File: Eberts File:Bad Chi and The comic-con
Date: 07/25/2001

Hello, hello, hello all!

Well, I think I finally managed to catch up on the sleep I lost from the wild week that was Comic-con. I’ll get to that in a minute but first let’s take care of some BAD CHI!

Hey this was a real fun episode, wasn’t it! At least from my standpoint, this was one of my favorites to shoot. I think the end product shows that as we go through yet another delightful ‘romp’. And with that, we delightfully ‘romp’ to our ‘tidbits’.

Let me just get this out of the way first. I love this show to pieces, but even I cast a critical eye occasionally. I think we all had the same questions when we saw this episode: "Couldn’t Darien just grab that huge box out of her hand or knock her out when she wasn’t looking?" Probably. It bothered me the first time I saw and it probably bothered you. However, when I saw it again I realized that the episode was a ‘romp’ and as such sometimes conventional logic takes a backseat and we all enjoy the ride. Perhaps that’s exactly what Darien did himself.

Justine Miceli is probably best known for her stint on NYPD Blue. She’s a wonderful actress and a very nice lady. I think she was the first person that we asked ourselves "Gosh, why is she doing our little show." It then dawned upon us that maybe our little show is getting a bit of a reputation as a fun, cool place to work.

The park in the background is once again Belmont Park. I think I spoke of it in an earlier episode and mentioned the roller coaster. I wanted to ride it and had convinced Shannon to ride with me. Unfortunately, we never got a chance to try it out.

Operation Eberts: In a lot of I-man episodes we have the "where’s Darien" scene. This is where our favorite agent once again hasn’t reported in and we need to find him. Dean Orion was given the task of livening up this routine and his answer was the various operations I prepared. It’s too bad they never showed all the graphics on the file, they were quite clever. Stray Dog had a dog with the classic bandanna hanging from a stick slung over his shoulder as he was running away. Lame Duck had a duck in a leg cast with a crutch. Black Sheep was well, a black sheep and Gilded Cage was a bird singing in a cage (there’s a famous 19th century song called ‘she’s only a bird in a gilded cage).

Brandy and Paul ad-libbed the whistling and it turned into one big blooper-fest. It’s real hard to whistle when you’re laughing. They just couldn’t look each other in the eye without busting up. Paul and Brandy had a giggling spell that took about 12 takes (seriously) to get out of their system. I just glad that after all that their ad-lib made it into the final shot.

Fun at the beach: Aren’t you all just so jealous of the San Diego weather? Always 70 degrees and sunny? Well, not the day we filmed at the beach. I admit that I’m now a wimp when it comes to cold, but it was probably around 43 degrees out there. Add to that a cold wet 10-15 mph wind from the ocean and it became decidedly chilly. Now I was in pants and a short sleeve shirt, the women were in bikinis. In between takes the costumers would rush to the actors and put coats on us while the extras froze. I tried to give my coat to the extras as much as possible, but during the takes you never saw so many goose bumps near a bikini.

The guy who buys a hotdog from me is our stunt co-ordinator Gary Baxely.

During one of the takes where I’m selling hotdogs I noticed two more extras in line. It turns out they weren’t extras, just people walking on the beach wanting a hotdog. They took off before I could sell them one.

Art imitates life: Director James Contner threw out his back during this episode. He was forced to come back and shoot the dance sequence during a later episode.

Art imitates life 2: when Charlie and Darien get out of the car, in the background you can see the San Diego Convention Center, home of Comic-Con.

And what a wonderful segue that is for my comic-con report.

I think I speak for the entire cast when I say that we had a wonderful time with a truly classy, intelligent group of fans. We were all a little nervous when we first took the stage for the question and answer on Saturday morning. That quickly changed when we stepped on to the stage (or in my case was thrown on!)

The Q and A part was a fun time. Although I couldn’t see Vince, Shannon and Paul (and they couldn’t see Eddie, Brandy and myself) we still played off each other wonderfully. My favorite part was when some one asked us what our favorite episode was. Michael Grossman, who jumped on stage with us halfway through was before me and answered "TIOBE". I quickly pull $20 from my pocket and slipped it to Michael. In addition to Grossman, writer Harry Werksman, Alumni director Josh Butler, Josh props, stand-in Richie and Craig Silverstein were in the audience.

After the Q and A we were supposed to sign autographs for about 2 hours. The line was tremendous and the response was so wonderful that we stayed for four hours! We didn’t want to leave. Eddie and I even walked around the con afterward checking things out. I’m not sure if Eddie understood everything he saw, but I know he loved it.

At the Sci-Fi booth were a series of laptops hooked up to sci-fi channels website. I was going to do this Eberts’ file on the laptop but because the signings went on so long and because I was really tired I decided to go home. I did poke my head into the chat room for a few moments though.

Christy and Susan were our Sci-Fi representatives and they couldn’t have been nicer. We had a blast with them and they made our experience easy and enjoyable.

Oh the people you’ll meet! While at the con I had a chance to meet some wonderful people. Included were Rockne O’Bannon (who heard about the ‘Frell’ line and promises to some how work out a reciprocal response on Farscape), Virgina Hey, Wil Weaton, The creator of Men in Black, The author of several Dune novels and a bunch of other luminaries. To me it was like being a kid in a candy store to meet these people. It was weird though, to meet them more as a peer than as a fan (some of them even approached me!)

Three cheers for the I-maniacs! I cannot say enough about this special group of fans who have devoted their time and energy to I-Man. Flying and driving from all over the country, their presence made the Con a truly special event. It was so nice to finally meet everyone who’s been on the Bboard since the start:nekosama, hobbeschick, oboecrazy, Helena1, kathrynsedai. Critterkeeper, loganlover, snowtiger, Mrs. Spooky, Alyxsilver, shelbel, sugarfreekelli and about thirty others who I’m forgetting. I can’t speak highly enough about them or the way they represented themselves. A couple of the cast members were worried about meeting the fans and wondering what they’d be like. By the end of the Con they had become maniacs for the I-Maniacs.

Of course, I’ve always been a fan of all of you. If you didn’t make it to this years con, no worries. They’ll be another one next year, as I understand it. And as I said before, you all have the best seat in the house every Friday night to our own little ‘Con’. So until next Friday, thank you for watching!