Comic Con 2013 is full of surprises, like the way I met Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.
I left the NERD HQ Party at Petco Park, and was just walking past The Omni Hotel, and toward The Hard Rock Cafe, en route to Nobu for a bit. On the way, I passed a group of three people, one of which a man who was looking up, shielding his face, and the other two, a man with glasses and a woman, talking.
I asked the one guy who was shielding his face if he was OK, and he said yes, so the other man then asked what “was going on up there,” referring to Petco Park. I told him about the NERD HQ Party.
Then, I said to the other man with the glasses that he looked like he was promoting something here at Comic Con, and if he had a press release, to please share it with me as I like to help indies get the word out about what they do. So, he said “sure” and then we talked more about my blogs and platforms.
Then, as we talked, this woman walked by that caught our attention, and that changed the conversation. I said “Wow,” and the man with the glasses said “You see a lot of that around here.”
At that point, I said, “Thank God, I’m not married, but I’d like to be.” And the man with the glasses said “Well, I am. My wife’s great, but I can look once in a while, then I go home.” Then he mentioned something about being in his 50s, and I said I’m 51, and he said “So am I, but you’ve got the gene pool!” (Because I look much younger, or so I’m told.)
At about that point, papers started appearing in our face: autograph seekers were mobbing the man with the glasses. At that point, I realized I had no idea who he was. As it happens, the man with the glasses was Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants!
Tom Kenny is a gracious man. As you can see in the video, he took time to sign the autographs of everyone who thrust a paper in our face. Tom was concerned about getting back to his place, so I said “Look, they think I’m security because I’m black, male, bald, and wearing a black suit, so I’ll walk with you.” He said “Good idea.”
So we walked.
After the rush of fans, and from every direction, died down, I asked him when he first realized he was famous “I still don’t think I am,” he said. “This (being hounded) only happens at Comic Con.”
But the video’s a great sign of how well Tom Kenny deals with fame. He’s nice to everyone, and they love him for it.