Picture it: New York City, 2015. We pull into a parking spot opposite Madison Square Garden. The rain is coming down so hard we hop across the Manhattan intersections much like an old Frogger game, dodging not only the pelting rain, but the cars, cabs and trucks desperate to get home.
We finally breach the interior of MSG, only to be met with a horde of people, and WALKERS! It was then that it finally sunk in that we were about to sit down with approximately 15,000 members of TWD Family to see the season 6 premiere!
The Walking Dead Fan Premiere Event at Madison Square Garden was history in the making!
Madison Square Garden has had its share of pretty big moments. Led Zeppelin played there and so have The Who. Legendary boxing matches transpired, as did amazing feats in basketball and hockey. Now, thanks to the unstoppable freight train that is The Walking Dead, MSG made history by hosting a red carpet event for one of the most anticipated premieres in television history by debuting it to an intimate crowd of cast, crew and super fans.
I was lucky enough to have been among them.
A stipulation of entry to such a prestigious event is that I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement that I wouldn't breathe a word of plot points or storyline to anyone, not even my dog. So, as not to anger the AMC Gods, I can tell you only this about the actual premiere itself: you will NOT be disappointed.
Not one second went by that my fingernails weren't being nibbled to nubs. The laughter (yes, laughter) and reactions from the crowd were every bit as entertaining as the episode itself. The Garden erupted into rounds of applause at each break where a commercial will soon be inserted. When the credits finally rolled, fans were on their feet and nothing could be heard over the excitement of what we just collectively witnessed.
The Party Was Just Getting Started After The Show Ended!
If having the chance to view The Walking Dead's Season 6 premiere early wasn't enough, the events that transpired after were the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.
Superfan Yvette Nicole Brown, a regular guest on The Talking Dead, stepped in for Chris Hardwick to host the evening. After the credits rolled, she introduced every main cast member of the show, including Norman Reedus, whose entry was by far the most unique! Who else would take their place on stage by riding a motorcycle up the center aisle of MSG?!
Some of the highlights of the post-premiere party:
A fan asking Andrew Lincoln, 'what would be different if Shane was still alive?' and before Andy could even open his mouth to respond, Jon Bernthal joined the group on stage as he was quickly swarmed by his friends. He didn't actually answer, but went on to call them "the best m**************g show on television." Glad to see he doesn't hold any ill will against them for getting killed off... twice!
Emily Kinney joining the girls' team on a somewhat impromptu game of Walking Dead-style Family Feud. By the way, the guys won.
Then, my personal favorite moment of the night (besides the show) was Scott Wilson becoming the first inductee into The Walking Dead Hall of Fame!
Not to mention...
Ross Marquand (Aaron) doing impressions with Michael Rooker, Tovah Feldshuh (Deanna) doing push-ups, Norman Reedus getting the entire arena to wish his son Mingus a happy birthday, and a few baby pictures of current cast members that prove they weren't always hardened survivors.
A big thank you goes out to AMC for hosting this event, and making TWD Family truly feel like one, really, really, really big extended family! In appreciation, I will absolutely keep my promise to not tell a soul about the premiere.
Be sure to tune into AMC on Sunday, October 11th to have the same experience we did while you watch an intense, funny, and frightening premiere!