Comic-Con International experienced its first haunting during the Ghost Ghirls panel as the room went dark and a ghostly figure took control of all the screens in the ballroom.
Only a few minutes earlier, Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci, the two female leads and writers of the new Yahoo! web series, came on stage talking about all the “hotties” at the convention. The two were pointing to attractive members of the audience when the hijinks began.
The distorted ghostly figure started taunting the actresses from all the screens. A few moments later the lights came on to reveal Jack Black – sporting a Batman Comic-Con backpack, with flowing cape — who declared he would save everyone. The actresses asked what he was doing.
“I am fucking saving your ass!” Black shouted.
The actors began to debate whether they were being haunted by a demon or a ghost. “I’m a ghost,” the distorted figure informed them.
Black then tried to serenade the ghost to make him leave, but his efforts were in vain. It was only when the ghost was informed that this was a panel for Ghost Ghirls and not Game of Thrones that the screens, and the panel, returned to normal.
Black said it was likely no one in the room knew much about Ghost Ghirls and that it was time to screen the show to the audience.
The lights in the room went out again, this time without the involvement of a “ghost.” The episode begins with Lorenzo Llamas having a sexual encounter with a prostitute handcuffed to a bed in a brothel. The bed then begins to vibrate violently and the prostitute screams in terror as Llamas is killed before her eyes.
The rest of the episode follows the characters played by Lund and Blasucci as the go undercover at the brothel, run by a madam played by Natasha Leggero, in order to solve the murder, and subsequent murders, committed by the ghost.
Following the screening, a panel consisting of producer Black, actresses Lund and Blasucci, Yahoo Programming Director Bonnie Pan and director Jeremy Konner took questions from the audience.
Blasucci said she and Lund created Ghost Ghirls because they thought it would be fun to do a show about two bumbling ghost hunters trying to find and solve supernatural mysteries.
Konner said he enjoyed the concept, as the stakes are always high “because it involves ghosts.”
Asked how the panelists become involved with the project, the two actresses shared a story about meeting Konner in a park, where one of his friends was playing in a band that no one was watching. They ended up talking to one another, which led to messages being exchanged over MySpace, which led to several meetings over coffee, and eventually the creation of the show.
Black became involved through his former assistant Konner, who apparently was a terrible of housesitter. “When I came back, there was a rat infestation in my home,” Black said to laughter from the audience and Konner.
Black then did a shoutout for Jason Ritter, who played the ghost haunting the beginning of the panel, and called him onto the stage.
The panelists mentioned that they shot the first episode in one day with a budget of just $4,000, and had always intended for Ghost Ghirls to appear online rather than on television.
Pan said Yahoo! is expanding its programming with “a really robust fall schedule” of eight original series, plus the official catalog of Saturday Night Live episodes. “It’s 40 days and 40 nights of SNL episodes,” he said.
Konner talked about enjoying the freedom Yahoo! gives them with the series. “We have incredible creative control to have fun and to be as ridiculous as possible,” he said.
Black said guest stars will include Jake Johnson, Val Kilmer, Dave Grohl, Molly Shannon, Jason Schwartzman, as well as himself.
Black said he and other members of Tenacious D will play members of “a ghost band from the ‘70s,” and that they will perform songs in that episode.
He said it wasn’t that difficult to get the other celebrities to show up. “We called all of our peeps up,” Black said. “You’d be surprised at how people will want to be involved in something that is fun.”
A humorous moment came toward the end of the panel, when Black took a moment to apologize “for dropping a lot of F-bombs earlier.”
“I didn’t realize there were a lot of kids in the audience,” he continued, just as a kid stepped forward to ask the next question, much to the delight of the panelists and the audience.