"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Sounding like Chewbacca, Jonathan Ames made a "hairy call" to greet the sidewalk throng of Bored to Death fans who were waiting for him outside the Brooklyn Inn Wednesday night. "I don't know what fun can be had — it's just a bar!"
The twinkly Bored to Death creator had invited folks to come celebrate the show and mourn its demise. Oh, and drinks were on him — and so they came, filling up the bar, the sidewalk, and the street. The already overwhelmed bouncer, desperate for backup, greeted Ames with, "You should work the door."
"A simple tweet and wow," said Dean Haspiel, his illustrator and inspiration for the Zach Galifianakis character of Ray the cartoonist. "They're around the block!" Ames noted, pulling open his jacket to reveal a Super Ray T-shirt. The show might be dead, but he had no regrets: "We had fun with it. Life was less bleak for 27 minutes a week."
One bartender estimated that the crowd, which was already well over the space's 74-person capacity, was four times the size of the usual Wednesday night. "I'm not at all surprised," said John Hodgman, who played Louis Greene. "It was my idea to have the get-together. Jonathan said, 'I'm not sure anybody's going to come. It's a Wednesday night.' I said we'd need somewhere bigger. I do not mean to say that I was right, but I was certainly not wrong."
Worried they wouldn't all fit in the space provided, Ames told the crowd to bar-hop to another location three blocks away, where he would open another tab with his credit card. "Building on Bond, we shot a lot of scenes there," he told them. "We can run bar to bar. I would like to do that. Maybe you can smoke out here, too. Cigarettes and stuff."
Grasping for ways to entertain and amuse, Ames introduced members of the cast and crew — including one of the Super Rays, played by a comedian named Angry Bob ("I'm available for kids' parties — especially if you hate the kids!"). Then Ames started to worry, remembering that he was now out of work. "I hope it doesn't go over $2,000!" he told Vulture as he tunneled his way inside to make good on his promises.
If the fans, some of whom had come from as far as New Jersey, were wondering how to keep the show alive, the cast had some ideas. "Let's do a musical!" Angry Bob said. "I'm a baritone." "I'm a mezzo soprano," chimed in Heather Burns, who played Ray's on-again, off-again girlfriend Leah. "I'm voting for a movie. A musical movie, maybe with an intermission, and in my fairy tale version, Ray and Leah end up together."
Hodgman already had a spinoff imagined where Louis would go to live in Dick Cavett's house, without his knowledge. "Dick's not going to know, either in the show or in real life," Hodgman said. "We'd build a fake wall, like the Gary Busey film Hider in the House, and shoot it guerilla-style. I'd sneak out and have little moments, and you'd see Dick through my various peepholes. Although, seriously, who are we kidding? Even if I broke into his house to do it, he would be so happy."
As fans squeezed around the bar, even if they tried to pay for their own drinks, the bartenders refused to take the cash. Hodgman suggested their money be better served elsewhere. "I will tell you, we've seen now in history that shows can be saved," he said. "Petitions are nice, but the reasons shows like Family Guy, Arrested Development, and Firefly were brought back or made into movies is that people bought the shows like crazy — on DVD and on downloads — after the shows were canceled. It's petitions versus dollars. That's the only way."
At the end of the night, Ames paid a $1,600 bar tab (which he cut off at midnight), gleefully noting, "I'm no longer a member of the one percent! It was a great premiere. I mean, funeral!"