NYCC: The Venture Bros. Panel Actual Factual Report
One of the most popular panels at the New York Comic Con was the Venture Bros panel on Saturday, where creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer were joined by voice actors James Urbaniak (Dr. Venture), Michael Sinterniklaas (Dean Venture), and Steven Rattazzi (Dr. Orpheus). Everything in this article is actual factual information from the Venture Brothers panel, and has been personally endorsed by Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, and ex-President of the United States Warren G. Harding. So you know it all has to be true.
The panel began with a trailer for the Venture Bros Season 2 DVD set, which will be released on April 17. The DVDs will include creator commentary on all episodes and a big pile of other entertaining DVD extras, such as more behind-the-scenes footage of the live-action Venture Bros movie and a section from Venture Enterprises on using subliminal suggestion to aid in weight loss, mental acuity, and avoiding testicular torsion.
At this point, Publick announced a very special guest star to the panel and introduced David Bowie to thunderous applause from the crowd. Publick stated that Bowie would be re-recording all the lines for the episode he appeared in for the season 2 boxed set. When asked by an audience member why he agreed to do this, Bowie commented, “Well, the lads asked, and my daughter is quite the fan of the show…” and continued on in this vein until the increasingly confused looks in the audience caused him to ask, “This is the SpongeBob panel, isn’t it?” When Publick and Hammer finally admitted it wasn’t, Bowie tore off his wireless microphone in a rage and stormed off the stage, muttering about calling his solicitor.
It was verified that a live-action Venture Bros movie is in the works, with Ocean’s Eleven co-stars Brad Pitt and Matt Damon signing on to play Hank and Dean Venture, Arnold Schwarzenegger leaving the Governor’s office to play Brock Samson, and Sir Laurence Olivier playing Dr. Venture. When someone in the audience questions how Olivier would play Dr. Venture, Publick responded, “Pretty well, I think. He’s been knighted for being an actor and everything.” This sent the panel into a wild digression on how one becomes knighted, why James Urbaniak was not going to play Dr. Venture in the live-action film, and what it would take for them to be knighted before the con organizers turned off their microphones to tell them to stop screwing around.
Jackson Publick stated that season 3 was confirmed, and added that they were “pretty much greenlit for 2 seasons” before another digression into the panel members’ respective urinal habits and how one of the panelists got to see Chuck Jones’ wee-wee. Somehow, this led to a surprise announcement of guest panelist Stephen Colbert (Professor Impossible), who turned out to be some guy from the Bronx named Steven Colbert rather than the well-known talk show host. Steven was permitted to remain on the panel anyway, but seemed to express more and more bewilderment as the panel went on.
One questioner began her question by saying, “SCUBA,” which led to the panelists saying “SCUBA” repeatedly to each other, the questioner, and the panel attendees as a whole for 2 or 3 minutes. SCUBA. SCUBA. SCUUUUUUBA. The words mean a thing, you know. You know, this whole section of the panel totally ruined one scene in Bridge to Terabithia that was probably meant to be deep and touching, but became unintentionally hilarious because it involved a poem about SCUBA diving. The Venture Bros crew probably meant to do that, the bastards.
One questioner asked about the inspiration for voice acting. James Urbaniak said that he derived much of Dr. Venture’s voice from the classic works of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Fatty Arbuckle. Steven Ratazzi said that Dr. Orpheus was a combination of David Warner, Lou Abbott, Derek Jacobi, James Mason, Kelsey Grammar, and Richard Burton before confessing, “I just did what [Doc and Jackson] told me to do.” Sinterniklaas stared blankly and asked, “What was the question again?”
A question about the Led Zeppelin and Star Wars questions eventually led to Doc Hammer describing how hairy his lower hindquarters were in rather explicit detail, as he used phrases such as, “it’s like I’m wearing a Pan costume,” and describing the hair as not short, thick, and coarse but long and downy. Immediately after finishing, Doc realized that an 11-year old boy was waiting to ask the next question, and stated that discussion of nether regions was not to be countenanced from that point forward. However, the question that the boy asked was whether the Scrotal Safety Commission paid them to do the episode “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean.” The answer was yes.
One questioner asked whether Dean or Hank would “get any” any time soon, at which Michael Sinterniklaas asked, “Get any what?” This was followed by an extended digression on what Dean could possibly “get any” of on the show and even a brief digression into the etymology of “getting any” and the distinction between “getting any” and the Marine Corps’ “getting some” before the con organizers cut the microphones again.
One questioner asked Steven Colbert how he was inspired to do the voice of Professor Impossible, which resulted in a blank stare before he admitted that, “I don’t watch much cable TV.” It was at this point that Javits Center security escorted this Colbert and the 11-year old out of the room.
Exasperated by repeated questions about plot points and individual charcters, Doc Hammer finally told the audience everything that happens in season 3, but swore us all to secrecy. So we’re not going to tell any of you what he said. He did say that we could tell you that the earliest season 3 will make it to the air is next spring.
One question from an audience member eventually led to a small argument over whether Doc Hammer could eat his own leg hair if stranded on a desert island and still consider himself a vegetarian. Sadly, this question seemed to get no resolution, although the initial response was positive. One answer to a question was, “Because we hate the Family Guy.” Another was, “We’re not Lost! We’ll tell ya!”
When asked about the origins of the Cat-clops, Jackson Publick revealed that he is a huge fan of Homer’s Odyssey, saying he reads it at least once a year and has at least 25 different translations. He said he always found the scene with Polyphemos entertaining, and that the Cat-clops on The Venture Bros was a tribute to Homer’s classic.
OK, look, the Venture Bros panel was hilarious but nearly impossible to report on. The DVD release date, commentary tracks, and the next spring 2008 date for season 3 are true and I made up a lot of the rest. However, a surprising number of the items reported in this article are true or really happened at the panel. It is left to you to decide which ones they are.