“Hey Robert, great to have you back. What’ll you have?” Law- rence said as I grab a seat at the
bar while I take a break from shooting video at BABScon, the Bay Area Brony Spectacular, a three-day gathering of people of
all gender identifications who are obsessed
with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
I never expected to be a regular at the
3SIXTY Bar in the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, Calif., near SFO, but here I am. It’s the
place where everybody knows my name—
kind of. Lawrence calls me Robert because
that’s the name on my credit card. I call
him Lawrence because that’s what’s on his
nametag, but I’m free to call him Larry.
This is my second time at BABScon at the
SFO Hyatt. I’ve also run around the Hyatt’s
lobby as Klingon Santa during a Trek con
and ducked riot cops when Trump spoke
finish off my Old Fashioned and contem-
plate getting another one when Bolt the
Super Pony calls. John de Lancie is ready to
be interviewed right now. Fortunately, he’s
in a conference room across the hall from
As one of fandom’s favorite villains as Q
in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Discord in My Little Pony, de Lancie is in high
demand on the convention circuit.
“The first time I went to a convention
like this was a Star Trek convention close
to 35 years ago,” de Lancie said while
twirling an airplane bottle of high-end
whiskey in his hand.
When de Lancie arrived at the Florida
convention center in a hot and humid June
all those years ago, everyone was dressed up.
“It was like Halloween,” he said.
“Understand that 35 years ago people
weren’t really doing this stuff,” he con-
tinued. “Well, now when I see a Star Trek
convention or Cutie Pie Twilight Sparkle
unicorn walking through the lobby, it
doesn’t do anything for me.”
De Lancie does wonder what the bellboy
or the people working in the lobby are
“I’m rather amused,” he said. “Of course,
they’re in that business.
“There have been hotels that really run
with it and have done a fantastic job,” he
continued. “I went to one recently that they
made the elevators look like ‘Beam me
up Scotty’-type stuff. When the hotels get
behind it and people enjoy it on the staff
level, that’s a lot of fun. That helps for ev-
erything. It also just says, ‘We participate.’
We’re not just going to the zoo.”
He must be doing something right, as de
Lancie is already booked for Star Trek Las
Vegas Aug. 1-5, 2018, at the Rio Hotel and
After the interview, I return to the 3SIX-
T Y. I notice a Rainbow Dash doll above the
beer taps. The bar also has a list of special
Brony cocktails made just for BABScon. The
Brony drinks all have far too much Malibu
and Chartreuse in them. I ask Lawrence for
another Old Fashioned instead.
Bob Calhoun is the author of Shattering
Conventions: Commerce, Cosplay and
Conflict on the Expo Floor. You can follow
him on Twitter at @bob_calhoun.
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JOHN DE LANCIE
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