What happens when you take two incredibly talented and hilarious actors, throw them into the convention scene, and give them a microphone? You get the Rob and Rich show. But more than that you get the makings of an incredibly unique and fantastic comedy series. Fans of the hit CW show, Supernatural, have some to know Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr. well through their various appearances at the Salute to Supernatural conventions put on by the company, Creation Entertainment. The conventions provide fans with a unique opportunity to come face-to-face with their favorite actors from the show. It is through those conventions that Kings of Con was born.
The series starring Rob and Rich will depict the actors as exaggerated versions of themselves as they live in both the real world and the fanatical world of the convention scene. But in order to get their series up and running they needed the help of the fans and so they began an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for their filming expenses and the campaign have birthed phenomenal results. I was recently given the distinct pleasure of speaking with Rob and Rich about the campaign and the series itself.
BECCA ROSE: Hey guys! Now, I’ve seen some of the videos you’ve posted on your Indiegogo website and it’s absolutely hilarious.
ROB BENEDICT: Thank you.
RICHARD SPEIGHT, JR.: Thanks!
BECCA ROSE: Now from what I gather you guys have already met your first goal and are aiming for $200,000?
Rich: Yeah we’re doing well. Our original goal was to get the ball rolling and we’ve been meeting benchmarks as they come along so we’re very pleased so far.
BR: Tell us about Kings of Con.
Rob: It’s basically a venture that is based on the characters Rob and Rich, who aren’t necessarily the real Rob and Rich, but an exaggerated version of us in the convention circuit. It’s reality but also goes into the fiction realm of the convention world. It’s a show about the relationship between Rich and Rob but set in the world of conventions and backstage at the conventions. We always say that crazy people at the conventions are the actors themselves. So this will sort of shed light on that.
BR: Well that will be interesting giving fans a different look on things. The convention-goers don’t get to see what goes on behind the scenes, of course, this seems a little wacky.
Rich: It is a little wacky. Each story and episode are pulled from actual events, but they are fictionalized. It is a single-camera comedy that we’re making. It's heightened reality but isn’t a reality show nor is it a documentary.
Rob: It’s inspired by these adventures that we’ve been on.
Rich: But they veer off pretty darn far but we retell the stories from the conventions.
BR: Were there any scenes or moments that stand out in your mind as exceptionally hilarious?
Rob: We haven’t shot any yet. We shot the pilot episode and then after the Indiegogo campaign is over then we’re going to go into production and will be shooting it later this summer or early fall. That’s sort of what we’re involved in right now. We’re writing all the episodes and we’re super psyched about it. The kind of wackiness that is going to go on includes stories that really happened. For example, Rich and I were in New Jersey for a convention and we were put on the ninth floor. Rich was in room 911 and I dialed his room number and accidentally dialed 9-1-1. I thought it was Rich doing a character, but sure enough it was an angry 9-1-1. I tried to explain that I was in a hotel but they wanted to know where I was so I hung up the phone in a state of panic and ran over to Rich’s room and said, “Rich, man I messed up.” Of course, Rich was laughing his face off and five minutes later we get a knock on the door and it’s the police. This happened in our hotel room in New Jersey and we weren’t there for half an hour and were already in trouble with the police. That really happen so that’s going to be an episode but of course in the episode I end up going to jail and Rich has to try to get me out.
Rich: Sadly that didn’t happen in reality.
BR: That is definitely something I think people are going to enjoy seeing. I happen to be glad that you were not thrown in jail, Rob.
Rob: I appreciate that.
BR: Will this be a web series or a TV series?
Rich: That is to be determined. We are in the process of figuring out the format that the show will be in and the platform on which it will be distributed.
Rob: At the very least it will be on the web as a 10-12 minute web series. We’ve got some other interest in possible some other platforms in the main market so we’re keeping our options open on whether it could be a half hour sitcom on cable television or like I said, a 10-12 minute web series. It’s really exciting. Either way people who are interested will able to see the content…maybe this year.
BR: Do you sit down and conceptualize how it is going to go down or is it more improve?
Rich: Rob and I have other characters involved and we script each episode very considerably. Now, once we’re shooting it improvisation does come into play and we play into the moment as we shoot and if things work we’ll keep them. Whatever is the funniest is what we’re going to go with.
BR: The dynamic between the two of you, just based on what I have seen at events and videos on YouTube, I think whatever works is going to be hilarious. You guys have such a great dynamic and really play off each other really well. I am excited to see the chemistry, for lack of a better word, between the two of you.
Rich: Thank you, I appreciate that. I think chemistry is the exact right word and what inspired Rob and I to make this show was the world we were apart of. But what gave it substance for us to pull it off was the unique bond Rob and I have developed over the years and working side-by-side, our comradery translates into, what we think, is comedic. It’s always great to hear that people are seeing that dynamic because that’s what we’re going for and is what we’re building a show on. Conventions are the backdrop of the show, but its backbone is the comradery between Rob and myself.
BR: In the clip that I watched where you both were explaining what Kings of Con was going to be you said there were stories there (at conventions) and every event I’ve ever covered I come home with pages of stories that can be told. I am so glad that you guys are telling stories, even if they are somewhat exaggerated, but I definitely think it’s a whole world that people don’t’ always get to see.
Rich: It’s going to be fun to film. Rob and I were in the office coming up with scripts and laughing ourselves silly either laughing at our own dumb jokes that we came up with or we were laughing in memory of what really happened that inspired our jokes. It’s a fun time for us as well.
BR: Of all the places you’ve been, which is your favorite location for a convention?
Rich: That’s pretty easy, Rome. It was amazing and I think second would be London.
Rob: Yeah Rome and London. And this year they added new cities so that was exciting to get to go to Denver for the first time and Minneapolis.
Rich: If we do a normal convention in say, New Jersey, and then we go back to our real lives. But Rome and England are both definitely vacations. They’ve become really awesome road trips. But each place has it’s own special memory and special energy. We have a great time at the cons, and when I say we I’m not just talking about Rob and myself I’m talking about Matt Cohen, Mark Pellegrino, Mark Sheppard, Kim Rhodes, we always get together and have a fun dinner. We always go and have a great time somewhere, not even in a major city, and love it. We have a really fun time at all of these things and definitely enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the energy of the weekend in general. And let us not forget how much fun it is to go to Vancouver, the mecca of the show. It’s great to go where the show exists and where it was born because then we can go hang out with the crew and the people who make the show happen.
For more information about Kings of Con and how you can contribute please visit:
@RobBenedict | @dicksp8jr | @Rob_and_Rich