Burn Notice Panel at Comic Con

TVComic-Conby Mily Dunbar

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What to do when you want to see two Comic Con panels scheduled at the same time?  According to Michael Westen the key is a delaying tactic, something that will postpone the start of the panel but not cancel it all together.  Technical difficulties are key.  Get a janitor uniform, unplug some mikes, hide a table, and get to the other panel on time, then skip out early to make it to the delayed panel.

That's how the Burn Notice panel opened, with a helpful video message from Jeffrey Donovan.  They introduced the panelists.  We got clip package featuring scenes from the season's remaining episodes featuring more than one spoiler--SPOILER! Fiona's going back to Ireland!  SPOILER! Fiona's been kidnapped!  Then Bruce Campbell came onstage and everything went sideways.

Not sideways in a bad way--Campbell is funny and beloved by geek crowds.  Fellow panelist Jay Karnes, recurring villain Brennan, said, "It's like watching a rockstar work the crowd."  Someone yelled, "I love you, Bruce!" and Campbell called him to the stage and gave him money.  (I couldn't tell what denomination.)  Campbell then told the crowd he was out of money.  Every time anyone said anything nice to him.  Other frequent quotations?  "Can I just say something?"  "I'd like to make a statement."  "But I digress."

We did learn some interesting things.  "Michael's father did not burn him. " Apparently there's been some speculation about that.  The significance of Michael's dead father is as an explanation of Michael's skills.  The paranoia and self-reliance a spy needs are often the result of a challenging family background.  Ben Shenkman, who plays Michael's new antagonist went to the same drama school as Donovan, which is why he was selected.  Seth Peterson is likely to return as Donovan's little brother.  Villains are frequently named after the show's directors.  Restaurant's are named after writers' children.  They employ a former intelligence operative as a consultant, but get most of their ideas through internet research.

But Campbell was the star of the show today.  He kept us laughing so hard that one audience member asked Burn Notice's creator Matt Nix if Bruce writes all the jokes on the show.  (The answer to that was no, although he sometimes ad-libs his one-liners.)  Campbell had insights on everything from the explosions on set to Sam Axe's lifestyle to which Comic Con goers he'd like to have sex with.  During the audience Q&A, he decided a question was deserving of another payout and was shocked to discover it was the "I love you, Bruce!" guy again.  He didn't pay.

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