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Toronto Con Supernatural 2016

October 16, 2016

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Now that Season 12 of Supernatural has premiered, there’s a sense of excitement in the fandom that’s absolutely exhilarating. I just finished my review of the premiere, so it’s time to sit down and try to remember what happened last weekend at Toronto con. Luckily, it was pretty memorable.

Warning: Long post ahead! With probably way too many pictures (or is that even possible when we’re talking about Supernatural??)

Torcon, as it used to be hashtagged, has been a special con ever since that time three years ago when Rob Benedict had a stroke near the end of the convention. His fellow Supernatural actors, along with fans and Creation staff and volunteers, were instrumental in saving his life that night – and nobody who’s at Torcon ever forgets it. I spoke with Rob a few hours before the premiere episode last week about his experience on the show at the end of last season, but we also talked a bit about the cons and how emotional they are. Especially this one, and especially the Saturday Night Special. We almost lost Rob, and that makes every time he takes the stage that much more special. Look for that interview here soon – and for Rob’s powerful chapter in our new book, Family Don’t End With Blood, which will be released in May. Until then, here are some of my favorite moments from this year’s Torcon, and lots of pretty pictures.

Richard hosted the con fresh from finishing up his brand new show ‘Kings of Con’ with Rob, which meant he was clean shaven and probably very tired but at the same time totally energized. Louden Swain was in fine form all weekend too – it was a wonderfully musical con with the band and Jason Manns entertaining us.

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Kim and Briana kicked off the panels, and were their usual awesome selves. Their panels veer wildly from hysterically funny to serious and important to touching, and the audience is right there with them the entire way. There was Wayward Daughters talk, to which Kim and Briana said: if that’s the spinoff you want, I think TPTB should give it to you.

Well, yeah!

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And there was Show talk, especially since Kim has already filmed an episode of Season 12. Yay!

She insists that she has now gained the composure (though only recently) to do a scene with Jensen Ackles without becoming incoherent.

Everyone: [is skeptical]

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Because, well, Jensen Ackles. It’s not just those good looks, either. When Kim was filming recently and felt a line for Jody was a little off, Jensen stopped filming and called Andrew Dabb and they ended up changing it.

Kim: He’s that passionate about the “show that we have created” – and he means all of us. Sometimes that means they need to fix things, because of that deep understanding of what ‘we’ have created.

Jared and Jensen finally pranked Kim on set too, changing what Jody was supposedly watching on a laptop screen to something that was probably a tad less appropriate. As in, tons.

Kim: What really makes you crack up is seeing Jared and Jensen’s shoulders just shaking in tandem because they’re laughing so hard.

Jared also made fun of Kim walking oh-so-carefully on a ‘hot set’ (where everything has to stay exactly in place).

Kim as Jared as Kim...

Kim as Jared as Kim…

Apparently Jody gets to show some vulnerability in the upcoming episode which, as both women pointed out, is the flip side of power and another way of being empowered.

Briana and Kim also endeared themselves to the fans by pitching a body swap episode where Jody and Donna switch bodies with Sam and Dean. I didn’t know how much I needed this until that moment.

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And finally there was talk of periods and vaginas and penises. You know, the usual. A creative question was, if you were gender bent, what’s the first thing you would do?

Kim: [grinning] The helicopter.

The 'helicopter'...

The ‘helicopter’…

Briana: [also grinning] I’d just play with the penis. It would be nice for it to be so easy. I’d pee standing up. And then get a job and be paid more.

Peeing standing up...

Peeing standing up…

They also were thrilled to plan Osric and Rob’s bachelorette party for their upcoming wedding (in con land only, just to be clear, but only because Rob is already married). When Kim questioned Rob about only liking boys, Rob proudly channeled his inner Chuck and proclaimed, “I like both!”

I like both!

I like both!

Kim and Briana left the stage trying to tell fans how much they appreciate all that fans give to them. Often it’s fans wanting desperately to tell these people who have changed our lives how much they mean, and to express their gratitude. But, Kim and Briana said, that’s not necessary.

Kim: If you’re thankful for this? It’s a gift. You don’t have to pay us back.

Briana: This is reciprocal. You’ve changed my life and I’m trying to thank you.

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Kim and Briana also have written chapters in our new book, which are a powerful message to the fandom they genuinely love and appreciate. I can’t wait for you all to read them!

Next up was Jason Manns, who gave us another of his ‘quoncerts’ {half concert half question and answer panel). He sang a bit of ‘Hallelujah’ which made me get all mushy, and told some amusing stories too. Like when he met Eric Kripke backstage at a con, Kripke assured him that they would use his music on the show. Jason quietly thought, hmm, I don’t think so, not exactly the right fit for Supernatural. Then of course they did, and Jensen ended up having Dean toss the ipod right out the window.

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Jason also gave us the welcome news that the gang will indeed be doing another Tough Mudder one of these days, although Jason said he could sum up the experience in one word: Pain.

Jason: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’m not in the same shape as Jared and Jensen.

He did it though!

We also were treated to a little impromptu Station Breaks as part of our ‘quoncert’

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Osric was up next. Fans talked about his cosplaying and how much we all love it, and Osric said that he had at one time considered doing it professionally. But then he thought about his goals and aspirations and ended up getting more serious about acting and auditions. Which has resulted in a ton of new work, including the new series Dirk Gently, which sounds amazing. Be sure to watch!

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Os also gave empathy to women for having to walk in heels, which he says is his favorite thing about drag because it gives him that appreciation. He also had lots of nice things to say about the awesome Hillywood Show, who finally asked him to be a girl character in a new parody. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with his busy schedule.

Then, predictably, talk turned to Osric and Rob’s upcoming con-land nuptials and bachelorette party, which apparently will have a poke-a-man theme (eyeroll) and a Pikachu stripper. Somehow this resulted in:

Osric: How many holes does the costume have?

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Richard:

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That became the question of the day, since Richard immediately ran with it.

I went to part of karaoke on Friday night, which I have to say was weird without a bar, but I get why that decision was made. As far as I could see, everyone had a good time – such a good time that Briana’s corset flew apart, clearly overcome with all the frivolity (and with being too close to Matt Cohen).

The next day Kim, Briana and Osric were onstage together, which made for a fun threesome panel.

Osric: I don’t like to swear

Briana: Oh, that’s why they put you on a panel with us…

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They kept up the tradition of the two people who aren’t answering a question get to make out, much to everyone’s delight.

We also learned a bit about the behind the scenes cast shenanigans at cons – apparently Briana always hosts the SNS after party and orders pizza for the band. I’ve said it before, but it’s still true. I love that the cast is as much a family as the fans are at the cons. It shows in every interaction.

We also had the R2M panel on Saturday, and to my great delight, Rob and Rich both told their (very different) versions of the infamous bed sharing story. I’ve heard it a bunch of times but I NEVER get tired of it – just watching the other one’s face as either of them tells their version is priceless. All this huffing and head shaking, because they clearly saw this so differently. And they’re both so damn funny that every telling just gets more amusing.

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Matt listened to it again and then had the perfect solution.

Matt: I think all three of us need to share a bed.

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Richard: Oh, if Matt was on the bed, I’d be like (throws off clothes)

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Rob: (throwing his hands up in the air in exasperation) That’s why I’m insulted!

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Later, they all told the story of how they met each other.

Matt: When I met Rob, it was a love fest. We shared a bed…

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Eventually they all ended up singing Broadway and Disney tunes and dancing along, which was unspeakably adorable.

Ruth Connell was up next. She was completely knackered from filming until the wee hours and then flying to the east coast, but that didn’t stop her from being entertaining.

She even brought the hotel giveaway section, and My Hope Chest bracelets for her favorite (and very important) charity.

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And we all did a pretty damn impressive V Club Mega Flawless Absolutely Flawless routine too, if I don’t say so myself. Ruth’s was a bit more flawless than most of ours.

Flawless, absolutely flawless

Flawless, absolutely flawless

On a more serious note, Ruth talked about being a strong woman, and that being yourself and making the most of what you have is one of the ways to do just that.

She also talked about what getting the role on Supernatural meant to her. It was her first US audition in two years, and when she got it, she took it very seriously. In fact, she watched fourteen episodes of Supernatural and went from zero to fangirl in 14 hours flat.

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Ruth: I watched some episodes with Curtis Armstrong in them and drew inspiration from that.

(I tweeted that and tagged Curtis in, and he retweeted it with his sincere admiration of Ruth and how much that meant to him, which just….this cast, I swear.)

Ruth also confided that Rowena is secretly proud of Crowley, and that she’s now been on twenty episodes and has never played a character for so long. She said she watches Jared and Jensen snap into being Sam and Dean in an instant on set every day, and needs to ask them how they do that so easily.

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Mark Sheppard was in a good mood despite his fatigue, roaming through the crowd as he’s wont to do and greeting every single baby he found.

Someone made an incredible fan vid about Crowley to kick off his panel, which Mark came out to watch the end of. Fannish creativity never ceases to amaze me, and I think the cast really appreciates it too.

Mark watches an amazing fan vid

Mark watches an amazing fan vid

Mark delights in trying to get Rob and the band (along with Rich) to perform unusual versions of his customary introduction song, Mr. Crowley. This time it was first reggae, which they gamely tried, and then the haunted version, which came out lovely with Richard’s eerie warbling. Um, it sounded better than I’m making it seem, honest.

Richard does haunted Mr. Crowley

Richard does haunted Mr. Crowley

As always, Mark had some choice words for questions he didn’t fancy.

Fan: Have you been pranked on set?

Mark: [incredulous] What? You mean like yesterday???

(When his entire trailer was plastered with photos of Misha).

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He was quite taken with the little baby whose name is Jensen, but who was cosplaying as Castiel.

Mark: This is literally a baby in a trench coat.

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Mark always ends his panels by getting serious, talking about how the SPN Family takes care of each other and how grateful he is that the fandom gets behind the things the cast cares about. This time was no exception.

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There was a costume party with adorable baby Jensen cosplaying Cas included, and then it was time for Misha Collins.

Fan: (stepping up to the mic) OMG holy shit!

Misha: Well said.

Fan: You have a beautiful soul.

Misha: (covering up) You can see my soul??

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I love Misha panels, have I mentioned? He spent quite a while attempting to tweet us pictures of his dad finding some still good chocolates in a dumpster. A fan had to get up and help him. Somehow I found this entire sequence of events incredibly endearing.

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At one point, Mark Sheppard started trolling him from backstage, making shadow hands on the projected image on the screen. Misha and Mark got into an impromptu war like a couple of five year olds, with Misha repeatedly trying to sneak backstage to catch Mark in the act. Which he never did.

Sneaky Misha

Sneaky Misha

Classic Misha line of the day?

Misha: Best advice from Jensen? Spit don’t swallow.

Okay, they were talking about eating burgers onscreen at the time, but it was amusing anyway.

By the time Rob came out at the end of his panel, Misha and Mark had made up – and were both busting on Rob. Misha kept moving his mic way down, and poor Rob just kept gamely trying to talk into it anyway.

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Misha did get serious a few times too, especially when talking about Random Acts. He got emotional talking about the first child whose life was saved by RA, and made sure to include everyone in his appreciation.

Misha: Random Acts was born from fandom, from this.

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After a fun dinner with fangirls, it was time for one of my favorite parts of any con, but perhaps especially this one. The Saturday Night Special carries a lot of meaning in Toronto, because for the past two years it’s been a celebration of Rob Benedict still being here, alive and well and immensely talented.

Jake Abel was a first time SNS participant, and his absolute glee at being onstage with Louden Swain (and joined by Kim Rhodes) was adorable. Remember when Kim wasn’t sure she could get up there and sing? Now she’s singing kickass harmonies and shepherding the new guy through it.

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After a beautiful rendition of “Stay Tonight”, Jake thanked everyone, saying it was a dream of his. One that came true! (Supernatural has a tendency to make that happen).

Ruth Connell sang ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and Kim, Jake and Matt joined her as backup dancers.

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Osric killed it once again, singing with so much emotion. Remember when he was so nervous about singing onstage too? They have all come so far!

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Matt Cohen too, who now performs like a rockstar. He also joined the band for Mama’s Jam, leaping onto a chair to get everyone cheering.

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Briana performed one of my favorites, ‘Valerie’ – a song her gorgeous voice can really do justice to.

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Richard played bass, and Mark and Stephen were in perfect sync on drums. If anyone doubts that these people can rock out, just come to the Saturday Night Special and it will be crystal clear.

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Jason joined Rob for a little Station Breaks.

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Rob introduced ‘Fare Thee Well’ by saying that he and Toronto have a personal history, so he wanted to play for us this song that’s special because he sang it on Supernatural. I get emotional during this song partly because it’s a part of that Show I love so much, and partly because it’s just Rob and a guitar, and it sounds so beautiful in the gigantic silent ballroom.

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Then he sang ‘She Waits’ and the entire audience held up the red hearts that fans had arranged to give out to everyone. I was standing to the side of the stage with my friend Max because we have a tradition of singing this song together, and the view of the entire ballroom, swaying and singing and holding up their hearts to Rob, was incredible.

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(I talked to Rob about that moment and this con more a few days ago – look for that interview soon.)

Because Torcon is special, the encore was the song that they started performing after Rob’s stroke, because it so encompasses what happened that day and what happens in this fandom. Everyone joined Rob and the band for “A Little Help From My Friends”, with all of us singing along and on our feet.

Not a dry eye in the house, I don’t think.

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And then it was Sunday, J2 day. Or in this case, once again J3 day (Jake Abel also).

Jake is a natural onstage, with a great sense of humor and a lot of warmth in relating to fans. He had a running joke of suggesting how Adam might come back to the Show: He comes back, says “Hi Sammy, I’m ba—“ and promptly gets hit by a bus.

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He also told a few amusing behind the scenes stories, like the time that he was trapped in a booth with Jared and there was a lot of gas involved. So much that Jared proudly announced, “I am Fartacus!” And the time that Misha hit him in the nipple with the Molotov cocktail in the season finale. Ouch.

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On a more serious note, Jake said that there’s nothing more fun than working with both Jared and Jensen together, they’re such good friends. His last day they invited him up to the top of their trailer, they had a beer and watched the sun go down together while J2’s dogs played and ran around them. Sounds pretty idyllic to me, gotta say.

Of course, Sunday is also Jared and Jensen day. The gold panel started with a shoulder bump between the boys and then Jensen pulled Jared in for a squeeze.

There were more hugs all around, and Rob became extremely relatable for a moment when he was overwhelmed by his affection for Jensen. Awww.

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Same, Rob. Same.

Same, Rob. Same.

Jensen then proceeded to ‘fix” Jared’s mic, which means he made it about 3 feet off the stage. Jared gamely crouched down, laughing.

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Jared: This is what Rob Benedict feels like.

There was a lot of kidding around, as always.

Jared (as Jensen takes his phone out) Hey, what is that picture?? I didn’t know your camera was rolling!

Jensen: I don’t tell you everything. Just kidding, I do.

(You get the feeling that’s probably pretty close to the truth.)

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Jared: We’re older than when we started…

Jensen: I’ve stayed the same age…

Fandom: We knew it!

Jensen also told a hysterical story about something that happened on set the other day. Dean was supposed to put something in a trash can that was on fire to put it out or something, and instead his hand was in the can and it actually caught on fire! He startled and jumped but tried to hide it and just toss the can away, but Jared knows Jensen so well that he immediately caught it – that moment when he broke character and it wasn’t Dean looking cool but Jensen catching on fire!

Next thing Jensen sees is Jared turning away from the camera, so he thinks that maybe the can is burning up behind him. But no, it was Jared cracking up over Jensen’s little startled jump and trying to hide it. Laughing so hard there were tears streaming down his face, in fact.

Jensen: He knows me so well, he was hysterical.

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Thankfully they also acted out half of this, which was a lovely glimpse of on set stuff and also just plain funny.

They also gave an encore acting out performance of the infamous accidental stabbing during hug moment when Jensen inadvertently stabbed Jared in the leg. Ouch.

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Jensen also played us a song he thinks should be on the show – “Back in Baby’s Arms”. Awww

There were some serious moments too. Someone asked what drew them to want to be in Supernatural. Jared said that what drew him to it was the relationship between the brothers. (Same thing that drew me to it, in fact).

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There was also a question about the conventions and whether they would still do them after the Show is off the air (What??? I can’t hear you….nanananananana)

Jared: The cons are part of what makes filming not so burdensome. We’ll keep doing some after it’s done, not as many but some.

I think everyone was pretty happy to hear that!

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The afternoon panel also had some funny moments. Like this one…

Jensen: I ran a name for the twins by JJ and she was like ‘how about no’.

He also told about the time he picked up JJ after she’d been fed and she puked all over him. He was like, “Help!” and Danneel said “Ohmygosh don’t move” while she ran – he presumed to get a towel. Instead she came back with her camera and took a picture. Because she’s AWESOME.

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At one point, Jared talked about getting peed on by his baby boys, as often happens. He offered to lend Jensen some peepee teepees for the new boy baby.

Jensen: I have my own. They’re bigger.

Jared: Slightly.

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A fan asked what their wishes were, and they pondered for a minute. Apropos of a conversation already in progress, Jensen answered first.

Jensen: That the show goes on forever.

Audience: [cheers]

Then he has another idea.

Jensen: A bigger boat.

Jared: Bigger than what?

Jensen: Bigger than yours!

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Seriously, I love their constant competition and how it never gets in the way of their affection. Boys.

Jared was teasing Jensen about how much work the twins are going to be, and Jensen just shook his head.

Jensen: I don’t know why you’re laughing, you’re helping.

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They also did an excellent job impersonating each other impersonating each other. Did you get that? It was like meta impersonation.

Jared did Jensen impersonating Jared, and then it was Jensen’s turn.

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As he turned around, Jared raised an eyebrow and quipped:

Jared: My ass looks great!

Why yes, it does. On both of you.

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As they bantered, at one point Jensen laughed and exclaimed —

Jensen: I love how he finishes my sentence before I even started my sentence!

They talked about how they never mind when a fan comes up to ask for a photo.

Jensen: We’d prefer you come ask for a picture rather than sneak them…

Jared: Okay okay, I’ll stop!

And then they playfully sneak filmed each other, going to great lengths to get their ‘hidden’ cameras into place. Boys.

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There were a few serious moments, of course. Someone asked the excellent question of how they are similar to their characters. Jared said that he’s passionate about the things he’s interested in, and so is Sam. They’re both researchers.

Jensen said that he tends to put others before himself, and Dean does too, sometimes to a fault.

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Another great question was what their favorite moments on set were. Jensen talked about watching Jared fall in love with Genevieve while they were filming.

Jensen: Close your ears, Jared. There he was, sitting on the floor staring up at her, this big giant stud of a guy looking up like a little puppy in love.

Awwww.

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And Jared also had a great answer. He remembered going out for lunch together with Jensen their first day of filming the pilot, sitting out there on the sea wall, and it was like a Taster’s Choice moment, and Jared remembered thinking, I hope this goes for a while.

Twelve seasons later, he certainly got his wish!

Jensen: I love Season 1, we were just getting to know the Show and each other.

My personal favorite moment?

Jared: If I ever write a book about my Supernatural experience…

Audience: [cheers wildly]

Jensen: Good job, you just roped yourself into writing a book.

Jared: (pretending to poke at typewriter keys one finger at a time) No, no, Lynn don’t even look at me like that!

Me: I didn’t say anything!

(But I wanted to, and they both knew it – because Jared wrote an effing amazing chapter for the new book which is all about his Supernatural experience, and I can’t wait to share it!)

They ended the panel with some heartfelt words for the fans.

Jared: What I’d miss the most is the positive impact I’ve been able to make (though he does miss anonymity)

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Jensen: We have amazing fans, and what you give us in these moments of interaction I’m grateful for.

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The Kings of Con rounded out a great weekend, with Rich and Rob amusing fans with the same kind of banter we’re so looking forward to in their upcoming web series.

Richard also told a Tough Mudder story.

Richard: I put our names on the Tough Mudder Kings of Con jerseys – then everyone was like hey, is that Jared Padalecki? OMG it is Jared Padalecki!

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Another fan asked Rob an interesting question.

Fan: How do you deal with impacting fans and you don’t even remember it?

Rob: OMG was it this weekend??

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There were serious moments too though, especially when they talked about the amazing thing that happened as a result of this year’s GISHWHES item being the instructions for what to do if someone is having a stroke. A young girl actually saved someone’s life after seeing that item, which is pretty damn incredible.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Rich and Rob about their new show, so look for that interview here soon. Kings of Con premieres on the ComicConHQ channel on November 15!

Stay tuned!

Big thanks to @mamaprior and @arkine13 for the watermarking.

–Lynn
For more of our Supernatural adventures, check out
Fangasm Supernatural Fangirls on amazon – click
The links on this page for more info!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Connie Dalgetty permalink
    October 17, 2016 5:29 am

    Thanks so much for giving me the ability to re-live my TorCon through your eyes and your words! I had such a wonderful weekend, as always! And I remember Jared saying to you “Lynn, don’t even look at me like that” and I got so excited that you were here in Toronto. Wish I had the chance to say hi and thank you in person for all your “Con reports”, sharing the interviews and all your words and impressions that you share with us…So I hope it’ll do if I say it here. .. Thanks so much!

  2. October 17, 2016 7:39 am

    Reblogged this on SUPERNATURAL AND OTHER SHOWS.

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