Performed live at CONvergence 2016, here is the (not exactly canon) Gargoyles meets The Spectacular Spider-man meets Young Justice Radio Show featuring Black Manta’s Celebrity Hot Tub.
…perhaps I should explain.
In 2014, CONvergence (the convention I co-founded many moons ago) was lucky enough to get to host a 20th Anniversary Celebration of Disney’s Gargoyles. Our Guests of Honor that year included four people with ties to that series: Gargoyles creator Greg Weisman, the voice of Demona Marina Sirtis, Supervising Producer Frank Paur, and Lead Character Designer Greg Guler.
At previous Gargoyles “Gatherings”, Greg had written Gargoyles radio plays to be performed by a mix of voice actors from the show who were on-hand to play their roles and fans from the convention to fill out the rest of the cast. These were tongue-in-cheek stories that frequently broke the fourth wall and became increasingly more convoluted and absurd as they carried forward their continuity from year-to-year and eventually included mash-ups with other Greg Weisman projects including The Spectacular Spider-man animated series.
Greg generously decided to continue this tradition at CONvergence 2014, expanding this madness to include characters from Young Justice. So with only Marina Sirtis on hand to play both Demona from Gargoyles and her character Queen Bee from Young Justice, a large cast of fan actors were auditioned and cast from the fans at CONvergence. The play was called “Recruits” and you can watch the video of the event below.
When Greg Weisman returned to CONvergence in 2016, he was joined by Khary Payton (the voice of Aqualad on Young Justice and Cyborg on Teen Titans). From the moment we knew these two were coming to CONvergence I was hoping we could get Greg to not only bring us another radio play, but that we could incorporate an unproduced gem of an idea called Black Manta’s Celebrity Hot Tub.
OK, more explaining. Back when Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series were airing back-to-back on Cartoon Network as part of a programming block called “DC Nation,” Greg and Khary pitched Black Manta’s Celebrity Hot Tub for the series of comedy shorts that aired between the two shows. In one of history’s great tragedies, these shorts went unmade.
However these shorts were repurposed into segments in the CONvergence 2016 radio show, so now you can get a taste of the glory that might have been.
We had two separate sessions of auditions at CONvergence to fill out the sprawling cast, followed by Greg, Khary and myself hiding away in secret corner of the hotel and sneaking lunch while casting the whole show. The day after the final cast list was posted we had an hour to run through and rehearse before the live performance!
Many thanks to Greg Weisman for somehow finding the time in his busy schedule to write this crazy thing and to everyone who helped make the show happen, and thanks to the CONvergence Video Team for getting the video put together. The video isn’t fancy (single camera from the back of the panel room), but the audio is reasonably clear and we even have subtitles you can enable in the YouTube video!
So without further ado, here’s Greg Weisman, Khary Payton, and a cast of dozens (including me!) in Gargoyles meets The Spectacular Spider-man meets Young Justice: “The Cosmos.”