Seeking out Wizard World's D-List


By now you might have heard that there was a comic book thing happening this past weekend.

Thousands of fans packed the Minneapolis Convention Center for Wizard World Comic Con, where some of the biggest icons in film, television, and pop culture came together to snap photos, sign autographs, and hang out with some of their biggest fans.

Ian Ziering was there, too.

While the biggest crowds of the weekend were for names like Michael Rooker, Robert Englund, and the stars of Dr. Who, we also made plenty of time to hunt down some of the more D-List celebrities of the convention to find out what's been going on in the twilight of their 15 minutes of fame.

Sad Ziering

Sad Ziering

Ralph Macchio

The Karate Kid himself was on hand for all three days of the convention, looking exactly the same as he did 30 years ago when his iconic film was first released in theaters. During his Q&A seminar on Saturday morning, Macchio touched on new projects such as Across Grace Alley, a new film he wrote and directed, along with his guest appearances on shows like How I Met Your Mother and Dancing with the Stars. However, it was obvious that the crowd was there to talk all things Daniel Larusso, and Macchio didn't disappoint, discussing his feelings on his legacy, while also doing an amazing Will Smith impression.

Here are the highlights:

On his kids learning about The Karate Kid: "It's funny because when my kids were maybe five and seven or somewhere around there, my son found a box of all the magazine covers from Tiger Beat and posters and all of that stuff, and he comes running into the room holding some of it and he says to my daughter, 'Dad was huge and we missed it!'"

On his legacy: "When I was 25, I used to get sick of hearing people scream things like, "Wax on, wax off!" or "Get him a body bag!" while I was trying to walk down the street. After a while though, people would come up to me and tell me how that movie really touched their lives, and it became something I was really proud to have been a part of."

On the Jaden Smith Karate Kid remake: "Will Smith came to me and said, 'I know I'm messing with your baby,' but I told him that I was excited about it, and that they had my blessing. I think they did a great job, and I'm happy that more people can see this story, but I don't think in 30 years people are going to be quoting lines from the remake like they still do from the original."

Gilbert Gottfried

One of the most recognizable voices in comedy held court during his own Q&A on Saturday afternoon, in front of a packed house that was noticeably older than other sessions. While he joked about Twitter ("I've found it to be a very expensive tool," joking about his controversial removal as the voice of the Aflac duck in 2011 after tweeting a joke about the Japanese tsunami) and his attitude on never turning down a job ("Most people answer the phone, 'Hello.' I answer, 'I'll take it!'"), he also effortlessly batted down any wannabe-comedian's lamest requests and tackled questions on everything from Aladdin to celebrity roasts.

On his role as Iago the parrot in Aladdin: "They let me improvise a lot when I was voicing that character. They'd let me go for a while, then call 'cut' and tell me, 'Um, Gilbert? You know little kids are going to see this, right?' And then I'd redo it."

On his experience with the Comedy Central roasts: "Sometimes they'll only give me like one day's notice to get some material together, but usually I know the people at the roast so it's not too bad. Bob Saget and Roseanne I knew. I had never met David Hasselhoff before his roast. Shockingly, I was never asked to do an episode of Baywatch."

On his motivation for being an actor: "It's a good feeling when you work on something that you think is great, and then people finally see it or hear and tell you that they liked it, too. Actually, fuck all that; I'll just take the money that comes with it."

Ian Ziering

Last but not least, Ian Ziering of 90210 and Sharknado fame was on hand to take photos and sign autographs for his legions of adoring fans. While he unfortunately wasn't given a panel of his own, we had ample opportunity to check out Steve Sanders during his autograph times, and we were able to deduce two things: He is super ripped, and really good at killing time on his phone.

Whether you're a fan of sci-fi, superheroes, or lonely former D-List heartthrobs, this weekend's Wizard World truly was the place where pop culture came alive.