Friday, October 29, 2010

Why, hello there, Kevin...

Among classic stories that have gained in stature over time, the George Takei/Kevin tale needs no introduction.

What's that? It does? Fine. Let me introduce it.

The year was 2004. A few young geeks like us go down to Toronto for their annual FanExpo nerd convention. Imagine a huge convention center, full of toys, comics, t-shirts, games, dvds, and all manner of other geeky things you can imagine. Tens of thousands of people shuffling about, just itching to drop cash on useless collectibles, and get autographs and photos of scifi actors.

The crowd was thick around George Takei's table. We showed up just as he ended his autograph session. He stood and made his way through the crowd when he spotted a fresh faced Asian boy - our very own Kevin - and said "Hello there" in his inimitable voice. We were thrilled! At the time this all seemed totally innocuous...

...and then 1 year later, he came out of the closet. Suddenly, Takei's comment to Kevin had disturbing (but not unwelcome? :P) undertones. Was Takei hitting on Kevin but nobody knew it?

Over time, this story, like most good stories, became embellished. It went from, "Hello there" to "Why, hello there, Kevin" (he somehow gained knowledge of Kevin's name - more on this later), to finally "Why, hello there, Kevin - I'm staying in room 215 of the adjacent hotel". We all had a good laugh.

Fast forward to last night's Halloween episode of NBC's excellent comedy, "Community". For some reason, George Takei is bookending the episode with a voice-over. Why? Because he's awesome. But at the end of the episode, with no context at all, Takei says the following:

"I'm George Takei, and if your name is Kevin, here's a little freebie for your cell phone:
'Hi, Kevin can't come to the phone, he's on a spaceship with me, George Takei. Please leave a message.'
You're welcome, Kevins."

I think what happened here is obvious. Takei couldn't get Kevin out of his head and, from that day forth, spent insane manpower and money tracking him down, but all he could find was a first name: Kevin. So when given this opportunity, he cleverly slipped in a message on a nationally broadcast sitcom, in hopes that the true Kevin, our Kevin, would hear it and come a-callin'.

Kevin, the universe wants you and Takei together!