COMIC CON 2011: Mel’s Memorable Moments

Another Comic Con has come and gone. Another trip to beautiful San Diego – I can say that with some credibility now, having spent a couple of extra days exploring the city before the big show began – and another trip home with suitcases bursting and head spinning. You’ve seen the panel, watched the interviews, read Genevieve’s report, and our podcast will drop soon with even more goodies, but this is my chance to share some personal Chuck-related moments from Comic Con that don’t fit into the “official” coverage.

Tears and Goodbyes

This was an odd Comic Con experience for Chuck fans and the Chuck cast & creative team. It served as a goodbye of sorts, but they had yet to film a single scene from the final season (filming starts today). There’s always been a meta quality to the show and I can’t help but wonder how they’ll feel knowing that they’re filming the last episodes of a remarkable series and how we’ll feel knowing that we’re watching the end. I honestly didn’t expect to feel much besides excitement for the new season at Comic Con, but the tears did flow and for that I blame Zachary Levi.

Zac was his enthusiastic, cheerful self for weeks leading up to the event, making the talk show rounds to promote The Nerd Machine & Chuck‘s final Comic Con appearance, but come Saturday morning, nostalgia seemed to hit him hard. Granted, he’d been up until dawn at the Nerd Party (Happydayz got a high five when he walked by Chucksters in line for Ballroom 20 at 4AM) and the panel was at 10AM, so exhaustion surely played a part, but he was genuinely choked up at the end of the panel when he thanked the fans for their support. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Looking up from live Tweeting in order wipe my own eyes, I saw tears streaming down faces all around me as Chucksters rose for a standing ovation. The tears didn’t stop there, though.

In the press room afterward, almost everyone admitted to being emotional about this being their final Chuck Comic Con and Zac almost lost it again during his final roundtable interview. Yvonne didn’t want to talk about it for fear she’d start crying, so we decided to talk about her new haircut until the moment passed. Even later on Saturday, at the NBC party, hugs were the order of the day from Zac, Vik, Scott, and Chris Fedak. Scott and Zac are huggers, but Vik and Fedak are not. Vik even dropped the long-running pretend feud he and I have going on to express sincere thanks for this site’s support. An unexpected but touching moment. But it wasn’t all tears!

Laughter and Celebration

From the joyful celebration of all things nerdy at Nerd HQ to Yvonne gleefully teasing Gomez on stage (“Show us your flash face!”) to Adam laughing so hard in the press room that his face turned red (you’ll see it in the podcast), it was a happy time for Chuck as well. I suspect knowing this was their final Comic Con together and that they were on the verge of going back to filming loosened up the cast and creative team this year. The panel erupted in laughs several times with everyone ribbing each other, Yvonne was particularly playful, even Fedak seemed more at ease and ready to enjoy the experience.

I saw more fans wearing Chuck or Nerd Machine paraphernalia than I could count, which was delightful. On top of that, everyone who attended Preview Night (Wednesday) and everyone who attended the panel on Saturday received Chuck t-shirts, plus Chuck graces the cover of TV Guide for the first time ever. Some may cry “too little, too late”, but I choose to view it as honoring the Chuck phenomenon and kicking off the new season with a bang.

Yvonne Strahovski

A highlight for me this year was Yvonne. She was clearly having fun on the panel and in the group interviews you’ve seen on EW, TVLine, etc., and she was all smiles in the press room, even when caught by accident while I was filming B-roll footage for the podcast:

Obviously more at ease than in year’s past, she was a delight all around. We finally had the opportunity to interview her in the press room (in 2009 we ran out of time just as she and Sarah Lancaster sat down; in 2010 she had to rush off the L.A. for the Ken-Mar Rescue benefit) and it’s a good one. Watch for it in the podcast coming soon. I hope we get to see her doing more promotional appearances for Chuck and as her movies roll out. She has a big career ahead of her, but she’s still our Yvonne.

Chris Fedak

He’s going to hate that I’m singling him out, so I’ll keep it brief: I got to spend a good chunk of time talking with Fedak both in the roundtable interview in the press room and one-on-one later at a party. He’s a genuinely nice guy and I’m looking forward to seeing how he wraps up Chuck and what he does next.

Vik Sahay

He’s also going to hate getting singled out, but since we’re “feuding” anyway, so what? With Vik you have to be quick-witted and ready to engage if you want to get the most out of a conversation with him, but it’s worth the effort. He’s never not interesting. I’m going to miss sparring with him. Verbally. Pretty sure I could take him in a fight.

Scott Krinsky

I’ll confess, Jeff grosses me out most of the time. Scott, though, is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Soft-spoken, a little shy, and definitely better friends with soap than Jeff, it’s always worth spending time with him. Also, he gives great hugs.

This is getting me all weepy again, so I’ll close by saying it was an honor and a privilege to be part of Chuck at Comic Con for the past three years. Here’s to season five!

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  1. Thanks for sharing your memories of Chuck at Comic Con with us, Mel. Looking forward to watching/listening to the Podcast and hearing all the news from S5 as they shoot it.

  2. Well said, Mel, and beautifully written. Now I’m teary!! Can’t wait for the podcast.

  3. OMG, mel! I also cry everytime I watch Zac choking up with his ‘thank you’ at the Chuck panel.for now, I’m just waiting for more clips from the event online! Looking forward to that podcast!

  4. What the heck are we going to do after the show airs for the final time? Will we follow the individual actors/crew to new shows? I got to CHUCK through Adam Baldwin and FIREFLY. Same thing with CASTLE’s Nathan Fillion. Whatever the future brings, these folks will be hard to forget.

    • Hopefully, we will get to see them all again in the Chuck movie franchise. Hey it worked for Star Trek why not Chuck?

      I wish the cast, show runners and crew much future success, and also hope we get to see the actors not only in movies, but also on the small screen frequently.

      I just had a brilliant idea – remake Hart to Hart, with Yvonne and Zac in the leading roles, and Josh playing their butler Max. Now there’s a TV show I would watch.

  5. Zachary`s Levi farewell speech was by far the best moment from this year`s Comic`Con. I noticed even some publications ranked that moment in their top ten moments from this year SDCC.
    If there is any justice in this world Zac should have a huge career after Chuck ends 😉

  6. Thanks Mel for all you do for this site and for SDCC. I agree I noticed as well Yvonne seems more at easy with whole comic con experience She started to show sighs of it last year. I know she was not at all this relaxed for the first 2.

    Looking forward to the podcast

  7. Mel, you are thee best! I admire your work, your faith and your dedication to something we all can share in and that’s Chuck”. Thank you and hugs!

  8. Thank you Mel for all that you have done in bringing us all the news on CHUCK and for all your hard work Thank you so much Ali from ENGLAND

  9. Adam also gives great hugs 🙂