So, I just wanted to immortalize this on the blog before it disappeared forever from the twittersphere. Friday morning, on a whim, I threw together a quick caption from a behind-the-scenes photo of Wil Wheaton and his wife Anne on the set of Big Bang Theory. If you haven’t seen the episode, it was taken on Wil Wheaton’s front porch (not really his, it’s just a TV set people) shortly after Jim Parsons‘s character Sheldon (spoiler) gets drunk and throws up in the bushes.
And I guess he did because he retweeted it. To over two million people. Granted, it is twitter, so half of those are probably spambots, but still THAT’S A LOT OF PEOPLE! (I may have just moved up from Z-list celebrity to the Y-list. That means they won’t let you in the clubs, but you can wash famous people’s dishes. Part-time.) But what it really taught me is that you should not send funny tweets to celebrities without first turning off push notifications on your iPad. I couldn’t use it for half an hour, and finally had to unplug the wifi so I could clear the screen and reset it. I’m still getting favorites and retweets two days later. (I am officially labelling a retweet by a Wheaton as a retwheaton. And you can’t stop me.)
All kidding aside, that has got to be one of the greatest things about social media. Before the Internet, you might have met a celebrity at a signing or randomly on the street, but now you can follow them (in a non-stalker-y way), get insights into their characters, and even send them a message. And if they’re not a complete douche canoe, they’ll read it and maybe even give something back.
Anyone can join in and play, too. My favorite thing that happened was that some random person in Ohio forwarded that caption to Bill Prady, the executive producer for the show. Can you imagine if he saw that and thought, “You know, maybe we could give Wil Wheaton his own show.” And he takes the idea to Chuck Lorre and they shop it to the network. Those guys love it because they grew up watching Next Generation and nerds are hot property right now. (By the way, if you don’t know who Wil Wheaton is, shame on you and stop reading now.) They make a pilot and it gets picked up. The next thing you know, Big Bang is the lead-in for a new geeky sitcom, starring you-know-who, because that is how the entertainment industry actually works.
Now that I think about it, that would be an awesome show. You could have Wil Wheaton, interacting with “fans” at conventions, all kinds of crazy costumes, and lots of guest appearances by Star Trek alumni. It would be kind of like the fifth season of The Guild, only with a budget. I would totally watch that show. Somebody start a petition. Anything would be better than Two and a Half Men. (No offence, Mr. Lorre, sir.)
Of course I realize someone like Wil Wheaton (like Sheldon, I always have to say both names) gets thousands of mentions every day. But there are a lot of other “famous” people who only have a few thousands or tens-of-thousands of followers. It’s a fun sort of game to see who you can get to answer your tweets.
If you want to try here are a few simple suggestions:
- Follow them. (Duh.) Find out if they are really the person you thought they were.
- Don’t expect them to answer right away. They are busy people with fabulous lives or you wouldn’t be trying to get their attention.
- Don’t overdue it. Stalkers get blocked.
- Try and figure out when they are online. Do they tweet over breakfast or are they a night owl? Don’t forget they may be in a different time zone.
- Talk about what interests them. It’s often their careers or current projects. Just like you, they like to talk (and complain) about their jobs. And it’s Hollywood, so many people are narcissists.
- Don’t be dull.
So what is the result of all this fuss and bother. Not much in the grand scheme of things. But I did get a few new followers, and I made a few people smile for a few seconds, so I can think of worse ways to spend your time. It’s kind of like playing the lottery. No one seriously expects to win, but every now and then you get a few bucks. It’s the possibility of a greater reward that keeps you coming back.
Also, if they really do a spin-off, I want writing royalties for the concept. That would be winning the lottery.
- You can tell that this is Wil Wheaton Prime and not Evil Wil Wheaton, because I’m not trying to sit in his spot. (wilwheaton.net)
- The Big Bang Theory: The Habitation Configuration: Episode 7 Season 6 –TV Review (screencrave.com)
- Hey, Look, It’s Chloe and Alex on Wil Wheaton’s “TableTop” (nerdist.com)
- And Thus It Begins (whatever.scalzi.com)