Welcome to our series on Kings of Con! We’ll be posting a few articles throughout this week, which include our favorite moments, favorite moments from the cast and crew and so much more. So, make sure to stay tuned!
Kings of Con, a show created, written and directed by the dynamic duo of Rob Benedict and Richard Speight, Jr., has been a favorite of ours since it debuted in November of 2016. Two years later, we’re still talking about it and feeling as passionate as ever about the series, and rallying behind the show for a second season. To us, it really is the best con-related show aimed towards fandom ever made. It’s the only show to really get what it’s like in a fandom and for fans to attend conventions, without using them as the joke, as so many shows seem to do.
So, Let’s go back to the beginning.
Rob and Rich developed the concept for the show while traveling around the world for Supernatural conventions, which the two frequently host together. Rob had played Chuck/God on the show, while Rich played The Trickster/Gabriel. Both were fan favorites, which led to them being asked to appear at conventions around the world. The audience loved the two and their interactions so much, they quickly became guests that appeared on all days of the conventions, and were soon asked to host them, while Rob’s band, Louden Swain, eventually became the “house band” which plays between panels and hosts their own special concert on Saturday nights, called “Saturday Night Special.”
The two launched an IndieGoGo Campaign in 2015 to help raise money so they could meet their goal to help make the series. What they raised far surpassed their goal – by over $150,000. The two worked hard, along with a passionate cast and crew, to hopefully deliver a fun, entertaining show.
The show would later be picked up for distribution on Comic-ConHQ.com – a new streaming service by Lionsgate and Comic-Con. This was a huge win for the duo, as the service was just starting to grow (they were hosting Pop Culture Quest with Mark Hamill and Con Man with Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk), and it seemed like a really great fit for the show and for the audience.
Kings of Con officially premiered on November 15, 2016 – releasing their first two episodes. The response was incredible – their audience was loving it. Comic-ConHQ.com also posted the first two episodes to their Youtube page – which as of the time of writing this article, have a combined total of over 215,000 views.
With the launch of the show, Rob and Richard embarked on something else – Kings of Conversation. Kings of Conversation was a live-streamed “after show” where Rob and Rich went live to talk about the episode that had just been released, invite some of their friends and people who have appeared on the show on, as well as play games – like having everyone line up for a photo-op and having a scenario shouted out to them and they have to quickly pose as that scenario. Rob hosted by himself for the first show due to Richard directing an episode of Supernatural, and he really held the fort down. Kings of Conversation was a great place to see more about what goes on behind-the-scenes, as well as letting fans interact with the actors and crew involved – they had Twitter polls, showed fan-art, etc. It’s also where Jayden Lund (who appeared on Kings of Con as the Con Photographer) took over Louden Swain, who was playing music for the after show, in what fans now call “Jayden Swain”.
Kings of Conversation streamed over many platforms – Comic-Con HQ, Facebook and Youtube. On Youtube alone, the streams have a combined total of over 46,000 views.
The Kings of Con social media page numbers are incredible – their Facebook page has over 77,000 followers. Their twitter has over 49,000. Rob has over 497,000 followers on Twitter. Rich has over 627,000 followers on Twitter. Their fan base is powerful.
Two fan artists, Scout Villegas and Angèle Desjardins, even ended up designing some amazing fan art centered around the show. These quickly became fan – and cast – favorites. You can see examples from the two artists below.
Kings of Con had 10 episodes, all around 10-15 minutes long. The show centered around Rob Bennett and Richard Slate, both heightened and exaggerated versions of Rob and Rich. It showed the two attending conventions, while having side-stories such as Rob going through a divorce, the two getting accidentally married, and more crazy adventures. Rob and Rich have said that they often pulled from experiences that had happened in real life, but made them more dramatized for the story. Rob and Rich enlisted actors from Supernatural as well as other popular fandoms on the show to appear, which the audience loved. Actors such as Matt Cohen, Kim Rhodes, Osric Chau, Kurt Fuller, Mandy Musgrave, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Sebastian Roche, Carly Nykanen, Gil McKinney, Alaina Huffman, Lindsay Sloane, Josh Meyers, and more appeared, making it fun to see who would appear next.
One of the reasons the show was so popular, was because it added a fresh perspective to the world of conventions that focuses not only on the fans, but the behind-the-scenes trials and wild tribulations of the actors. It’s a show that, instead of taking the easy way out by making fans the butt of the joke, they made the fans in on the joke. Too many times do shows look at conventions and make fun of the fans that attend. Rob and Rich very carefully showed the fans love in a very tasteful way and believe me, the audience took notice. Rob and Rich are often quoted at conventions saying that the fans they have met at conventions are “doctors, teachers, prison guards, etc.” and that they themselves, often feel like the weird ones.
The true heart and soul of Kings of Con is honestly, Rob and Rich. It’s so incredible to watch them on the screen together. Their friendship is so genuine, it is what drives every episode and it’s just so easy to tell this was a labor of love. The show has it’s tender moments, and it’s easy to fall in love with Rob and Rich’s characters as you watch them go through some heartfelt situations. It’s a testament to Rob and Rich of how great of a team they are to show these two characters and all of their dynamics and at the end of the day, have the audience realize that it’s about two really good men trying to get through difficult parts in their lives.
After all of the episodes had been released, fans immediately started asking for more. Rob and Rich were adamant about another season just as much as the fans, and kept up the conversation about the show. After months of supporting the show, fans learned that unfortunately, Comic-Con HQ was no longer participating in any scripted shows, so the show needed to find a new home. Fans launched multiple campaigns, and campaigned to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon to pick up the series, including the hashtag #RenewKoC.
Rob and Rich have hinted that either way a second season will be made, and often reiterated that at their convention appearances. Speaking in November 2017 at a convention, Rich stated, “Season 2, Robbie and I are in the process of working with Lionsgate’s digital division to find a new home for it. So, we’re excited about doing it, we’re ready to go and now we’re just taking meetings… literally just started last week taking the meetings to figure out where it’s going to land and when we have a home, that’s when we’ll start actually making the show. So we’re sort of in the intermediate process of figuring out where it’s going to be.” Rob stated, “We know basically where the show is going to go and have a few episodes written and everything and like you said, just looking for the home. As soon as we find one, we’ll let you know.” Matt Cohen, who also was at the panel with them chimed in, stating “There WILL be more,” to which Rob and Rich agreed.
Rob and Rich have often been quoted after that, saying they’d make it all themselves if they had to. While there’s no official word yet, there are rumors going around as of late July 2018, that they’re close to finding a home for Kings of Con, which we’re definitely all crossing our fingers for.
You can watch Kings of Con right now by subscribing to Comic-Con HQ’s service. The series is also available on Amazon and ITunes!