It’s not my birthday today, but it was my birthday when Steve was in Ontario for the Niagara Falls Comic Con, so this video of a (the?) panel discussion he did there feels like a belated birthday present.
I think I like this panel discussion better than the last one I posted because, while still remaining upbeat and positive, this moderator was more willing to address the controversial issues, whereas the last one was all “ix-nay on the ism-Schay.” And to a certain extent I get that, but it also seems kind of weird and inauthentic to pretend that everything is great and none of that stuff ever happened, and it also limits the questions that people can ask. And for me, playing armchair psychologist here at home, it kind of makes it harder for me to gauge where Steve is and if he’s okay, so I appreciate that this moderator was willing to go there.
I hasten to add that I have no expertise in psychology whatsoever, so it is only my layperson’s opinion when I say that Steve seems to be doing well and in good spirits. He addresses the controversial matters with grace and dignity, in a matter-of-fact way, and without bitterness. During the audience Q&A, someone who clearly doesn’t read The Hollywood Reporter asked him about the possiblity of him working with Henson or Sesame Workshop again, and he said that that was probably done, adding that “it’s kind of okay,” which brought tears to my eyes. But that indicated to me that he’s making peace with what’s past and looking ahead to the future, which seems like a good and healthy path to be taking. He also dropped some more hints about his future plans, though still nothing too specific, but he talked about keeping Jim’s spirit alive through his own creations.
Obviously, there were some stories that we’d heard before, but he went more in depth with some of those stories, and there was also quite a bit that was new. For instance, he talked about being starstruck by David Bowie when working on Labyrinth and making a fool of himself when meeting Bowie for the first time, which really made me feel better because if indeed I have the opportunity to meet Steve at Gen Con next month, I’m really afraid that I’m going to say or do something stupid or embarrassing, such as (a) acting too familiar, i.e. “You know me, but you don’t know you know me” or (b) just bursting into tears and becoming sloppily incoherent (there’s a precedent for that, but it’s a whole other story).
He also talked about Fraggle Rock, and he mentioned something specifically about Wembley that I’ve always noticed, that he delighted in having Wembley react in the background to things that the other characters are saying. I’ve noticed that frequently about Wembley, and it’s one of the reasons why I love Wembley so much because he always reacts in such an authentic manner to what’s going on around him, so I’m thrilled to discover that that was by design.
As always, the discussion is very entertaining and informative, but in a weird way, I kind of found myself getting distracted by Steve’s hair. I mean, he always looks great, but he seemed to be having a particularly good hair day that day. And I don’t always like long hair on guys, but he’s someone for whom it works well. Maybe at one of these conventions someday someone will ask him about his hair care regimen because whatever he’s doing certainly is working. So anyway, that wasn’t really apropos of anything, but I just kind of wanted to get it out of my system because if indeed I do get to meet Steve at some point, I don’t want to gush about his hair because that would be really embarrassing.
*ahem* Yes, well…Instead of indulging me and my ridiculous rambling, why don’t you just go ahead and watch the panel, which is embedded below: