It was the first time Glitch’s one-man company, Lightning Fast Speed Dating, had taken part in such a show, and it was a rousing success, by most accounts.
When we first spot him downstairs at the Javits Center, however, he has traded his Jedi robes for sunglasses and a black T-shirt.
They don’t scare her, she tells me, except for ones about elevators. It’s not a great joke, sure, but under the circumstances, it’ll do.
I fall back on my reporting background almost immediately, conducting these sessions like interviews.
It’s only after an assistant hands him a black leather jacket and fake plastic shotgun with a bright orange tip that he’s more than just a speed-dating host; he’s a cyborg sent from the future to facilitate nerd love, offer water bottles in exchange for Star Gate trivia, and crack jokes of questionable taste in mixed company.
Ours is the second of three such sessions held over the course of New York Comic-Con’s three days, and something about speed dating during the convention seems to have captured the imagination of the show’s attendees. That I’m here to report on the event, undercover.“Are you single? I nod.“Are you here just to report, or are you hoping to find somebody? Only now, with the women lined up against the wall facing us, is the contrast made painfully obvious. Nearly all of the women, however, are decked out, or, at the very least, have an accessory: a pair of goggles, a bright purple wig, the aforementioned pair of Freddie Krueger claws.
He’s a big guy, certainly—a self-proclaimed stereotypical showgoer (heavy, white, nerdy)—but there’s no Jedi paraphernalia on his large frame.
We are first introduced to him outside, as he separates us into lines of male and female, forbidding pre-show inter-gender conversations, muttering the phrase “sausage-fest” several times, and generally lamenting the dearth of X chromosomes.“What kind of geek are you? I hesitate for a moment and respond, “Comics, I guess.” It’s not as popular an answer as I expected.
” Eventually, I find myself falling into that inevitable first date trap, imagining what it might be like to spin a conversation into a relationship with one of these people. I hesitate for a moment and respond noncommittally, “Comics, I guess.” It’s not as popular an answer as I expected.
With the woman dressed like an anime character I don’t recognize, it’s a frank discussion about the fan response to M. I discuss the works of Haruki Murakami with one woman and Hayao Miyazaki with another.
Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender adaptation (frankly, she’s shocked the director would even show his face at this convention). One woman seems genuinely impressed by the fact that I’ve attended San Diego Comic-Con.
Chris Duffy is a comedian, improviser, teacher, host, and writer.
He's the host and creator of You're the Expert, the show that uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting.