Richard Speight, Jr. — now, I know what you’re thinking (say no more!) but for this momentous occasion…we must. Whether you know it or not, Richard is a pillar in the Supernatural community. Between being an actor on the show (bringing fan favorite character Gabriel to life), directing some of the most visually stunning episodes of Supernatural to ever air, hosting conventions, creating the beloved series Kings of Con, or breaking the rules in the name of good fun (no more chairs at karaoke!), if you’re a fan of Supernatural, you have Rich to thank for some part of it.
If you’ve ever had the absolute pleasure of meeting Rich, you know his work and the fans are very important to him. He gives every person speaking to him his full attention, making every second count while somehow still being able to grant even the shortest interaction meaning. On top of his already mountainous list of talents and endearing attributes, he’s humble, down to Earth, and fiercely intelligent. When listening to him speak about directing, you can see the fire in his eyes and hear the excitement in his voice, making the driving force behind just what makes his episodes stand out among the rest as clear as day. There’s not only passion and love, but a deep-rooted respect for the show, the on-set family, and the Supernatural family watching at home.
Today is the man’s 49th birthday, and we here at Nerds and Beyond wanted to celebrate in the biggest way possible. So, not only did we raise over $1,000 to benefit a charity near and dear to Rich’s heart (Feeding America), we also compiled this list of 49 reasons why we think he’s just the bees knees.
So, without further ado…
1. Your personal dedication to making sure that every convention goer has the best possible experience.
2. The way you can make people laugh until they cry.
3. The incredible amount of talent you have, and yet you remain approachable and humble.
4. The way you just make everyone feel comfortable and at ease.
5. You’re such a talented actor in your roles you’ve played.
6. Your love and devotion to your wife and kids. The world needs more dads and husbands like you!
7. Your friendship with Rob Benedict. Hearing you exclaim “Bobbo!” during a panel is one of our favorite things about a Supernatural convention.
8. Your inspirational riffs at conventions on the importance of kindness and acceptance.
9. Your courage and creativity in your acting and directing.
10. Your relationship with your dad, who is just as hilarious as you! The bus tour is a highlight at Nashville Supernatural conventions!
11. You’re a fantastic storyteller during panels and interviews. They’re always interesting and entertaining, no matter how often we get to hear them!
12. Kings Of Con! I’ve watched it several times now and laugh every time.
13. The way in which you give fans your unwavering attention when holding a conversation with them.
14. And you give each conversation, no matter if it’s just a snippet of passing words, meaning.
15. You know how to laugh at yourself.
16. No matter how many years you’ve been at it, you show up to every convention with a smile as you prepare to host another memorable weekend for fans from near and far.
17. Your musical talents (there, we’ve said it, so you can’t deny it!)
18. And the fact that you gave in to everyone’s incessant urging and began recording your own solo album.
19. Your passion for the work that you do as a director.
20. The fact that your style and voice consistently shine through in what you’ve directed so far.
21. Your ability to somehow perfectly pull off portraying two entirely different characters in a television show, while also directing the episode that both characters were in.
22. You’re not afraid to dish out a bit of sass, when it’s warranted.
23. You clearly have a great relationship with those that you work with, which speaks volumes about your personal character.
24. Your ability to effortlessly connect with all fans, young and old.
25. Your kind heart.
26. Your quick improvisation on stage at conventions keeps things hilarious.
27. The fact that you are a true Southern gentleman.
28. Your awesome portrayals in The Hillywood Show parodies.
29. The fact that you wrote a song in French about salads.
30. The depth you gave the character Gabriel, giving him more meaning than the scripts alone could.
31. Your devotion to getting young people out to the voting polls to take charge of their futures with action.
32. How you (and Matt Cohen) transformed the karaoke experience at cons for the betterment of the fans, turning the mundane into magic.
33. The reverse Instagram stories. They may not always make sense, but they do always make us laugh.
34. I’ve been around long enough to remember “Rules and Regulations”, so it must be mentioned. Denver 2015 was a personal favorite.
35. The “Porncouver” shirt (thanks for digging that out, by the way.)
36. For your portrayal of Sgt. Warren “Skip” Muck and how much you’ve done, and continue to do for his family.
37. The fact that you’re the best hug available at a Supernatural convention.
38. Your humble nature and graciousness.
39. Your willingness to show up. Whether it’s to help a friend with a project, or a charity event, or to fill in for a last minute cancellation at a con, you’re always there.
40. Your exceptionally quick wit, and that you know how to use it.
41. How you don’t take any opportunity you’ve been given for granted, your gratitude is apparent with every story and interaction.
42. Your support of fandom artists of all kinds.
43. That spot on impersonation of Rob Benedict you do. You know the one.
44. The many changing, never to be rivaled, nicknames you have for Billy Moran.
45. The love you hold for the Toyota Sienna.
46. The grace and ease with which you command the stage at a convention or event — that is your element and you own it, yet are mindful not to steal the spotlight from the other talent on stage.
47. Your vast assortment of hats.
48. All of your Karaoke costumes, but mainly the Game of Thrones one…
49. Your fervent love of our “thing”, our fandom and each and every one of us.
So there you have it, I guess we like you a little bit. Happy Birthday, Rich!
Thank you to staff Kaity, Lindsey, Nicki, Michelle, Adrienne, Amanda B., Shannon, and Muriel for helping put this little celebration on.