Lemme tell you a story about Tony Todd.
You know him. Yeah, you do.
This fly mofo has been in everything. Like, seriously. He’s been in some major Hollywood movies (Platoon, for example, The Rock and all the Final Destination movies) but is probably most famous for playing the Candyman, and starring in about a million B-horror movies. His list of TV credits reads like a comprehensive list of genre and procedurals. Your favorite show? He was probably in it. He’s just been cast in a recurring role in “The Flash.”
But among geeks, he is probably most famous for his recurring role in both TNG and DS9 as Kurn, Worf’s brother.
Kurn was a fantastic character with a developed arc over many seasons (which ended horribly but we won’t go there). Todd also guest starred in DS9 (sans Klingon makeup) as an older Jake Sisko
Also he has a voice like deepest smoothest melted chocolate.
Tony was a guest at Shore Leave, a fan-run mostly-Trek convention I attended many years ago in Towson. He was a great panelist, funny and honest.
Now, Klingon cosplayers are always a big deal at Trek conventions. They do not fuck around. Their outfits could walk right onto a set and be filmed. Shore Leave always featured a whole contingent of Klingons. They’d run a Klingon Jail – you could pay to have your buddy kidnapped by Klingons and put in jail, and they’d have to raise money to make bail, and then all the proceeds went to charity.
Most Klingon cosplayers I knew weren’t that into Worf. He was just too…Starfleet. So when Kurn came along (and before Martok, the ultimate Klingon character of Trek), he was sort of the standard-bearer. He had been raised Klingon (unlike Worf, who was raised by humans) and was the very image of an honorable Klingon warrior. So you can imagine the excitement when Todd was a guest.
After the panel, we all left the hall, and there in the lobby was a big group of Klingons, standing in formation, in all their costumed glory, waiting to greet Tony. We all stood around to see.
He walked out and saw them. He didn’t greet them. He didn’t smile. He didn’t say hi.
No. Without missing a beat, he strutted up to them, and started…dressing them down.
Suddenly, he WAS Kurn. No makeup, but it was like Kurn was there. Walking up and down the ranks, calling them maggots, criticizing their attention, their bearing. Asking why none of them had bruises. Were they not fighting? Was their bat’leth practice falling behind? Where was the blood? And WHY WAS NOBODY DRUNK. He really tore into them, a little twinkle in his eyes.
The Klingons stood there, responding with SIR YES SIR when he addressed them, quivering with joy.
It was so awesome.
This is everything.
Why Tony Todd is awesome.
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