If you all don't know, Eric Kripke, the original overlord of "Supernatural" and creator of the show, recently joined Twitter. I've been LOVING it. Kripke is a special person in my heart, and not just because he created a TV show that has dramatically changed my life. He's been a creative inspiration for me and someone who is always out there trying to deliver something with impact, no matter what crap he has to deal with. It's not a pretty industry behind the scenes. I've had the honor of meeting and interviewing him a few times, and each experience has been a huge joy. I’ve gotten to know many creative minds in the TV industry ever since I caught this show while channel flipping one night and Kripke is still my first love.
Why? Oh, there are so many reasons.
First, there’s Twitter dialogue like this:
2. A lot of us drink when we have midlife crisis. Eric Kripke creates a comic! Well, he could have been drinking while creating the comic, but we wouldn't hold that against him.
3. He’s a fan boy at heart and loves TV and film. He’s so passionate about what he does, even when things aren’t going so well. Like when the season three writer’s strike happened. They only had four episodes left in the season before going on a strike induced hiatus. He found out that on top of going against the then Juggernaut of Grey’s Anatomy, they were going up against Lost as well.
Here's an excerpt from a most amazing interview with TV.com back in season three. He used the Godzilla and Mothra line a whole year before using it in a script!
Eric Kripke: Oh, I can sum it up in two words: Oh, crap! We feel like we're in the Murphy's Law time slot a little bit. I mean we love our lead-in and there's no other show on that network that we feel is as appropriate a lead-in as Smallville. But 9:00 p.m. Thursdays is brutal, man. It's just brutal. We've been dealing with Grey's Anatomy and CSI for all this time and feeling like the Tokyo businessman in the middle of Godzilla and Mothra.
TV.com: [Laughs.] And with J.J. Abrams' Lost, you can add the Cloverfield monster to that.
Eric Kripke: [We're] just trying to dodge debris. And finally we [thought] we could air our original episodes and [Grey's and CSI will] both be in repeats and we'll get a sense of the playing field, and everything's great! And then we click on the remote and it's like "New episodes of Lost premiering!"--the same night we're premiering. It's like, oh gosh, we just can't catch a break. And it's a genre show; I'm sure we share similar fans. We have a very dedicated group of fans who've been hanging in through even more extreme competition than this. So I think we'll be OK.
(check out that entire interview with TV.com’s Tim Surette. It’s amazing and really shows the true heart of Kripke).
4. Now on Twitter, The SPN Fun Facts!
#SPNFunFact: I wanted to play myself in "French Mistake," but I'm such a crap actor, we decided it was a bad idea. I can't even die well.— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) November 10, 2015
5. The fact that he was engaged with the fans early in the show, before it was super cool. Here’s a video of him answering fan questions back in season three for the CW Source. Yes, jesterznet is my question! That was my login on the old CW boards.
6. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve met and interviewed Eric Kripke many times. He loved Revolution too, and approached that project with as much enthusiasm as Supernatural. Here’s my interview with him about Revolution before season two. My question, which was the last one, is my absolute favorite answer he has ever given me in all our interviews: He loves telling stories and sharing with fans, and he loves joking about himself. Like this:
Alice: You went in the direction of Miles and Bass. You went there.
Kripke: What's that?
Alice: You went back to that brotherly thing.
Kripke: Oh yeah, that's my deal, right? Turns out I have a thematic. (laughs) Tight relationships between friends or brothers with like an unstated homoerotic subtext. (table erupts in laughter) It's like, "Why is that my deal?" Like frankly I need a little therapy time. That's why I keep going back to that issue. I'm just really interested (in) guys, straight guys, straight guys who have a tight friendship they're really fun to write for because they never really say how they feel. There's always a lot of punching each another and saying jokes. You can write emotional stuff because guys never say what's emotional.
7. During Comic Con just before season six when he stepped down as showrunner, Eric Kripke spend a lot of time defending his choices for "Swan Song." It was pretty sad for me to be there and hear all this considering that episode is often considered a masterpiece and the best episode of the series. But the words he said about that episode for me summed up those five years perfectly, and drives the theme that still defines "Supernatural" today.
"Everything can be open for interpretation. Far be it for me to tell fans what they think of the show is, it's for them. I can just tell you what it meant to me. This show has always been about family from page one to page five thousand. It's never been about one brother, it's been about the relationship between the both of them. For me it's like a ying/yang thing. Salvation of the planet depended on both of them acting equally. And had Dean not decided to sacrifice himself and go to be with his brother because of the love and relationship between them trumped all. Had he not learned to do that, to forgive his brother and love him over the years of training and learning experience of the show, then he would have never gone out there and Sam would have never seen him, never would have seen the car, and he would have never had the strength to take over his body and save the world. So to me, that's a two man alley oop."
Kripke also was open when Maureen Ryan asked about where Sam and Dean are in their epic hero's journey right now.
"I think they finally reached a massive amount of growth and maturity. For me in "Swan Song" one of the thing I insisted about ending it the way I ended it whether it was the series finale or not is not just wrapping out the story line but getting them to an end point that we've been building towards since the beginning of the show. For me, that's always been what the show's been all about. Certain fans have complained that it wasn't big enough and my point was sorry but, I wish you guys love it but, the show has always been about these two brothers and their growth as characters, ultimately reflected in Michael in Lucifer, in how Sam and Dean could do all the things that Michael and Lucifer couldn't. They had to accept each other as grownups, they had to forgive each other their faults, they had to come together, they had to mature. Dean had to learn to not just accept Sam as a freak but accept that being a freak is good and okay and smart in its own way and he's not a little brother anymore and Sam had to grow up too and appreciate Dean as the two of them. For us, that's what the show is about and that's what saved the world. That the two of them could forgive each other."
8. He's always thinking of the fans. Even 11 seasons later.
P.S. My favorite line from the #SPN pitch: how I say the show isn't "Vancouver Rainy." Ha. Shows what I know!— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) December 9, 2015
9. He loves the people he's gotten to collaborate with and has developed some deep personal working relationships. Ben Edlund and Sera Gamble (along with Jeremy Carver) were the writers he depended on the most on "Supernatural" and they became his closest advisors. He even brought Edlund on staff with him at Revolution.
I got to spend last night hanging out and talking story with @ben_edlund. Sometimes I have days that are just f-ing cool.— Eric Kripke (@therealKripke) December 4, 2015
When I interviewed him at Comic Con before season six, even though he was being bombarded with jaded questions about “Swan Song,” he took time to praise the craziest pitch he’d ever heard just a few days earlier from Ben Edlund...Fairies.
“Ben Edlund just came up with this idea, because I think it's so nuts, like fairies and goblins and leprechauns. You know, very Ben Edlund way. Not what you expect. So weird, frankly borderline offense, some really unique, strange, trippy! You know we pitched it to Bob Singer and he gave us this look where, "You are effing nuts." That's when I knew we had done our job. So I think all that and more.”
10. When I was asked to write an article for Variety on Supernatural’s 100th episode, I instantly knew the topic I wanted to do. I had to focus on at least one aspect of genius that Kripke brought to the show. I decided to explore how Supernatural wasn’t afraid to break the fourth wall and was doing so brilliantly with the character of Chuck. Eric Kripke graciously sent me some words to share about how “The Real Ghostbusters” came to be. As usual, he praised his team for their amazing ideas.
“The idea for "The Real Ghostbusters" came from our brilliant and talented writer's assistant, Nancy Weiner. She's the one who first came up with the notion of a 'Stranger Than Fiction' writer who was detailing the boys' adventures in a series of books, which ultimately evolved into our Prophet Chuck character. And she came to me with a simple concept: if there's fans of the books, they might have a Supernatural convention. And the attendees could LARP-- live action role play-- as Sam and Dean. And the episode just took off from there. Because obviously, we were well aware of the real-life Supernatural conventions, and how ardent and passionate the fans are, and that seemed like too good an idea to pass up. As Ben Edlund and I were breaking it, we got more and more excited. It allowed us to make fun of ourselves.... to parody some of the more absurd elements of the show (which believe me, we're aware of), but also gave us a way to let our main characters see their lives from a new angle-- from the point of view of the fans themselves. For example, the fans enjoy watching our main characters' lives, but the main characters themselves view these exact same lives as tortured, painful, and certainly not entertaining. Ripping down the fourth wall, and exploring some of the uneasy issues and conflicts that arise between fictional subjects, their creators, and the fans who enjoy the work, has been great fun for us, and something most shows don't get the opportunity to do-- because they're generally not as insane or stupid as we are.”
Always remain insane and stupid Mr. Kripke, whether through Comics, TV, or even Twitter. I'll close this homage out with a term that I used quite a bit in my reviews of Kripke episodes (especially "Swan Song"), a phrase I blantantly ripped off from the old TWOP forums.
Kripke you magnificent bastard.