Meet the new Spinal Tap! They’re a rocking Indian and a white dude with a keytar who are becoming larger than life all because some guys started snickering in a writers' room after way too much coffee and chocolate. Yes, I’m talking about Jeffster, made up by two dorks from the Buy More, Jeff (Scott Krinsky) and Lester (Vik Sahay). They aren’t some copy cat act though. Instead of “Big Bottom,” they rock the house with the quintessential classic, "Fat Bottomed Girls." Also… nope, that’s all I got.
At the Chuck panel and press conference at Comic-Con on Saturday the cast and producers of the show exhibited sheer delight in taunting and thrilling audiences with two main themes. First, they have no ideas for the upcoming third season, and second, they love their fans. So, why not play on both themes by breaking out the act that sent season two off with a bang? (Or at least generated enough smoke to trigger the indoor sprinklers.)
It all started with a quick recap of the brilliant season two, ending again with the hilarious tagline, "I know kung fu." It's one month later in Josh Schwartz's (co-creator and executive producer) office. Cancellation is imminent, yet only Zachary Levi (Chuck) is worried. That worry switches to Chris Fedak (the other co-creator and executive producer) when the word comes that they've actually been renewed. Zack leaves in celebration, leaving Fedak to flip out over what to do now with the kung fu twist. While Fedak chants his mantra of "nothing" wearing a storm trooper helmet, Josh Schwartz comes up with a plan. He's bringing in the big guns. Next thing we know, Jeffster takes the stage. Nothing like getting a crowd revved up with the best inside joke since those three fake blokes from England.
“Vik (Sahay) is so neurotic about it. He’s back stage jumping up and down trying to get into character,” said Mark Christopher Lawrence, who plays Big Mike. “Then when he gets out there he’s a totally different guy.”
All in all, Jeffster created a nice time-wasting diversion for panelists who were only there to take notes and show their appreciation to the fans for getting them a renewal. Whether they had ideas or not, they managed to play the gag well, as Chris Fedak wrote down stray ideas from fans during the entire session. Of all the suggestions, the musical episode idea got the best response.
Or is there a plan, and are these guys are very good at smoke and mirrors? There was evidence of both when talking with the panelists in the press room later. "I don't know what's happening in the third season," said Yvonne Strahovski (Sarah). "None of us do. They don't really tell us much.” Josh Schwartz didn’t have solid plans either. Even though they resume production in a few weeks, things are still up in the air. "Usually at this point we've got a couple of episodes in the can. We don't exactly know when we're coming back. We're ready to go and serve anytime."
This panel wasn't about season three though. It was about the fans and this group couldn't have been more grateful. Schwartz thanked all of the media that supported the show while Zachary Levi thanked Wendy Farrington, the fan who started the campaign to save Chuck. Wendy especially inspired the Subway “incident” at a con in Birmingham, England in May when Levi took a hundreds of fans to a nearby Subway in promotion of the show.
"If I can happen to be over in the UK at a comic convention with Baldwin and the girl that started the grass roots campaign is there," explains Levi, "and they happen to have a Subway right around the corner, then I'd say, 'Hey, I'd rather not do a panel now. Who wants to go have a sandwich?' You look for opportunities and moments like that and I only have a job because they fill a hall and love us, they love the show." Yvonne Strahovski certainly felt the love. "There was a lot of passion in that room today and it was pretty amazing."
So what is it about the fans that draw them to this quirky, geek-slanting show? Adam Baldwin (Casey) had a theory. "One thing about Chuck to me is that it has a cross section of love, just normal folks. I'm happy the geeks love it, happy that my friends that are cool love it."