Hello gentle reader. I have been gong to Dragon*Con in Atlanta GA now for quite a few years and one of the things that I have really grown to love is the attendance by celebrities and pseudo-celebrities. As a member of The Unique Geek, I have agreed to do a weekly highlight on one (possibly more than one) of the Con attendees that qualifies for ‘celebrity’ status.
This time: Larry Hagman
So when you stop asking yourself why on Earth Larry Hagman is even attending Dragon*Con, remember this brought to you by the Dragon*Con website: Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!
So let’s just examine this. Would Larry Hagman fit into the Science Fiction portion? I don’t see it. Fantasy? well aside from XXX Fan fic from the 1960’s show ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ , I don’t think so.
Larry Hagman and gaming? um, no.
Larry Hagman comics? Nope.
Literature, art or music? I would guess he likes all those things, but is he a draw for the con in any of those areas…no.
And finally film…well yeah! FILM!!!
So as a kid, I was a total junkie when it came to watching TV and one of the channels I loved was WTBS, the Ted Turner ‘Superstation’ for the South. Part of their early morning lineup was I Dream of Jeannie, of which Larry Hagman was part of the 3 stars that made this show run playing the astronaut Captain/Major Anthony (Tony) Nelson. Major Nelson was a very ‘by the rules’ guy who would not allow his girlfriend/wife Jeannie use her powers to aid in things…and even when she did things went unexpectedly wrong…I mean come on it is a 1960’s sitcom!! So I enjoyed watching this show, mostly for Barbara Eden, but I remember Larry Hagman.
The real reason I am featuring Larry Hagman is because he was JR Ewing in the CBS Drama Dallas. Dallas WAS early 1980’s TV. JR defined the show Dallas. Dallas was the first show I remember having a fantastic, get the masses talking cliffhanger season finale with the “Who shot JR?” ending. I am not exactly sure, but I think our own Salmon Fish may have shot JR Ewing…regardless, I remember the amount of crazy pop culture stuff that went along with this…t-shirts, TV ads mocking the scene of JR being shot and all the speculation on who may have actually pulled the trigger. The hype machine, version 1980!
I really appreciate DragonCon bringing in folks for a sort of nostalgic walk down memory lane. I consider Larry Hagman (along with I Dream of Jeannie cast mates Barbara Eden and Bill Daily who are attending the Con) one of the great guests, despite the fact that they don’t necessarily fit the ‘eye’ test about why they are there.
I think that Dragon*Con having these folks fits the con well… I mean it’s like the con known for some oddball stuff, is throwing us all a curve ball! I love it!