Tommy Davidson Q & A post-mortem

So, long story short, we promoted the hell out of our Tommy Davidson Q & A the other day and he ended up not showing up. My initial reaction was to just update my post “nevermind” and leave it at that. This might be a bit inside baseball, but after I promote the crap out of something and it doesn’t happen, I start to feel like I at least owe you the explanation. If you don’t care, that’s fine, but lots of people asked, and I didn’t want to ignore them.

So here’s the deal: I never dealt with Tommy directly, we dealt with his publicist. I usually take everything publicists say with a grain of salt, not because they’re terrible people, but because they tend to over-promise on behalf of their clients (it’s their job), and because it can be a bit like a game of telephone. You never know exactly what information is getting through to the client and vice versa, or how they actually feel about whatever you’re planning. But from what I understand, after about 10 emails back and forth and numerous confirmations from the publicist up until the minute it was supposed to go live, Tommy was expected to show up (virtually) at 8:30 yesterday to do our Q & A. Around 20 minutes later, the word from his people was that he had a prior interview that had run late but was still showing up. 15 or 20 minutes after that, the word I got was that he wasn’t showing. “Tommy is too BIG to do this and can’t focus for 30 minutes in front of a computer.”

The initial reaction seemed to be that now we were free to start sh*tting on him in the comments section. But I didn’t want to do that. For one thing, a bunch of “wait, who are you again?” jokes wouldn’t be honest, because I knew exactly who he was. In Living Color had a huge impact on me,  I had a bunch of questions, I could listen to comedian stories all day, and I genuinely wanted to hear what he had to say. I always find these things interesting, even if the subject isn’t George f*cking Clooney. To suddenly turn around and start ripping the guy would just make me feel like the spurned boyfriend. “Oh, you’re dumping me? Well f*ck you! I didn’t like you anyway!”

For another, immediately eviscerating every person who doesn’t think my site or doing press on the internet in general is worth their time just validates their opinion. “Oh, you see? The internet is just a bunch of haters waiting to dump on you.” I guarantee that’s what they’d end up thinking. If you think my site is small time, fine. I’m not going to try to change anyone’s mind. I get paid, but for the most part, I do it because I like it, and if you’ve ever read a sentence I’ve written on here, you know being buddy-buddy with studios and actors was never part of the business model. But don’t expect me to lie for you either. The whole point of this internet thing is that it’s transparent and open-source. I tell you where and how I got my news so you can check it out for yourself if you feel like it. Same rules apply here. I tell you what happened and you draw your own conclusions.

And again, I never dealt with Tommy directly. I don’t know if he actually didn’t do it because he actually thought we were small time, or if it was for some other reason. Maybe he committed without understanding what it was going to be. Maybe he’s not a great speller, or he types slow. We tend to take it for granted that everyone’s going to be able to keep up with chat room speed, when that’s not the reality, especially when you’re dealing with performers. He’s not a data-entry specialist, he’s a guy who’s been performing live comedy since his late teens. All these things are possibilities, and wouldn’t make me think less of the guy. So there you have it. I’m cool, you’re cool, he’s cool. A celebrity pulling a no-show on one of our live thread Q & As was bound to happen at some point, and I can’t promise it won’t happen again. This thing, the internet, and people using the internet to do publicity and connect with fans, it’s new. It’s a lot more interesting to me than the same two-minute anecdotes actors tell on Leno or Conan or some other late night show with a format that feels too outdated for me to watch, but the flip side is, we never know how it’s going to turn out. That’s part of the fun of it. That and the dick jokes.