getting more involved in the Kinda Funny community.
- Ask yourself if you’re doing it for the right reasons? Right up front, are you looking to be more active and visible just because you’re trying to grow an audience on Twitch, YouTube, podcast, etc.? Because if so, this might not be the right approach. If you’re looking for like-minded Best Friends to talk about anything and everything with, read on. Not saying you can’t do both. But if your priority is to try and get a little bit of internet fame off of the community, this might not be the best fit.
- Join the communities. There’s the Facebook group. The Kinda Funny Forums. Hang out in the Twitch chat during Colin and Greg Live. Follow some other Best Friends on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. I think there’s a Kinda Funny subreddit (can’t really speak to that site). Anyway, go to the places online where the community hangs out. We can’t see you if you’re not there.
- Engage and support. Just signing up for these things won’t get you anywhere. Actively participate in them. In the Facebook group, comment on posts or make your own (please read the group description for the rules first but they basically boil down to “don’t be a dick”). Come and throw your two cents in when Colin and Greg read a news story (but for the love of god don’t spam the chat during the giveaway portions. That’s not how it works!). Check out what you’re fellow Best Friends are up to. Again, don’t come here expecting to build an audience but that can certainly be a by-product of following people who have become content creators after being inspired by the guys. So maybe get invested in a couple of other people in the community. Doing any of these things long enough will eventually get you noticing the same people and they, in turn, will likely be noticing you.
- Be the Positive Change You Want to See in the World – When you see people being negative online, speak out about it and counteract it with positivity. In the facebook group, if people start name-calling, tell them that’s not how we behave in this community. If you had a great time with a game, Tweet at the developers and let them know. Give a voice to the so-called silent majority. Don’t let the vocal minority dominate the conversation.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Try Sliding Into Those DMs – Once you’ve followed steps 2-4 and established a good rapport with your fellow Best Friends, don’t be afraid to take the conversations out of the public eye. If you follow each other on Twitter or your friends on Facebook, start up a DM to get into the deeper/longer conversations that come with building a friendship. Things that don’t fit in 140 characters or without clicking a “see more” button. Hell, if you’re feeling really adventurous, trade contact info or set up Skype calls/Google Hangouts. If you’re the kind of person that likes multiplayer gaming, maybe you’ll find people to play with.
- Make Your Own Meet-and-Greets – If you have the means, try and make it out to events where you might come across other Kinda Funny Best Friends. This doesn’t have to be the Kinda Funny Lives or the PAXes of the world. This might be a local Comic-con. Or even a Taco Bell. Put the feelers out in the community to see if there are any other friends in your area. That’s the best way to engage in those conversations and put faces to the many different names we might know each other by.
- Remember we’re already all Best Friends – This one’s especially important for introverts. If your looking to make a friend in the Kinda Funny community you already have one thing in common as a jumping off point: you love Kinda Funny. So talk about your favorite shows, how you got introduced to them, or joke about your favorite topics. Then branch out from there. Do you like the same video games, TV shows, movies, etc.? Before long you’re talking to these people about things you’ve never told anyone else and a lifelong friendship has been forged.
- Pay It Forward – Do what you can to help others make these friendships! Organize bigger group meet-and-greets or events in your community. Reach out to other people in the community about planning community events at larger things like PAX or PSX or KFL, even if you aren’t local or can’t attend yourself. You can always do research on cool places to eat or great things to do. Keep an eye on the forums for when other people are planning events and spread the world. Try to give back to the community if it gives to you.
So there you have it: my guide to trying to get more involved in the community. I hope this helps.