Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best Trip Down to Harmontown

Two Saturdays ago I went down to Arlington, VA to see Dan Harmon because I let his Brooklyn show sell out on me.  It was a fair tradeoff because Richie, Carol and I found ourselves sitting absolutely front and center.

Dan Harmon is best known for creating the TV show Community and for being fired from the same show at end of its third season.  But a quick visit to imdb will teach you he's had his finger in all sorts of interesting Hollywood pots before Community and several nice pots coming up in the future.  Around the middle of last year I became aware of his robust internet presence.  Dan is an always-interesting guest on many a podcast and the co-host of the rather enjoyable Harmontown show.  And that's why I was in DC, they'd taken Harmontown on the road for a month and I wanted to see it.

The first thing that struck me while watching him live was how clearly the light of genius shines in his eyes.  On the internet he just seems infinitely clever, but that night it was clear why, in a room full of people united by endless shared interests, we were the ones on the audience and he was the one on stage.  He's the guy with the brain, the charisma, the work ethic, the persistence and the madness—that's why he's the guy with the tv shows, web serieses, scripts, musical numbers, stories and tour bus.

I am not at all surprised to report that I found myself tremendously entertained, having laughed a good bit and squirmed a little here and there (a genius, clearly, is sometimes a difficult kind of person to be and a difficult kind of person to be around).  Aside from getting to see people I was used to listening to interacting in real life, it was fun to see the stuff that's not in the podcast: body language, people mouthing things to each other while others spoke, Dan's dancing, segments of dialogue completely excised when the show was uploaded for all to hear, and Dan staring deeply into his vodka when comptroller Jeff Davis would speak or kneeling on the floor during the Dungeons and Dragons segment of the show.

What you see above is Dan trying to get back to the stage after sort of crowd-surfing at the end of the show.

What you see below is Dan having returned to the stage after the show ended to talk and take questions for an additional 5 or 10 minutes.  Another nice slice of stuff you won't find just listening to the podcast.

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