Nerd Culture

Shit People Said at Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019

Phoenix Fan Fusion attendees chatting inside the Phoenix Convention Center.
Phoenix Fan Fusion attendees chatting inside the Phoenix Convention Center. Benjamin Leatherman
Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019 was four days of nonstop activity. Thousands of people came to the Phoenix Convention Center for the annual pop culture extravaganza to geek out, interact with celebrities, show off their costumes, and beat their feet into submission with ungodly amounts of walking.

They were doing plenty of talking, too, whether it was about the weather (which was nicer than normal), all the cosplay (which was just as colorful as ever), or the con itself (which many enjoyed).

Fan Fusion’s array of celebrity guests were also quite chatty, be it during their Q&A panels or at their booths. And they were entertaining, informative, or even outrageous.

And we heard a lot of it. Our crew of writers picked up on tidbits of various conversations between Fan Fusion attendees throughout the con and were also in attendance at many of the biggest panels.

Here are the most memorable quotes we heard from both attendees and celebrities alike during Phoenix Fan Fusion 2019.

One Fan Fusion attendee to another while in line for security during the first day:

“They don’t do cavity searches, do they?”

Nope, but security wasn’t allowing open beverages, however, as one attendee learned:

“I just opened this energy drink! Do I have to chug it all right now!?!”

Fan Fusion attracted a big crowd, especially on Friday and Saturday:

“I think everyone I know is here right now.”

And, it can be a new experience to the uninitiated, like how one guy described the exhibitor hall:

"It's like a swap meet, but for nerd shit."

The prices for food at the convention came as a surprise to some folks:

“Seven dollars for a scoop of ice cream? Seven dollars? Is this real, or is this some nerd thing I’m not getting?”

Other first-time attendees had a bit of culture shock when encountering all the colorful costumes:

Attendee No. 1: "Who's that guy supposed to be?"
Attendee No. 2: "Uh, I think that's just his hair."

Ditto for an older couple when they saw someone in a fur suit in the distance:

“Is that one of those Furbys you were telling me about?”

Meanwhile, cosplayers were explaining why they wear the things they wear:

“I’m actually really short. The fez hat makes me look tall.”

Or bragging about the sacrifices they made for their art:

“I put so much time into my costume that my boyfriend broke up with me.”

click to enlarge "Fluffy" Thor from Avengers: Endgame.  - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
"Fluffy" Thor from Avengers: Endgame.
Benjamin Leatherman
A lot of cosplayers came dressed as the overweight, disheveled version of Thor seen in Avengers: Endgame:

“This was the easiest costume I ever made.”

The character also came up in conversation, like when Jamel Singleton referenced him while emceeing the Phoenix Ultimate Geek Showdown:

"The God of Thunder … or as I like to call him, 'Fluffy Thor.'"

Funny quips were also overheard at other Fan Fusion activities throughout the weekend, whether it was geeks trashing Porgs at a Star Wars: The Last Jedi panel …

"I just saw them as noisy tribbles."

... Arguing why Apex Legends is a better video game than Fortnite at the Ultimate Geek Smackdown ...

"It's got diversity – in terrorists."

... Being smart alecks at the Nerd Poetry Slam after being asked a trivia question about D&D’s Ravenloft setting:

“Uhh, I’m still in high school, dude. If it’s not Fifth Edition, I don’t know.”

... Or during a panel about inclusivity in gaming:

"I've noticed that some people are racist toward elves."

We also heard geeks being geeks, like when they cited reasons why Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is great:

"You only get one movie where Post Malone is cool."

They were also guilty of oversharing, like one geek asking Catherine Tate about her Doctor Who character Donna Noble:

“The reason I love Donna Noble was because she was the crazy aunt I always wanted instead of the psycho one I wound up with who killed my grandfather ... but that's another story.”

Tate was, to say the least, a little shocked:

“Oh, dear ...”

Celebrities also said a lot of humorous things during their Q&A sessions, like when Elijah Wood was asked about maintaining his youthful appearance into his late 30s:

Moderator: “Do you ever age?”

Wood: "I don't know; there's probably a painting aging for me somewhere."

click to enlarge John Barrowman at Phoenix Comicon (now Phoenix Fan Fusion) in 2013. - GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY-SA 2.0/VIA FLICKR
John Barrowman at Phoenix Comicon (now Phoenix Fan Fusion) in 2013.
They also got a bit cheeky, or in the case of Doctor Who’s John Barrowman, downright scandalous:

“Do you know why I spread out like that? Because apparently I'm hung like a donkey.”

The actor had a funny exchange about all his sexy talk with one of the ASLs interpreter working his panel:

Barrowman: “You're going to be so sweaty when I'm done ... and in all the right places.”
ASL Interpreter: “Rawr.”

Fan Fusion’s celebrity guests also admitted a few things, like when Matthew Lewis described accidentally throwing a sword at a preteen extra while filming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2:

“So, yeah, I was half a foot from killing a child. Would that have been my fault? Probably.”

Meanwhile, Billy Dee Williams discussed what he hated about Jar Jar Binks, the much-maligned Gungan from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:

"I wouldn’t like to run into him in a bad dream."

Celebrities also boasted about their abilities, like Darth Maul actor Ray Park ...

"Lightsabers might be in the Olympics. If so, I’m training."

... Or shared their aspirations, like when Williams discussed the upcoming Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker, which features the return of his character, Lando Calrissian.

"I hope it does better than The Avengers."

Some guests were just flat-out funny without context, like this random quote from Amy Jo Johnson’s Q&A:

"Was there a sausage monster on Power Rangers, by the way?"

And then there was actor Jeff Goldblum, the most quotable of all. His musings on the meaning behind Phoenix Fan Fusion's name at his standing-room-only panel was absolutely priceless:

"Phoenix Fan Fusion? That’s what the name of this entire weekend is? Well, wait a minute. Where’s the fusing come in? We are fusing. This is a fusion. You and me. Ohhhhhhhhh ... This is like The Fly when I get into that pod and there’s a fly there, and at the end of this weekend we will become one organism. All of us. Yes. We will melt into each other like candle wax when left out in the Phoenix sun, in the Arizona sun. We’ll melt together, and just become one big candle ... mmm ... and then we’ll light ourselves on fire."
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.