Anime Convention News

Convention Report for "CHiPs" 35th Anniversary Reunion

September 15, 2012

LIVE REPORT from the "CHiPs" 35th Anniversary Reunion

by Patrick Delahanty, Executive Producer, FanCons.com

The following is the timeline of a live report from the "CHiPs" 35th Anniversary Reunion on September 15, 2012. It was posted as the event took place. Oldest events are at the bottom and newer stuff is at the top.

6:51 pm: The reunion is officially closed.

6:50 pm: Over $6000 was raised for 11-99 to be donated in the name of Bruce Penhall's late son, Connor.

6:08 pm: Autographs are wrapping up. Many fans have headed out as well as Brodie, Cy, Larry Mollin, and the CHP.

3:27 pm: Now it's time for autographs and photos with the cast...

3:26 pm: An autographed CHP helmet opened at 50¢, jumped to $500, and sold for $650 to the same Canadian!

3:23 pm: An auction for an autographed "CHiPs" jacket has gone for $500 to a customs officer from Canada.

3:06 pm: The CHP officers have asked for a photo with the cast.

3:05 pm: Larry tells about 40,000 fans waiting for him in Rio including lots of little boys in CHiPs uniforms.

3:04 pm: Any ad-libs? Paul ad-libbed Officer Turner's first name, Jed.

3:03 pm: Did they know the last season would be the last? Cy knew.

3:01 pm: Brianne says Kevin Spacey told her he was on the show...but apparently he was putting her on.

3:00 pm: Trivia: Bruce Jenner and Brodie knew each other as athletes. After becoming friends from his six episodes, he named his son "Brodie Jenner".

2:59 pm: Robert recalls Milton telling them how to do their roles. He remembers Eric Braden, Joe Penny, and Bruce Jenner as well as Michael Cole and Broderick Crawford.

2:57 pm: Favorite guest stars? Michael recalls Ann Frances and stunt pilot Jim Gavin (Gavin James). Paul enjoyed Tom Poston and Phyllis Diller. (He returned from his honeymoon in Hawaii to do the episode with Phyllis Diller.) Cy liked Billy Bartie and Milton Berle.

2:54 pm: Michael's favorite moment was during a car wash when someone hit Robert with a sponge.

2:53 pm: Cy's favorite moment was caught on film but never used. Erik had an accident and Larry was holding on to him saying, "You can make it. You can make it, buddy! Hold on!"

2:52 pm: Larry's favorite was Bruce's world championship appearance. His favorite moment was when Ponch showed up with a naked girl on the back of his motorcycle.

2:50 pm: Robert liked "MAIT Team". It was apparently the highest rated. Cy said it was about 4 minutes short, so that's why they replayed the footage over and over.

2:48 pm: Brodie's favorite episode is "Hawk and the Hunter".

2:48 pm: Paul just re-created Grossie's dance from "Battle of the Bands", his favorite episode.

2:45 pm: Larry mentioned Lassie... "Lassie was the star. I was housebroken."

2:43 pm: The cast is now talking about some of their work before "CHiPs"...

2:42 pm: In England, the show didn't start until 1979. Any chance of doing this again in a couple years in England? *laughter* Brianne invites her fellow cast members over.

2:41 pm: Question if anyone's children appeared in episodes (other than Derek Wilcox's two appearances). Robert talked about the appearances of his daughter and wife. His wife was going to play his wife in an episode because she was actually pregnant. It was delayed due to a strike. When they came back, she had to be padded because she had already given birth. ...and that's where Chris Pine came from!

2:37 pm: John Carpenter has arrived. Jack ran the camera truck for all six seasons.

2:36 pm: Cy says they would have to encourage officer to follow their training and not try to do what Jon or Ponch would do.

2:35 pm: Larry says his two boys didn't want to watch "CHiPs", but he would put in an old tape in and reminisce. "This man [Cy] was a magician! He really did put lipstick on a pig!"

2:32 pm: Question about how much of themselves went into their characters. "That's why you're cast that way," says Robert. Cy says that in the beginning, they created characters, but eventually they wrote what they felt the character would do. Larry says that he and Erik would ask for episodes to be written about certain things. He feels it's important for the actor to come through in their character.

2:27 pm: The show apparently upset Caltrans when a car crashed through a semi and exploded. It was melting the new pavement on the under construction roads before they opened.

2:25 pm: Paul says there was a 2 hour debate as to if he should pull his gun out or not. "I really wanted to shoot it!"

2:24 pm: Brodie's character was the only character to draw his gun. He says it made him feel very powerful.

2:23 pm: Lew and Brodie were on a "CHiPs" softball team in the second year.

2:21 pm: Question if they hang out and spent time together off the set. Robert says they spent the whole day together already, so it would be hard to go home and say, "Hey, I'm going to go over to Paul Linke's house..."

2:18 pm: Brodie had a party with friends to watch and told them if he wrote fan letters to MGM, he'd give em a six-pack of beer. He says he watched all 112 episodes he was in. Cy said he burned those letters.

2:17 pm: Question if they ever went back and watched themselves on TV when it aired. Robert and Brianne didn't, but Michael says that going back and watching it now, "We were the happiest bunch of patrol officers!". When he watches, he remembers what was going on behind the scenes.

2:12 pm: A question about the episode where they had to save babies and use "the Getraer method", but nobody really remembers it.

2:07 pm: The cast and crew have returned to the stage. Bruce has a large Band-Aid on his forehead.

1:58 pm: We got word that while taking a cast photo, Bruce leaned too far forward on the motorcycle and cut himself on the windshield. He's fine. We'll see how bad it is when the cast returns to the room.

1:42 pm: Three CHP officers have taken the stage for some Q&A.

1:33 pm: Back in the room awaiting Q&A...

11:59 am: Breaking for lunch until 1:15...

11:52 am: Now we're apparently going to watch a clip from "CHiPs: The Musical".

11:34 am: Cy has brought a blooper reel!

11:30 am: Various real-life ticket stories are being swapped among the cast and crew with most getting out of them.

11:28 am: "Jon's shoes were not fillable." -Cy Chermak

11:27 am: "By the way, my wife's ringtone is CHiPs when I call." -Bruce Penhall

11:25 am: "I know they probably could have made a 45 minute outtake reel just on my first day." -Bruce Penhall

11:24 am: "Perhaps I was the reason it got cancelled, so I apologize." -Bruce Penhall

11:23 am: Shelly Levine (wardrobe) is in the audience.

11:20 am: "Who cares whether we got it done on time?" -Cy Chermak

11:18 am: Robert Pine is praising Cy for keeping the show on budget and on time.

11:17 am: Cy Chermak has arrived.

11:15 am: "CHiPs is one of the two things I'm most proud of." -Lou Wagner

11:07 am: "It didn't take me long to remember my lines because they kind of went like this... 'Oh, Ponch...'" -Brianne Leary

10:57 am: "I like to think of it as education. I love law enforcement." -Michael Dorn

10:47 am: "I was Fritz. I was the original chocolate CHiP." -Lew Saunders

10:46 am: Writer Larry Mollin has joined the cast on stage and is talking about the fun of inventing accidents.

10:45 am: Brodie just told a story about a CHP ride along that turned into a real chase before he started filming on the show.

10:36 am: "We wouldn't be here at all if it wasn't for the California Highway Patrol." -Robert Pine

10:35 am: "I'm really here to support the 11-99 Foundation and Optimus Youth" -Larry Wilcox

10:30 am: The cast has been introduced and is on stage.

10:20 am: Looks like we're getting started...

10:03 am: The guests should be in shortly. Some funny highlight clips have been shown while we wait.

9:24 am: People are looking at old "CHiPs" merchandise and taking their seats while the show's soundtrack plays. Actual CHP officers are posing for photos. (I'll have photos of this event added in later during a break.)

9:17 am: Doors open!

9:10 am: They just announced they're getting some things settled and will let people in shortly. A photographer just showed up with someone in a full CHP motorcycle officer uniform.

Schedule of Events:
September 15, 2012:
8-9am - Registration
9-10am - Opening Ceremonies and general CHiPs merriment led by Tadao Tomomatsu and Dayna Budde
10-12pm - Meet the Cast of CHiPs
12-1:15pm - Break for Lunch
1:15-2:45pm - CHiPs Cast Q&A
2:45-3:45pm - Raffle Drawing, Trivia Contest, & Fanfiction 101
3:45-5:30pm - Meet and Greet with the Cast, Autographs & Photos
5:30-6:00pm - Closing Ceremonies


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