(That should be the last time this blog ever uses the word "Fatboy," because again, Bobby Roberts is a strong pop-culture-reference name on its own. The show is dead: long live Cort Webber and Bobby Roberts. As they should, as they seem reasonably healthy and I hope they stay that way. They and their families do, too.)
Some 600 people, at least two of them fans from Texas, came to laugh, cheer, fist-pump, fist-bump, laugh some more, cheer some more, then -- at show's close -- hug, because sometimes that's more eloquent than words. Sometimes more needed, too. People got emotional, in good, often touching ways; the crowd's vibe was wonderful. We were safe and among friends; I felt okay to, for instance, jump out of my first-row-left-side chair, yell and do double-fist-bumps when each guest walked up to the stage to talk to Cort and Bobby. Yes for being demonstrative!
Adding to the night's surreal feel, I realized well into the show that I was seated next to state Representative and former mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith and his wife. It didn't dawn on me (beyond "Does he look familiar?") until Cort and Bobby brought him onstage for the last of their interviews with him; they've done these for a couple of years, since before he ran for mayor. Later, after he'd sat back down, Rep. Smith looked up from the composition book he was taking notes in, leaned over to me and very intensely asked "What did he say?!" I was on-the-spot enough that I didn't know who he was asking about. (I apologized to him later. I do try to be polite. Remember, I once apologized to a corpse.)
Our hosts thanked podcaster Robert Wagner -- and also apologized to him, because they feel their biggest mistake after getting fired from KUFO was not immediately joining Wagner's PDX.fm to podcast, only eventually. Lisa and Brian Wood of Big-Ass Sandwiches then were special guests, talking about their crazy year in the cart and the three years total they've been feeding people from it. Then the podcast's regular guests all had one last chance at the mic (and to air grievances, if they wanted to combine the night with Festivus):
This was an emotional three-plus hours. The time leading up to it was expectant, as dozens of those 600 people made a night of it in and around the Bagdad. A lot of us visited a lot of others; some lovely reconnecting happened. It also didn't feel tense, the way some of the Big Lebowski screenings or Katee Sackhoff's visit to a showing of Battlestar Galactica had sometimes felt tense. People, it seemed, wanted to savor the moment. And Cort, Bobby and the Bagdad helped to extend that moment:
There was a surprise Midnight Movie. The last one, and in fact the only one since the first to actually begin at midnight. It was the 1977 cut of Star Wars, the so-called "Despecialized Edition" -- some special effects cleaned up, but otherwise bereft of the many tweaks George Lucas has made to it over the decades. All up on a big screen and making people cheer. I assume they kept cheering, because my closer-to-exhausted self left at about 12:30 for home.
A hell of a high note, Friday night. I'm proud of Cort and Bobby; I want them to do well, in their current jobs and in their future work, because they will be cool in other ways. Bless them and all the best.
* Okay, a) in context it was surprisingly funny and b) ERIK IS A NICER AND BETTER PERSON THAN THAT. USUALLY.
** She got a gift! For years I've had a copy of the published screenplay to James L. Brooks's Broadcast News; I knew that it's one of Hameister's favorite movies, so I gave it to her that night.
*** Byron speaks about the show (with more photos, too) here: http://www.byronbeck.com/home/1304-the-final-cort-and-fatboy-show-at-the-bagdad-theater.html#.UMZaCbYYrNc.facebook
Finally: You can even watch the full 2:18 show.