3 SDCC Panels Made More Awesome by Their Moderator

keysmash san diego comic con sdcc 2017 moderators featured image

Other than the previously mentioned innuendo of Jonathan Ross at the Kingsman panel, here are a few of our favorite moderators from San Diego Comic Con.

Terry Crews for Netflix’s Bright and Death Note (via)

I hung out in Hall H post-Teen Wolf for this panel, mostly just to see Will Smith. (He did not disappoint btw.) But Terry Crews was a pleasant surprise. His fan interaction is so good, which is essential for diffusing the inevitable awkwardness of audience Q&A. He easily established rapport with every panelist – whether he’d known them previously or not – which made the flow of the panel really nice and smooth. And his enthusiasm is so contagious; I was lukewarm about Bright, but the combined charm of Terry and Will Smith made me really excited for it.

The pec dancing was just a bonus.

Lynette Rice for Entertainment Weekly’s Brave New Warriors (via)

These panels can be really hit or miss. They’re a hodgepodge of guys from various projects, and that random mix can either be strained or entertaining. A lot of that obviously hinges on the talent lineup (and this year’s was a particularly odd mix) but a good moderator can go a long way towards making it a fun experience for both the audience and the panelists.

The best thing Lynette did was nix the fan Q&A. With a panel like this, there is always one actor who gets the lion’s share of the attention, and that’s not fair. Lynette asked questions the whole panel could answer, and did a good job wrangling all the different personalities. Her questions ranged from silly to serious, and we really got a good look at what all these guys are like. It was a blast.

I could write a whole ‘nother post about Ricky Whittle and Richard Rankin and their shameless flirting, too. Bless Lynette for encouraging it.

Yvette Nicole Brown for Once Upon a Time (via)

I don’t watch Once, but I knew about the show shakeups, so I was expecting this to be an interesting panel. I’m no stranger to creator/fan friction (hello SPN panel from a couple years ago when a fan asked about Charlie’s death) so I was prepared to sit through some cringey moments before my Riverdale panel started.

Enter Yvette, fangirl and moderator extraordinaire. After some grumbling near the beginning, she quashed the nonsense with diplomacy. If you love the show, stick around and give it a chance. Show the cast some love, and save your hate. Honestly, convention panels aren’t really the best places to work out those issues anyway.

The panel went so well after that; I honestly think her handling of the situation allowed the cast and showrunners to be more open about the new direction of the show. That plus a pretty neat teaser of the next season almost makes me want to dive in!

Captain Hook is a fairly good motivator too. Hoo boy is he pretty. Can we talk about how shy he was in the Brave New Warriors panel vs. how comfortable and delightful he was in the Once panel? Actual hearteyes.

Liz Keysmash
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Liz Keysmash

Liz has a ginger kitty named Thackery Binx who chirps like a bird and plays fetch like a dog. She reads a lot of slash, and writes a bit as well. She thinks she’s a good cook, she brews beer, she's a total nerd about baseball, she reads YA fiction, she has recently rediscovered her love of pop music, she swears like a sailor.
Liz Keysmash
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  • B.

    The moderator is SUCH an important part of a panel! Sometimes I think cons and panels don’t realize this. I’ve seen some bad mods,and some that were just amazing!

    • Liz Keysmash

      I like the current trend some shows/studios have of bringing along celeb fans of the shows to moderate the panel. I hope that continues and grows.

      • B.

        Agreed! Celebs are fans too! I’ll never forget a panel where you could tell the mod just basically went to Wikipedia. It affected the entire panel.