On Tuesday the cast members of Carnivale appeared at the William S. Paley Television Festival for a screening of "The Day That Was The Day" and a Q&A session. The people who appeared on stage were Michael J. Anderson (Samson), Adrienne Barbeau (Ruthie), Clancy Brown (Justin), Tim DeKay (Jonesy), Clea Duvall (Sofie), Howard Klein (Executive Producer), Daniel Knauf (Creator/Executive Producer), Amy Madigan (Iris), Nick Stahl (Ben) and Carolyn Strauss (HBO Executive VP).
The festival was held by The Museum of Television and Radio at The Directors Guild of America Theatre Complex in Los Angeles.
Before the show, they air a short clip of classic television, which in this case happened to be a dream sequence from "Twin Peaks" featuring Michael Anderson dancing and talking backwards. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the event, but after they showed the episode everyone sat on the stage and answered questions from the MC and the audience. A lot of audience members asked pretty inane questions that you could get answered on hbo.com, carnivale.org or in carnivale_hbo here on LiveJournal. For instance, one woman stood up and announced proudly, "After months of careful observation, I've come to the conclusion that Management is...Linda Hunt! Am I right?!?" Dur! Another person asked, "Will they show the episodes again before Season 2?" It was a little frustrating if you had a good question that you wanted to ask, but we got some good info about DVD releases and other things. (I'll talk about all that stuff at the end, since some things may contain spoilers!)
Once the forum ended, most of the stars stuck around to take pictures and sign autographs. It was very crowded, but for the most part people were pretty polite and not too pushy.
Adrienne Barbeau was very warm and sweet and asked us if we wanted to take a picture with her. Here she is with my sister. Isn't Adrienne gorgeous? When she first came on stage in that velvet pantsuit, I was like, "Yowza!"
I told her that I loved her in Maude and Swamp Thing, which for some reason people seem to find hilarious. Why? Swamp Thing is a great movie!
Michael Anderson was a riot. He was cracking jokes left and right, and he was very careful to spend a lot of time with every fan, giving his email address to the ones he really hit it off with. My sister would like me to point out that she was one of them, nyah nyah.
I was so excited about taking pictures and nervous about my camera working right that I completely forgot to get pictures of myself with most of the stars, but I got a lot of autographs and got to tell everyone how much I enjoy their work, which was really cool.
Before this, the only time I'd really gotten close to a celebrity was when I met Courtney Love at a concert on my 16th birthday. I remember being completely shocked at how old and beat-up she looked. It was completely the opposite here. When you scrape the 40 layers of dirt off of everyone and put them in clean clothes, everybody looks about ten times hotter. Except for Clancy, I guess, because he usually stays pretty clean on the show and it doesn't get much better than Clancy in a cassock. (By the way, Carolyn Strauss mentioned that she was the one who was always demanding "More dirt!" so you can blame her for that one ^_~)
I really regret that I wasn't able to get a picture of the dress that Clea was wearing, because it was cut to there and very sexy, but it was just too crowded.
While we were watching the episode (which Dan K. referred to as "The Day after the day that wasn't the Day, and the Day before the day after the Day.") I remember feeling bad for Clea having to sit in a room full of people and watch herself...well, you've seen the episode.
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
I was totally excited to meet everybody, but I was so starstruck when I met Clancy that I believe my exact words were something along the lines of "I just-uh-Highlander-AND SPONGEBOB HAHAHAHA-picture?"
In case anyone was wondering, yes, he did the Mr. Krabs voice.
Nick seemed really nice and down-to-earth, even kind of shy. I heard that he said he wasn't feeling very well, so I think that may have been part of it.
Diane Salinger (Apollonia) and Carla Gallo (Libby) weren't scheduled to be there, but they were in the audience. They were both really sweet. Not very many people were recognizing them, in fact after they were gone a woman asked me "Now who were they?" As they were leaving, I called out to Diane: "You have the hardest job on the show!"
During the show a few things slipped out that may shed some light on next season. No real plot points were revealed, but depending on how much of a purist you are, some stuff could be considered spoilers. Consider yourselves warned:
*On Management: Responding to the woman who asked about Linda Hunt, Daniel K. confirmed that Linda Hunt did indeed supply the voice for Management, but not to "look for Linda Hunt behind the curtain."
*Sofie: I had read that Clea Duvall would not be back for Season 2, but during the show she mentioned how much she enjoyed working on the show and that she was looking forward to coming back. Nobody else really dropped any comparable statements, so you might interpret that to mean that Sofie might be making it out of the trailer. Or maybe not.
*The Dreifuss Family: When I talked to Carla, I told her that I was afraid that the powers that be blamed the Cooch Show storyline for the pacing problems that the show might have had (read the Dan K. interview on carnivale.org). I told her that the fans (well, me anyway) love the storyline and begged her to tell me that they weren't going to write it out. She promised that the Dreifuss family isn't going anywhere.
*Justin's evilness: Dan reiterated the idea that the Dustbowl and all the related turmoil is occurring because the Devil is walking the earth, and mentioned his personal belief that if the Devil really did show up, "You'd probably find him in a cassock." It kind of puts a damper on any "Who is dark/who is light?" debates.
*DVD release: The execs confirmed that Season 2 would probably be premiering in January of '05 as has been reported before, and stated that the DVD for Season 1 would be released shortly before, probably in time for Christmas. I read in the hbo.com chatrooms that it would be in November, which sounds about right. They also asked everyone not to purchase the bootleg versions now available on Ebay.
*Season 3 and beyond: What seemed to concern most of the audience was whether HBO planned to allow Carnivale to run it's course, or that they might cancel it because of less than stellar ratings. Dan said that they were very lucky to be on HBO, because they believe in and stand behind their programming, and for us not to be afraid of having the rug pulled out from under us. Carolyn Strauss said they have full faith in the show and wouldn't cancel it before it has run it's course.
It was the most incredible time I've ever had, and I'll never forget it. All the stars were so friendly and sweet, I love the show even more now than ever before. And as we all know, that's sending me into dangerously obsessive territory.