The special guest line-up for this past weekend’s Big Apple Comic Con read a lot like a wish list for VH1’s The Surreal Life: classic TV-show refugees (Different Strokes‘ Todd Bridges, Silver Spoons‘ Erin Gray, Dukes of Hazzard‘s Tom Wopat); cartoony wrestlers (Ric Flair, The Iron Sheik, Bushwacker Luke); actors known for sci-fi kitsch (William Shatner, The Terminator‘s Edward Furlong, The Original Boba Fett); washed-up Billboard charters (Naughty By Nature, Taylor Dayne). Not all those advertised made it — “Smoking” Joe Frazier and bad Terminator 2 cop Robert Patrick were, for example, no-shows. But for the ones who did, the overall vibe was perplexing, sometimes costly (Shatner charged $80 to pose for a photo) and occasionally sad, sort of like that autograph scene in The Wrestler. “When there were fans around, they were cool taking pictures and signing autographs,” our photographer Paul Quitoriano e-mails, “But then there would be times where they’d just be sitting there, staring into space.” Quitoriano managed to sneak some candids of the scene. The results weren’t exactly uplifting.
10. Linda Hamilton. Please ignore the film version of Sarah Connor, surrounded by a grinning family and a meditating child. Let’s instead focus on the neon-green tee in foreground while we both ask ourselves this: Why do people who aren’t at band camp get their T-shirts autographed?
9. Ernie Hudson. Hey, that’s the guy who fixed our catalytic converter last week! Awesome to run into you here, buddy. Nice job, it doesn’t smell like farts in the front seat, anymore, high-five! Oh, wait. You’re, you’re … holy crap! … Winston from Ghostbusters! Can you autograph this totally awesome neon tee for us?
8-7. America’s Top Model‘s Adrianne Curry and Christopher Knight a/k/a Peter Brady. This barracuda couple, who actually met on The Surreal Life, always struck us as a low-rent TomKat: young, gorgeous beauty falls for a much-older, markedly shorter, double-whammy divorcee simply because she grew up taping vintage Tiger Beat centerfolds of him on her bedroom walls. Of course, AdBrady is far less scary, far less moneyed, and these two actually have sex. Anyway, what is Alexi Lalas doing getting his picture taken with them?
6. Loretta Swit (and Chewbacca). That, on the top far right, is the world’s most famous Wookie. That, on the bottom left, is “Hot Lips” Houlihan from M*A*S*H. In unrelated news, we’re gonna be such an ugly old woman, fuck.
5. Adam West. Flickr user Randsom writes, “Adam ‘Batman’ West charged $50 per signature and surrounded himself with security to prevent photos from being taken that weren’t paid for in advance.” That’s an awful lot of money to stand beside a guy who looks like he’d try to bang your grandma, don’t you think?
4. Taimak Guarriello is the man in the middle. The Internet tells us that his first-name is pronounced “Ty-mock” and that he starred in the 1985 cult-classic The Last Dragon. What the Internet does not tell us is that this poor dude had to ask around on the Comic Con floor to find out where the bathroom was, then ended up waiting in a long-ass line with the costumed hoi polloi. Not sure what’s more depressing: the thought of him hopping from foot-to-foot behind a slew of portly men in Spandex, or the fact that the bio on his Twitter account actually lists a phone number that, like some kind of erotic bakery service, demands BUSINESS CALLS ONLY.
3. Erick Avari. The saddest aspect of this photo with Dr. Terrence Bey from The Mummy isn’t that the celebrity guest’s most recent credit is Days of Our Lives — in this economy, we should all be blessed with such steady work — it’s that the celebrity guest looks far more thrilled to be in this photo than the fan. Can you even tell which one he is?
2-1. Edward Furlong and Todd Bridges. The person with the sunglasses in his ratty hair, looking stoned behind that mangy goatee, is miraculously not Kid Rock. It is Edward Furlong. Seriously, Edward Furlong. The Terminator 2 star who most recently made news for allegedly assaulting his “estranged” wife with “chains and bats.” (Just yesterday, she asked that it be lifted.) Whoa. More whoa: Todd Bridges is in the background, looking like the creepy guy who nods out beside you at the dive bar. Seriously, don’t ever get your kids into show business, people.