I have a confession to make: I’ve never heard a single episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour show/podcast. I’ve heard great things about it. Not only do many of my friends recommend it, the concept is right up my alley: a myriad of crazy, wacky adventures, done in the style of old-time radio drama. I keep meaning to look it up and listen to a few episodes, but I never seem to have the time.
I was hoping that the Thrilling Adventure Hour panel at Comikaze Expo 2014 would feature a live performance of an episode, as several of their convention panels have in the past, and that that episode could serve as my introduction to this show I’d heard so much about; however, they didn’t do that. The panel consisted pretty much entirely of fan Q&A. Since I’m not yet familiar with their body of work, this obviously threw me for a bit of a loop.
In particular, there were parts of the panel wherein I was completely lost. These parts went mainly like this:
Audience Member: “Which character would you love to play/write/cross over with?”
Panelist: <says the name of a character>
Entire audience bursts into spontaneous laughter.
Another Panelist: “Oh, I’d love to see THIS character meet THAT character on THIS show.”
More spontaneous laughter.
It wasn’t all like that, though. In fact, despite my lack of knowledge of the show, I actually had quite a good time. There were a lot of genuinely funny moments that I DID get, and the cast really interacts well with one another. You can also tell that they 1) genuinely love what they do, and 2) really care about their fans. Show creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker began The Thrilling Adventure Hour as a way to have some fun with a character that they enjoyed writing (Sparks Nevada). Then, they got some actors to join in the fun, and it’s just kept spreading ever since.
It wasn’t what I expected, but in its own way, this panel did serve to help introduce me to The Thrilling Adventure Hour. I may not have gotten to experience a show, but what I did experience, I enjoyed. So now, I’m eager to start listening to the show and get immersed in the things that I heard them talking about—which is how I was hoping from the beginning to feel after the panel. Call this one an unexpected success. Maybe next year, I’ll be able to cover them from the point of view of a well-versed fan.