UPDATE 4/18/22 – A number of names have been added to the list of guest appearances. Noteworthy inclusions like Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), pop star Tiffany, and special effects wizard Nick Benson (Nightmare on Elm Street 4, The Blob, Tremors) have upped the level of excitement for this three-day event. Check here for the latest news.
A growing trend in fan conventions has been the “reunion” theme, where cast members from beloved shows and movies get back together decades later. Days of the Dead Vegas 2021 reunited the cast of ET The Extraterrestrial (minus Drew Barrymore). Actors Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, and Robert MacNaughton sat down and chatted at length with adoring fans. Fanboy Expo 2022 has three reunions slated so far: Donny Most and Anson Williams of “Happy Days”, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen from “The Brady Bunch”, and Keith David and Tom Berenger from “Platoon”.
Vegas residents and visitors who enjoy fan conventions have had slim pickings the past two years. Of the few that actually came, the events generally ended up being quite disappointing overall. Last spring’s Days of the Dead horror fest at downtown’s Plaza Hotel was hobbled by the 11th-hour cancellation of JAWS/CLOSE ENCOUNTERS star Richard Dreyfuss. Plaza‘s atrocious parking mismanagement caused this writer to forfeit the remaining two days of a weekend pass and skip the Halloween season follow-up altogether.
Creation Entertainment‘s annual Star Trek event didn’t fare much better. Dozens of stars declined to attend due to growing COVID concerns, causing its final year at Rio Las Vegas to be woefully under-attended (it moves to Bally’s for 2022). But here we are in a new year. Mask mandates are gone, tourists are back, and events are returning. So now’s the perfect time for fanboys of all ages (and genders) to check out Fanboy Expo Las Vegas 2022.
Much like the famed San Diego Comic-Con, Fanboy Expo is a multi-media event that covers the worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, anime, video games, and more. There are lectures, photo opportunities, meet-and-greet booths, cosplay activities, and an exhibition hall. Fans can bring their prized memorabilia to be autographed by celebrities, pose for selfies, and share personal memories with the stars. And of course, there will be lots of merchandise to buy and sell.
Geri Reischl aka “Fake Jan”
In what may be considered a “deep cut”, a third member of the Brady clan will be attending Fanboy Expo, albeit in a unique capacity. Actress Geri Reischl assumed the role of “Jan” when the Bradys briefly returned to TV. After being canceled in 1974, the original cast returned a few years later for a one-hour musical variety program. Everyone, that is, except for the original “Jan” Eve Plumb.
Geri Reischl’s take on the role earned her the nickname of “Fake Jan”, which eventually became a cultural phenomenon. There are posters, buttons, a Twitter account, a fan-created film, and even an annual “Fake Jan Day” to commemorate the curious turn of events. Geri happily embraces the nickname of “Fake Jan” to this day. We’ll be the first ones in the autograph line to say hello!
Lindsay Wagner of The Bionic Woman
Other stars in the line-up include the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN himself, Lee Majors. PLATOON star Tom Berenger will join him, as will comedian Jimmie Walker (GOOD TIMES) and YOUNG INDIANA JONES’ Sean Patrick Flannery. John Carpenter alumnus Keith David (THEY LIVE, THE THING, CLOUD ATLAS) is on board, along with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN’s own Kevin McNally.
TRUE LIES villain Tia Carrere wowed WAYNE’S WORLD fans and gave Lara Croft a run for her money in RELIC HUNTER. She also sang for Disney’s LILO AND STITCH and is a respected recording artist. Carrere won a Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Music album in 2011.
Tia Carrere won’t be the only voice actor receiving recognition and greeting attendees. Numerous familiar names from the worlds of anime and video games will be at Fanboy Expo. Eric Vale (above) is known for his work on Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia, One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist, and Tokyo Ghoul. Others include John Swasey (Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan), and Amber Lee Connors (Scarlett Nexus, Dragon Ball Z).
Actress Olivia Hack provided voices for animation like Avatar – The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She also appeared as “Cindy Brady” in THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE and A VERY BRADY SEQUEL. Perhaps this edition of Fanboy Expo should be nicknamed “Six Degrees of Brady”.
Actor Carey Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw) at a previous Fanboy Expo
A bona fide pop culture event, Fanboy Expo continues to grow and expand. This year’s gatherings will take place in Columbus, Knoxville, Indianapolis, and Orlando. Las Vegas will be their first out of the gate for 2022. Dates are April 22nd through the 24th at Rio Hotel Casino. Click here for an up-to-date listing of guests, along with ticketing information, discounted packages, and all the information you’ll need to plan a safe and exciting weekend with the stars.
Photos courtesy of Fanboy Expo