[WARNING – This Con Man Review Contains SPOILERS!]
The bad news is that despite having wowed the director with his audition for the lead role in Doctor Cop Lawyer, actor Wray Nearly is still neck-in-neck in the race to be cast as Dr. Officer Blade Slater Esquire. And his competition, naturally, is a Hemsworth. One of the lesser Hemsworths, but still.
The good news is that despite being stuck at a little fandom event called Long Con and being stuck with the impossible task of trying to hype his best friend Jack Moore’s dream project of a potential full-length feature-film based on the TV show Spectrum, Wray’s agent Bobbie has managed to find him another gig within another actor’s dream project. It’s a theatrical production, based on a classic work of American literature and Bobbie has convinced the adapter that Wray would be perfect for one of the lead roles!
The actor/adapter is Lou Ferrigno and the adaptation in question is of John Steinbeck’ Of Mice And Men. The only problem is that the adaptation is a musical. And Lou saw Wray in the role of Lenny, the hulking man-monster who you don’t want to make angry.
Still, the audition must go on…. particularly when a tricky door starts trapping more and more of the Long Con’s VIPs in the convention center’s boiler room. Faster than you san say “Hey, let’s put on a show!”, something magical begins to grow in the basement as the convention organizer grows more and more frantic over her missing guests…
With its latest outings, Con Man returns to the convention setting and delivers its strongest episodes this season. This is not to imply that Season Two has been disappointing but the show has seemed like a different sort of animal. Pin Cushion and I’m With Stupid are something closer to the tone of the series’ first season.
Part of the reason for this may be because these episodes also bring back some of the first season’s most memorable characters. Leslie Jordan returns, playing a macho parody of himself. Felicia Day is back as Karen – personal assistant and body-double extraordinaire! And Deadpool voice-actor Nolan North returns as MoCap King Jerry Lansing, going on to play the role of Curly’s Dog in a Chewbacca hoodie and furry slippers.
The other reason for these episodes standing out comes from their outstanding central conceit and the fact that it is played perfectly straight. I’m With Stupid: Of Mice And Man – The Musical sounds like a ridiculous idea. It is meant to be utterly ridiculous, even when Lou Ferrigno is convinced that he should be playing the role of Lenny instead of Wray. Yet the script and music by Jonathan Dinerstein are genuinely good. I wouldn’t mind seeing a full production of this show done in earnest, but my opinion may be suspect as someone whose taste in musicals runs towards Mel Brooks and Eric Idle productions.
Regardless, these two episodes of Con Man are some of the most enjoyable entertainment I’ve had in recent memory. If you haven’t made your way over to ComicCon HQ and set-up a subscription, you should do so immediately. I can’t remember when I last laughed so hard.