The Last Official Supernatural Convention – San Francisco 2023

This July’s San Francisco convention was special – first, it was the last of the dedicated Supernatural Official conventions that Creation Entertainment put on, which made it a bittersweet experience for those of us who, like me, have been there since the beginning. Sure, there are new conventions planned that include Jared, Jensen, Misha and many more Supernatural cast members, but there was something poignant about this being the last “Official” Supernatural con. I got emotional as soon as I saw the old familiar stage banner up there. What a great souvenir of a wonderful time that would be – too bad my living room isn’t quite big enough for it even if it ever was offered up!

The con was also special because it was the 100th Saturday Night Special. That also made me all kinds of emotional, because I was there for the evolution of the Saturday-night-at-a-con shenanigans that eventually became the SNS. Originally there was a dessert party on Saturday night, and the actors would go from table to table and do a round of what Kathy and I referred to as “speed dating” where they had a few minutes to chat with whoever was at that table and then move on to the next one. Sometimes there was a centerpiece contest too, meaning fans who are more creative than me would make SPN themed centerpieces and then the actors would judge them and pick a winner. It was a bizarre sort of evening, but I’m nostalgic about it now. Also, ice cream.  At least I think that all used to happen on Saturday!

Then Saturday was briefly some kind of fan talent show I think, with the actors rather awkwardly judging who was the ‘winner’. Spoiler alert: Winner is a strong word. Then there were concerts – early on, it was Steve Carlson, and for a little while the Brian Buckley Band, and eventually Louden Swain. Talk about a lucky fandom!

And then came the Toronto convention when Rob Benedict had a stroke (you can read his first hand account of exactly what happened in the powerful chapter he wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood) and he wasn’t able to perform for a while. The next convention, the other cast members and friends got together to put on a special concert to support Rob – the very first Saturday Night Special. It was a really emotional evening, with most of the actors performing, and it became a beloved tradition that was even more joyous when Rob stepped back in as front man for the SNS evenings.

So celebrating the 100th SNS felt really special.

The San Fran con had been cancelled multiple times, so it also felt special just to finally get there – and my friends Alana, Lauren and Eloisa were all there too. Friends are a huge part of what makes cons special every single time.

I caught a bit of the Gil McKinney and David Haydn Jones panel on Friday afternoon when I arrived – two of my favorite people, both of whom have chapters in either Family Don’t End With Blood or There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done.

Gil talked about being grateful for all the work he’s been able to do as a working actor.

Gil: And for the auditions. The audition is the work. I may not be the most well known actor, but I’m proud of every single thing I’ve done.

I really enjoy panels with these two actors, who were never on screen together but have a lot of fun on stage together. David and Gil spent some time trying to figure out their autobiography titles, which you can imagine weren’t all serious suggestions.

Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster also had a Friday panel, and were entirely distracted by a monitor onstage (in which they could see themselves). Chaos ensued.

Fan in line: I don’t have a fucking question.

Kim and Briana: That’s fucking fair!

Who would they have wanted to interact with more on Supernatural?

Briana: It would be fun for Donna to interact with Cas, because he’s clueless about personality and Donna is a big personality.

They also re-enacted an amusing moment from the Wayward Sisters pilot episode, where Jody and Donna were supposed to find the melted angel blade and it turned out to be a prop sticking up in a rather suggestive way lol



They talked about some of the pitfalls of their business, especially for women.

Briana: I’ve not liked some of my coworkers, but I’ve never been in a position of being abused.

Kim, on the other hand, had some really horrific experiences on sets (not Supernatural).

They’re still attached to their characters and especially the Wayward episode. Briana said her favorite legacy was Patience, because Donna really trusted her with that weapon, and because in real life she became close friends with Clark, who’s amazing.

Kim said that Jody knows how much it can hurt to love and has seen the depths of it, but she still chooses to love anyway.

Kim: There’s a moment when Jody looks to Alex before she goes on the mission where they’re all likely to die and she nods to give her the go ahead. Because Jody realizes that her life affects others.

They also talked about what a fun set Supernatural was, but how that’s different for the leads and for guest stars.

Briana: The boys were very comfortable with the crew and they fucked around a lot and everyone loved it. They loved when we did too with them, but we didn’t initiate it.

Friday night was karaoke – another special thing about this con was that Matt Cohen was back, and co-hosting karaoke with DJ Qualls. It was an especially energetic karaoke because of that.

On Saturday, Matt, Rich and Rob got to do an R2M panel, which used to be a mainstay of every con, but has been a rarity since Matt was so busy on ET for such a long time. Liz and Kristen and company brought back many of the old karaoke theme banners, from Game of Tones to cheerleader Matt and Rich. Iconic.

I’ve missed watching him be totally amused by Richard and Rob’s antics.

I have no clue what question this answered, but…

Rich: I’d be the Tromboner… Put that on a T shirt!

Matt opted for the flute…

Matt: The leotard covers the tromboner …

The panel was the typical too-quick-to-live-tweet chaos that I enjoy so much.

Rob: So, Loki is the straight guy.

Rich: Hey, he might dabble…

Matt: Now suck in deep…. (Context? Who needs it!)

Fan: How would each of your characters create chaos?

Rob: I feel like my character already did that!

Rob said his inspiration for Chuck as God was like a father who’s gone off the rails. I’d say he succeeded!

He was also amused to find out that one of his aliases listed online was “Bobbo”. Thanks to Rich no doubt.

I used to have a hashtag for live tweets that just said Matt Cohen puts his foot on the thing – this is why.

It was so fun having Rich, Rob and Matt all together again – just felt right.

The ladies panel was next, with Sam Smith, Ruth Connell, Kim and Briana. They’re all there to support each other, including a quick hair adjustment.

Also a shout out to Rachel Miner, who wasn’t there in person but did a virtual panel on Friday – it’s wonderful having her back as part of the cons again too!

Ruth: Rachel is very wise. She’s been in the business a long time and so has great advice.

Sam: I met her when she was covered in glitter, and she’s just as sparkly on the inside.

I don’t know what prompted this, but this is Kim remembering (fondly) that time Matt Cohen hugged her. Pretty sure that’s what everyone looks like when Matt Cohen hugs them actually.

A fan asked how they were different than their characters.

Sam: Well, I’m living, which makes me a better parent…

Briana: Donna is more unkind to herself than I am.

Kim: Jody and I are that somebody, the somebody that will take care of that.

Ruth: I was late to the witch part of my character. And we both love Mark Sheppard. Rowena loves him in her own twisted way.

(I loved the Rowena and Crowley complicated relationship so much, so I’m always thrilled when Ruth talks about it a bit)

They all had fond memories of their time on Supernatural, including Sam and Ruth reminiscing about how awesome Crafty was on the show. (It’s true, every time I was on set the snacks and food were amazing)

They had lots of love for long time Supernatural director Phil Sgriccia too.

Kim: Phil is one of the few people on the other side (of the camera) who gets that it’s personal, and will let his heart break.

Briana: He’s amazing.

Ruth: Nobody knows more about the show than Phil.

We’ve heard from everyone about how collaborative the Supernatural set was, and Sam Smith echoed that in relation to the costume department.

Sam: It was important to my character for me to feel grounded. They at first had boots with little heels and I was like, nope. I was so comfortable in that wardrobe!

Ruth: I probably spent more time in wardrobe than anyone on the show. Eventually Eugenie got tired of the dresses and put me in a pantsuit!

Thoroughly enjoyable panel – and if you’d like to hear more from these articulate and occasionally hilarious women, check out the chapters that Kim, Briana and Ruth wrote in Family Don’t End With Blood.

And then it was time for a Saturday tradition – Misha Collins!

He gave his buddy Rob Benedict a big hug. Awwww.

Misha always starts out sharing some stories, including how his meet and greet went earlier that day.

Misha: I took my meet and greet to this little beach outside. It was hard to find space between all the syringes though.

He also apparently has been on seven flights with some leftover fireworks in his pocket.


That led to some reminiscing about the TSA America videos he did some years back – which, if you haven’t seen them, are hilarious. He said he recently was going through TSA for real and got a pat down that was very similar.

At the end the guy was like “gotcha!”

Misha lamented the changes to Twitter (which, as I write this, have gotten even worse so now there IS no Twitter, it’s just the ominous ‘X’…)

He reminisced about being the first Supernatural cast member on Twitter, and that Jared and Jensen were constantly like, what are you doing?

A fan asked about the infamous on-set pranks that Jared, Jensen and Misha all played on each other.

Misha: I enjoyed the pranks I played on them more than the ones they played on me…

He told the story of when he was directing and Jared surprised him with a pie in the face.

Misha: After, Jensen was the only one being nice. He even gave me a clean shirt. Then he’s like, hey Misha, and when I turned around he got me with a pie too!

A fan asked what his favorite Castiel quote is.

Misha: I’ll just wait here then.

I love that too, and his delivery was spot on in the episode.

I have no idea what prompted this answer, but it made just about everyone snicker.

Misha: If you look closely, Cas’ influence is all over Sam…

More seriously (because they think the ‘influence’ inside joke is just as funny as we do), he said that part of Castiel’s impact on Sam was the reassurance that there was a wider circle of beings that could be counted on.

Misha also did some reminiscing of some of his favorite moments filming Supernatural, like the time he and Jared were sitting in Cas’ “Pimpmobile” and making it bounce.

Near the end of the panel there was some impromptu chaos, with Jared and Clif the bodyguard appearing onstage and  fighting over who will be giving Misha back his hotel key…

Jared won.


Misha on Clif and Jared: They’re both very… influential…


On a more serious note, Misha talked about how the kindness in the Supernatural fandom can sometimes be inspiring – it’s what he wrote about in his chapter in Family Don’t End With Blood.

He also talked a little about Gotham Knights and how much fun he had playing Harvey Dent and letting those cracks in his façade show.

Misha: I loved Supernatural and Cas, but near the end, creatively it felt a little paint by numbers, so it was fun to play someone different.

After dinner with friends, it was time for the 100th Saturday Night Special – and it WAS special! It kicked off with Jared coming onstage to introduce the band, to thunderous applause.

I think I shallowly tweeted about how much I love his long hair, but I can’t help it, I love his long hair!


Jared proceeded to tell a dad joke that he totally got me and Alana with earlier in the day. When we walked up to say hi in the autograph line, Jared took one look at the two of us and immediately asked us where we were staying and if we’d walked around the city at all, etc. Puzzled, we answered and said no. He then said that he and his sister had done some walking around and did we know there was a Lego store in town? Us: Umm, no?  Jared: There was a line for blocks.

Us: Umm, was there like a sale or something?

Jared: There was a line for blocks.

Us: Okay, well, Legos are awesome…

Jared: There was a line for blocks.

Us: (starting to worry that something is amiss and wanting to ask if he’s okay) Uh huh.

Jared: There was a line…

Us: OMG are you kidding me?

Yes, friends, it took us that long to get the joke.

Having been so successful telling it to us earlier, apparently Jared decided he’d tell it to everyone, casting a “don’t ruin it” look my way for good measure.

This is his “I’m so pleased with myself right now” look that I got to see twice in one day…

And then we were off! Louden Swain is always amazing and every single SNS has been incredible, but there was extra energy in the ballroom for this one. They did some new songs from their new album and some classics like Trigger Finger that I happen to love.

Even Chris Schmelke returned to play bass on Juliet like old times.

Creation’s Stephanie Dizon also joined the band for a number.

Kim Rhodes always fills me with joy watching her perform, because the joy she’s feeling is so contagious. I love when she rocks some Blondie.

I’m so glad that Gil McKinney is back at cons, I so missed his beautiful voice at SNS – this time crooning some Harry Styles.

He thanked Louden Swain for helping him rediscover his own singing talent – it’s a journey he writes about in his chapter of Family Don’t End With Blood.

Briana Buckmaster in red and gold and a new haircut was a vision as she belted out Hold My Halo.


We also got Richard Speight, Jr. onstage, which doesn’t happen all that often – he and Billy and Rob traded guitar licks on Copperhead Road.

And then we got a special treat that we were all eagerly anticipating – Jensen Ackles joining the band to sing Whipping Post, also a bit of a throw back performance.

He did NOT disappoint, owning that stage (and the audience too).

And Rob, clearly.

I love when he just stands there and takes in the crowd’s joy, and you can see that it’s just sinking into him and he’s feeling it too. It’s like the best kind of feedback loop.

And per usual, Jensen nailed the big finish!

Love that he’s wearing his The Boys hoodie too. If you haven’t already heard, we’ve got a new book coming out that’s all about ‘The Boys’. It’s a show I fell in love with before Jensen joined the cast, because I’ll follow Eric Kripke anywhere, but I was blown away by Jensen’s performance in it. There are chapters by psychologists and filmmakers and media experts all about what makes those complicated characters tick and why we love them, including Soldier Boy of course. And there’s an exclusive interview with Jensen about how he sees Soldier Boy and the experience of portraying him, along with interviews with other cast. You can preorder it (and get free original art of Soldier Boy and Kimiko) at:

It’s hard to follow Ackles, but the beautiful harmonies on Hallelujah with Jason Manns and Rob did the trick. The audience sang along for the chorus extra loud, and Jason and Rob seemed extra pleased by that.

Louden Swain did ‘This Is How’ with Rob getting the audience to help out as is the tradition.

Lights went up for Amazing also per tradition, with much of the ballroom showing their love of the band.

And then something else very special happened – Jason and Jensen brought a cake out to celebrate the 100th SNS along with a plaque commemorating the occasion.  The cake was amazing, made to look like a stack of records and amazingly realistic.

The band looked so overwhelmed and grateful, and Jensen looked so happy for his friends.

I’d say the goal of making the 100th SNS extra special was a smashing success!

Sunday morning kicked off with the Jared and Jensen gold panel per usual. Have I mentioned that both Jared and Jensen had their hair long (pretty much the same length, in fact)  at this con and I am SO here for it. I LOVE both of them with long hair, so this was an absolute treat for me selfishly. (I had a little conversation with Danneel about it and she agrees with me, which is really lucky since hers is the only opinion he’s going to care about!)  I’m telling myself that Gen also has a fondness for Jared’s hair long, but that’s really just my wishful thinking. Someone ask her!

I mean, look at them!

And the dad jokes started immediately.

Any questions?

Both Jared and Jensen were in a great mood, and as in sync as ever. A fan asked what wardrobe each of them would have wanted to keep and Jensen excitedly jumped in to answer.

Jensen: Jared would keep the white Lucifer suit.

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Jared nodded, and Jensen responded: I know you, buddy!

They reminisced about the storage locker they shared in Vancouver, that had tons of Supernatural stuff in it.

Someone asked about how the show would have been different if the boys’ dad came back instead of their mom.

Jensen: If Dad had come back, it would have been more a character arc for Sam.

Jared: They needed more Dean angst.

Most entertaining part of the panel was when the boys took a fan’s phone on stage to take a selfie for her boyfriend – or maybe it was her dad – which resulted in all these shenanigans.

First neither of them could figure out how to work the phone.

Jensen: What the hell?!

Then they hammed it up ridiculously. Sometimes it’s just the two of them cracking each other up, just like it was on the set of Supernatural for all those years. And I will never get tired of watching!

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Then they had to text him about who’s really the best looking person on Supernatural (and who knows what else!)

I can just imagine this guy being like who the hell is sending me these weird texts??

You just know this is exactly what the two of them looked like a million times on the Supernatural set, gleefully planning mischief. I love how they look like two little kids when they get together.

How many times to do you think Bob Singer saw these mischievous faces on the Supernatural set?

They both talk about how they kept the set of Supernatural a great place to work and stayed sane themselves in their chapters in There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, and they touched on that in this panel too, both saying that in the early days of Supernatural, they didn’t let themselves buy into it all.

Another favorite thing was the shirt Jared was wearing, that was later auctioned off to benefit Misha’s work with de-mining in Ukraine.

Jared: My brother in arms here gave me this shirt, an early birthday present. We’re auctioning it off today.

Jensen joked that he also wanted to bring a shirt for Jared just in case he didn’t bring one – which has happened before!

What a great panel! I feel like I say that almost every time, but it’s always true. Thoroughly enjoyable and always entertaining and leaves me smiling so much my face is tired. Literally.

Somewhere in here I had a J2 photo op, which I haven’t done in a while. I brought the new book on The Boys that I have coming out in the fall (Supes Ain’t Always Heroes) to show them (an advance copy, which is the only one I have). Jensen tried to shove it up under his shirt and steal it lol. (He has an exclusive interview chapter in it, so fair – but I did also grab it back)

You can preorder it here and get free original artwork of Soldier Boy for preordering –

The delightful Alex Calvert was at this con too, and it was so nice to see him again. He has an incredible memory and always picks up talking to Alana and me right where we left off even if it was months and months ago!

If he got a Supernatural tattoo, a fan asked, what would he get?

Alex: Just Jared and Jensen’s faces on each ass cheek. Hmm, but where would I put Misha??

He confessed that he ate like 10 Mars bars while filming the “nougat scene” on Supernatural.

Alex: I guarantee you won’t want an 11th

He also had some gratitude for Tim Omundson, saying that Tim remembered Alex from his guest spot on Psych – when he was 15!

Like just about everyone on Supernatural, Alex has fond memories of his character.

Alex: The thing I liked most about Jack was his positivity and seeing the best in people.

He also took the time to congratulate Louden Swain on their 100th SNS.

I also caught a wee glimpse of Mark Pellegrino’s panel – love that he has a graphic of a dachshund on his shirt, presumably in honor of his adorable dog Frankie.

Some photo ops and food later, and it was time for the J2 main panel. Jared, Jensen and Rob all leapt onstage even though I’m pretty sure Jared’s not supposed to be doing that!

Jensen gave him a reassuring bump to the chest after when Jared acknowledged that his knee had not entirely made it through the jump unscathed.

Jared and Jensen for some reason had to fend off Rob Benedict at the start – I can’t remember why but they look adorable doing it, with Jared in little brother (ie Sam) mode and Jensen in big brother (ie Dean) mode.

Jensen was asked if he’d ever do a musical and he said he’d already done one – he was Tony in West Side Story back in high school. If only someone had video of that performance! Mrs. Ackles?

Jensen re-told one of the stories they’ve both told before that never fails to be hilarious – about how they were in Italy once and eating lobster I think, and Jared wanted to tell their server that it was delicious, so when asked he made a hand gesture that he thought conveyed that, but instead it sort of meant “F you”.

Jensen: I just took his hand and slowly put it down…

He demonstrated, while Jared laughed, remembering.

They have so many stories of all the adventures they’ve had together and I love hearing them, especially from such good story tellers.

A fan asked what songs make them emotional thanks to Supernatural. ‘Brothers In Arms’, it turns out, makes them emotional too. And Asia for Jensen.

Jared: At least your brother wasn’t dying!


Jensen: Fifteen years…

Jared: It’s eighteen!

Where’s Bobby to grumble that they sound like an old married couple? Lol

They still thoroughly amuse each other (and me) after all those years though!

One of the most entertaining parts of this panel was the two of them being thoroughly flummoxed by a question about Barbie and her occupation, which Jensen just could not figure out.

There was also some kind of ridiculous competition about amendments, of all things, but honestly even when their jokes are silly they still make me laugh.

Jared and Jensen still thoroughly enjoy ribbing each other like brothers too. Jensen talked about Jared constantly breaking things on set, re-enacting crew from construction following him around to fix things on the fly.

They said there were tons of funny moments that didn’t make the gag reel, laughing to themselves as they remembered with all of us wishing we could see those!!

It really was an entire family affair on that set when it comes to having fun and playing pranks on each other. One time they opened the door to a basement to find their crew wearing only underwear – and sex toys!

And of course there were J2 secrets that we weren’t privy too – if only…

I will never get over the way they make each other laugh, such unfettered joy. Brothers for so many years with countless inside jokes that none of us will ever be privy too!

That panel went way way way too fast, and Jared and Jensen signed off with their traditional acknowledgement of each other and of the fans, and a fist bump.

And maybe a playful kick in the ass for good measure…

I was emotional leaving this con, knowing it was the last time I’d see that familiar Supernatural stage banner behind the boys. At least until there’s a reboot…

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— Lynn

You can read Jared and Jensen and Misha’s

thoughts about Supernatural and fandom in

their chapters in Family Don’t End With Blood

and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done at

the link below. And preorder the new book on

The Boys with an exclusive interview chapter

from Jensen at smartpopbooks.c0m/TheBoys



























2 thoughts on “The Last Official Supernatural Convention – San Francisco 2023

  • Awww thanks Lynn for your amazing recap! You always make us feel like we were there with you and I can’t wait to be in the room with these incredible people again.

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