If you have never been to a Michael Rooker panel at one of the FanFest events you are missing out. For the past two years, I have been in the audience of the panel focusing around Rooker’s Walking Dead character. Though he never talks just strictly about Merle. There are many topics Rooker hits and most of the time they are rather surprising. While in previous years he has taken the mic and moved about in the crowd, this year he had a mic with a cord. This did not stop him though. Many fans at the live stage this year came up to him to ask their respective questions. He moved about the crowd in typical Rooker fashion.
Despite making a joke at the very beginning of the panel by jokingly saying that “somebody caught me on tape the other day being nice. I wasn’t happy about that. Cameras everywhere. Gah!” Although the moderator had Lucille to try and keep Rooker in line, Rooker was having none of it. Upon seeing Lucille Rooker laughed as he explained: “That ain’t gonna help you.” Nor did it help him because in a matter of minutes, Rooker turned the table on the moderator. He began to ask him questions instead of vice versa or taking fan questions right away.
While the moderator was trying to teach him a thing or two, Rooker went about the questioning in the way he wanted. He drank during his questioning before deciding that he needed to start answering questions. Going around in typical fashion, he began to walk over to people and start asking how he had a question. Of the questions that opened up, the panel was if Rooker was going to be at the Guardians of the Galaxy ride when it opens in Disneyland. He admitted he did not like roller-coasters. However, Rooker might be onto something with a Walking Dead steamroller, despite admitting “that would be a bad name for a roller-coaster. It would be more like the rolling dead.”
Rooker’s interactions with kids during the panels were absolutely priceless. The first kid who came up to ask a question told him the answer to 40+40 to which he said “Japan eat your heart out! We Americans know math!” Another interaction included a little girl sitting on the stage beside him. Previously he joked that he did not have any funny stories from being on set. He claims that Chris Pratt could not make him laugh on the set. A little girl proceeded to tell a joke to him that made him snicker. “Why did the toilet flush itself? Because it wanted to flush its way to its bottom.” He asked her in return “How does a cow defend itself?” The answer? Cowarate. The funniest part was that the little girl did not laugh to which he said: “I laughed at your joke a little bit! I snickered.”
Ultimately, the Michael Rooker panel taught fans a few lessons too. If he were a fruit he would be papaya. Fans learned how to avoid getting hit by a bat. While filming Days of Thunder, he drove 250 miles around the Daytona International Speedway track. Most of all though, first-time fans of the panel learned just how hilarious and amazing Michael Rooker truly is with his fans.