San Diego Comic-Con 2017

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Author: Ariel Landrum

If you’re a fan of the comic, the show, or Seth Rogen, you know that attending the Preacher panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con would be full of inappropriate hilarity. This couldn’t be embodied more perfectly than with the free swag passed out during the table talk: a paper mask replicating the disfigured posterior-shaped mouth of Ian Colletti’s character, Arseface.

During the panel, viewers were reminded that they left the show with an entire town blowing up and relocating to New Orleans. The feeling of The Big Easy was emphasized as the cast and crew marched out to beats of “When the Saints Go Marching In” from a live brass band. Though a rather popular brass band song, it carries more of an ironic meaning for a show with very few saints.

The first season brought the improper, the violence, and the shock enthusiasts of the comic with the same title have grown to love. It was rumored that the show would be more watered down; once aired, fans saw that it wasn’t a straight adaptation yet kept the feeling of bizarre and brutal surprise throughout. Moderator Chris Hardwick addressed producer Rogen and partner Evan Goldberg. What was okay to air from a comic proud of its barbarous obscenity?

Rogen joked, “We live in an age of decline and can contribute to that decline.” He further elaborated that he feels the true essence of the source material is captured on the small screen while still having limits. According to the panelists, the limits allow them to tell the story better, providing a challenge of priorities. He mentioned that they “blew up Tom Cruise in the pilot,” although Cruise wasn’t a fan, it was the perfect introduction to the show – quirkiness meeting destruction and fathering guilty grins. 

Of course, hall attendees were treated with a new trailer and a clip from the next episode which aired on July 24, 2017. Before starting the snippet, Hardwick warned that the images and language featured might not be suitable for everyone. Rogen emphasized that “it’s not,” actor Joseph Gilgun warned the crowd that they might need to “toughen up” because it was everything but proper.

As the clip played, the audience followed actor Pip Torrens’ ruthless character, Herr Starr, train to become a part of The Grail, a take-control-over-world type of organization. The warning of suitability was warranted for this clip, as the scene was filled with an onslaught of humorously gory violence.  Starr’s sadistic nature, coupled with the severity of the tasks, marked high on anyone’s guilty pleasure list. When the lights turned on, Torrens proudly declared that playing his character was “very therapeutic.” He continued that crew had to help him shave his entire body, which brought them “so close they could be considered married in many countries.” 

Though the panel’s focus was to discuss what may come during the rest of the second season, most of it was hijacked by outrageous antics. The Q&A followed a stream of silly questions and responses. Actor and YouTube creator in the crowd, Josh Macuga, asked if he could monetize “Ruth Negga’s Rutabagas,” named after the Oscar-nominated actress who portrays Tulip O’Hare. This led to a five-minute discussion among the group of what exactly a rutabaga was and how it compares to turnips, and, as Hardwick coined it, it became the “Great Rutabaga Debaga.”

One admirer inquired from the cast if their lives had changed since the hit of the show. Gilgun quipped that back home, he is a “women repellant,” but in the States, he has become “somewhat of a gigolo.” This comment was responded to with cheers and whistles from the crowd.

Another fan asked if Rogen would ever appear on the show, which prompted him to take jabs at the show’s star, Dominic Cooper (playing Jesse Custer). Laughing, he boasted, “I don’t want to say it, but I’m going to replace Domini with myself. The show will be called ‘Rabbi’ now.” The crowd applauded and laughed while Cooper shook his head in disbelief.

If the chemistry in the room indicates the rest of season two, then it will be worth every minute of watching time. Check out Preacher on Mondays at 9 pm ET on AMC.

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